Horses in the Joseon Dynasty are largely divided into native Jeju horses and northern Manchurian horses. Since Jeju horses were not able to bear the weight of the horse armor and heavily armed cavalryman, large‐sized Manchurian horses were used for the the cavalry. Manchurian horses were classified by Central Asian horses, Daldan‐ma horses(韃靼馬‐highland wild horses), and Mongolian horses. Central Asian horses were imported in the Period of the Korean Three Kingdoms, and Daldan‐ma horses were imported from Jurchen through tribute trade in the early Koryo Dynasty. The number of tributes through which Jurchen paid horses during the period from King Jeongjong (945~949) to Yejong (1105~1122) was 127, and the number of tributary horses was approximately 4~5,000 heads. In the late Koryo Dynasty, the Yuan Dynasty brought Daldan‐ma horses to Tamra‐do Island and installed Mongolian‐style ranches there. In addition, it brought 150 Daldan‐ma horses and distributed them to ranches throughout the country, and this increased the number of Manchurian horses in the country. As the diplomatic relationship with Jurchen was broken in the Joseon Dynasty, Manchurian horses could not be imported directly from Jurchen and only a small number of Manchurian horses were available through private trade. Even the private trading of Manchurian horses was prohibited from the reign of King Seongjong, and this accelerated the miniaturization of Manchurian horses. Under the rule of King Sejong, a male Manchurian horse was traded with two female Jeju horses.
In the Joseon Dynasty, horse ranches were installed as one of King Taejong’s efforts to secure war horses because the trade of Manchurian horses with Jurchen was stopped and Ming confiscated the Jeju ranch. Taejong moved 1,800 male and female Manchurian horses from the Jeju ranch to Jin‐do Island in Jeolla‐do, and 100 heads to Mt. Gilsang in Ganghwa‐do Island. In addition, King Sejong installed Sindo and Boeumdo Ranches in islands affiliated to Ganghwa‐do Island, and pastured Manchurian horses, and prohibited the colts from being carried out of the islands for preserving the breed. King Sejo expanded the Jangbong‐do Ranch in Ganghwa‐do Island exclusively for Manchurian horses, and distributed colts from the ranch as breeding horses to other major ranches throughout the country. From King Seongjong, however, ranches were closed and instead government fields were installed, and this reduced the number of Manchurian horses gradually. The closure of horse ranches undermined the military power, and as a result, the country could not avoid Japanese invasion of 1592‐1599 and Qing’s invasions. In the late Joseon Dynasty, Kings Sukjong and Jeongjo promoted the northern expedition policy, and installed the cavalry to content with Qing’s Eight Banners and this increased the number of Manchurian horses temporarily. As horse ranches had to be closed for arable lands, however, the production of Manchurian horses had to decrease gradually.