Name of breed: Garrano
Country of origin: Portugal
Breed origin: This breed is so ancient that Northern Iberian Paleolithic cave paintings depict horses with similar profiles! That era spans from 2.6 BILLION years old up to around 10 000 years ago (that’s seriously old!) and it was when the first humans were roaming the earth!
Genetic evidence shows that the breed originates from Celtic regions with more in North Europe. Through crossbreeding later on with the breed and other horses at a later time brought over by the Spanish conquistadors and other local Sorraia horses, other breeds such as the Galica Mountain pony were made. Later on, the breed was infused with Arabs to make the modern 20th-century breed known today.
Distinguishing features: The Garrano is a small horse breed reaching around 12.3 hands high and can be distinguished by their straight profiles and heavy build. These ponies are also special as they come in only three colours (bay, brown and dark chestnut).
They are a super hardy pony breed with a quick gait and were once raced.
Modern day Garrano: This breed is used as a packhorse, as well as riding and farm work but are also mostly wild. The numbers in the wild of this breed makes it rare as they are the preferred prey of wolves in the area and now there is only around 2 000 left!
Image credit: visitportoandnorth, Rewilding North and Pinterest