Home / French Horses / Landais Pony

By Maurice Gainsbourg

Last updated: 9th September 2016

Landais Pony


Maurice Gainsbourg
Last updated: 9th September 2016

The Landais Pony is a small-statured equine breed originating in Landes, located in the Southwestern part of France. Besides their driving and riding ability, they have gained more popularity because of their remarkable trotting speed.

Landais Pony Pictures

Quick Information

Other Names Barthais
Temperament/ Personality Elegant, easy going, kind-natured, intelligent
Physical Characteristics Small head, broad forehead, straight profile, long, muscular, arched neck, sloping shoulder, pronounced withers, short and wide back, sloping croup, and hard, properly shaped hooves
Colors Bay, brown, black, chestnut
Common Use Dressage, eventing, jumping and driving
Height 11.1 – 13 hands
Weight About 397 pounds
Lifespan Unknown
Health No breed-related health concerns, though a vet checkup on a regular basis is mandatory
Gaited Fast trotting movements
Feeding/ Diet Hay and grain
Country of Origin France
Year of development Early part of the 20th century
Ancestors Native French horse, Arabian horse


The Landais Pony seems to be of an ancient origin, probably deriving its roots from foreign equine breeds including the English and Arabian horses. The breed may have descended from the horses depicted in the Lascaux cave paintings. The Arabian influence upon these horses occurred initially during the Battle of Poitiers (8th century) and later in the beginning part of the 1900s. Many of these horses dwelt in the marshes and forests of Landais in the feral form. However, when the while clearing the swamps for harvesting, this breed was shifted to the coastal wetlands, often being hunted by those who would protect the sand dunes from the foraging of ponies.

Though they had a somewhat stable population till the middle of the twentieth century, their numbers during the Second World War went down. Some ponies of this breed settled along the river banks of Luy and Adour along with other livestock and wild animals. After the war had ended, crossbreeding of the Landais with other heavy horses occurred to acquire a more robust stature; however, this resulted in a reduction of the purebred Landais Ponies. Stallions of the Welsh Section B and Arab horses were introduced for the purpose of rebuilding the original horses. A genetic study conducted in 2008, showed that the Landais Pony, as well as four other horse, breeds needed to be conserved by the authorities of France.  This breed has its contribution in creating the French Saddle Pony along with other animals like the French and English breeds as well as the Arabian horse.

In the year 2010, most of this breed dwelt in Pau, while some of them existed in Landais too. The Barthais Pony, a heavier and taller breed, was included in the Landais breed as there was only a small number of it left after the war. Another breed, named Poney des Pin was also included with the Barthais, though it faded away in the 50s.

Interesting Facts

  • One of the horses with this breed is credited of holding the record for high speed in covering a distance of 100 km from Paris to Chartres.

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