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> The Auvergne horse
The Auvergne horse
History of the breed
732: Charles Martel drives the Saracens from the plains of Auvergne. After their defeat the Saracens abandon their cavalry whose descendants can be found in Creuse, Haute-Vienne and Corrèze, forming the limousine breed. This breed is then to be found across Limousin and the Auvergne.
12th century: Two different branches appear: The Auvergne half breed, an ideal war horse, which will die out when its military role disappears; and the “dual purpose”: for agricultural use it could produce mules, but also be used for transport and for farm work
End of 18th and 19th centuries: A keen interest for the draught horse appears and the country people try to produce an ever stronger horse but keeping its temperament for work and its hardiness. The small mountain horse appears.
20th century: With mechanisation and the motor car, the horse is used less and less and its numbers reduce. Despites several crossing with Breton and Comtois horses, several horses still display the characteristics of the Auvergne horse. Its hardiness is perfectly adapted to the Auvergne countryside, as are its adaptability and precious character.
1996: The association for the regeneration and protection of the Auvergne horse compiles a register of animals showing the Auvergne characteristics and sets up its protection operation.
Today: The breed has been recognised since 2012 and the Auvergne horse can be found right across the Massif Cenrtal (about 14 departments).
The National Association of the Auvergne Breed (ANCRA) is set up.
The Auvergne horse is small and can be used for a wide range of leisure pursuits. It is excellent for horse-based tourism and carriage work or for trekking.
They are also well-regarded by carriage schools where their build and gentle character reassure beginners while still working well for more seasoned campaigners.
Height: 1m43 to 1m57
Weight: 450 to 650 kg
Coat: Light bay, cerise, copper, dark of Pangaré, black; black extremities are very evident and this can go higher on the legs. No particular markings.
Fine coat, very full tail.
Head: small, short, expressive, square or even concave. Fox like nose, a small mobile ears. Almond eyes with jutting eyebrows. Well open nostrils.
Body: lightly round neck, square shoulder. Round sides, open and deep chest.
Back short and wide. Double croupe, lightly rocking.