Monday, 26 September 2016

The Breton

This small draught or carriage horse originates from Brittany in North-West France.  The breed has a unique appearance and great endurance due to the hard climate and poor quality grazing found in the area.  


The Breton has an excellent disposition and looks similar to the primitive Steppes horses.  The breed was used to produce half bred work horses which proved themselves very useful for farming.  They were also popular in the military during the middle ages due to their comfortable pace (part way between a brisk trot and an amble).  The Breton was then only about 14hh. For the same reason they were also popular as a riding horse. 

Throughout the centuries the Breton has been crossed with other breeds resulting in 3 types : 

  • The Postier is about 15hh and has a good, active trot as a result of Norfolk Trotter and Hackney blood in the 19th century.  Used for light farm work. 
  • The Corlay was influenced by Arab and Thoroughbred blood resulting in a lighter carriage or riding horse.  This type is rare.  
  • The Draught Breton stands about 16hh and is a result of the introduction of Percheron, Ardennais and Boulonnais blood.  Used for heavier farm work.


Height: Up to 16hh

Colour: Chestnut with flaxen mane and tail is the most common but also blue and red roan, bay and occasionally black.

Conformation:  Thick set.  Head is square and the forehead wide.  The nose can be dished and ears are relatively small.  Extremely strong neck and shoulders.  The back is short and wide and the quarters powerful.  Legs are strong with plenty of bone.

Temperament: Willing, kind and adaptable.

Used for riding and farm work.

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Until next time!

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