Home / Portuguese Horses / Garrano

By Smith Northam

Last updated: 23rd March 2018



Smith Northam
Last updated: 23rd March 2018

The Garrano is a breed of Portugese ponies that are rapidly declining in population. This very primitive pony is one of the oldest breeds that originated in Portugal. They are generally used for trotting races, packing, trekking, in harness, light farm work, and pulling small carts.

Garrano Pictures

Quick Information

Alternative Names Minho, Garrano do Minho, TrĂ¡s os Montes
Physical Characteristics The head is small but can be heavy with a slightly concave to straight profile with a long, muscular neck, large and lively eyes, short and straight back, deep and wide chest; all the legs are solid and long with broad joints, while the feet are tough having a good shape; the tail and the mane is dense
Temperament Well mannered, intelligent, easy going, willing to learn
Type Riding Pony, Racing Pony, Working Pony, Sport Pony
Colors Bay, brown, dark chestnut, grey
Height 12-13 hands (average 12.3 hands)
Weight/Size 364 pounds (male and female adults)
Blood Type Warm blooded
Common Uses Pack animals, Military use, Transportation
Health Problems No known breed specific issues; healthy
Gaited Yes (quick)
Popular Traits Dependable, loyal, multi-talented, hardy
Feeding/Diet General equine diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin Portugal
Time of Development 20th century

Video: Garrano Ponies

History and Development

Researchers have opined that the Garrano pony was developed from the primitive Celtic equines, from which the former has got its size and structure. However, this theory is not confirmed. Despite the fact that, these animals have some Arabian equine features, Northern Iberian Paleolithic cave paintings suggest that, the concave trait that these small horses display is not because of any Arabian influences. However, in the 20th century, this pony breed had been infused with Arabian blood under order of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture.

The Galacian horses from Northern Spain, the Austrian horses, and powerful Andalusian horses at times display similar concave features like the Garrano, from which it can be theorized that, these horses carry the blood of the Garranos, or have some genetic connection.

Interesting Facts

  • The population of the breed has gone down mainly by wolf predation, since these equines is one of their favorite preys.
  • Since these horses seemed to be not suitable for agricultural work, they have been crossbred with other breeds for meat production.
  • As of 2010, the total estimated number of these horses is approximately 2,000.
  • The sex ratio of the Garrano is 1 stallion : 13 mares.

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