Home / Italian Horses / Bardigiano

By Jeffery Garfield

Last updated: 5th July 2023



Jeffery Garfield
Last updated: 5th July 2023

The Bardigiano is an Italian breed of small horses named after its place of origin – the town of Bardi. Widely found in the rough terrain of the Apennines and surrounding areas, the horse has adapted to the mountainous environment of its native region.

Bardigiano Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Bardi Horse, Bardigiano Pony, Cavallo Bardigiano
Temperament / Personality Calm, docile, friendly, easy to handle
Physical Characteristics Small, light head; slightly concave profile, protruding upper lip, arched neck with a thick crest, low withers, medium-sized back, deep girth, powerful legs; large, hard hooves
Colors Dark and light bay
Height (size) Males: 13.8-14.7 hands (140-149 cm)
Females: 13.2-14.5 hands (135-147 cm)
Weight 551-661 lb (250-300 kg)
Common Uses Riding, competitive driving, farm work, pony trekking, meat production, show horse
Health Hardy and healthy; no known breed-specific diseases and health conditions
Gaited Smooth, surefooted
Popular Traits Strength, endurance, agility, excellent temperament
Feeding/Diet Grass, grain, hay
Country of Origin Emilia Romagna, Italy
Ancestors Abellinum, Haflinger, Avelignese; Exmoor, Asturcon, and Dales ponies
Breed Registry/Association Associazione Provinciale Allevatori, Parma

Bardigiano Horse Video

History and Development

The Bardi Horses are believed to have evolved from equines that were used by the Gauls for invading Italy during the Roman era. These are the same animals to which the origin of Avelignese and Haflinger horses can be attributed. Since the Bardigiano, Avelignese, and Haflinger bear a lot of similarity in addition to their common ancestry, the Avelignese might have influenced the Bardis at some point.

During the First and Second World Wars, Bardigianos were extensively used for the development of mules, thereby causing a significant decline in the population of pure-bred Bardi horses. After the Second World War, stallions from different breeds were added with the objective of reestablishing the breed. However, it proved to be a mistake, as the breed’s quality started deteriorating.

To preserve the breed, a committee was set up in 1972, and since then it has been successfully re-established.

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