Home / Brazilian Horses / Mangalarga Marchador Horse

By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

Mangalarga Marchador Horse


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The Mangalarga Marchador is an attractive and common Brazilian horse known for its unique gaits. It is the National Horse of Brazil. Other than general riding, they are extensively used in different other fields of sports like eventing or horse trial, endurance tests including cross-country, as well as working with cattle.

This smooth-gaited equine is characterized by two natural ambling gaits (also called ‘marcha’). One of these is moving the feet alternately in a lateral pace (called the ‘marcha picada’), while the other one involves moving in a diagonal pace (called the ‘marcha batida’).

Mangalarga Marchador Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Behavioral Characteristics Docile, willing, noble, intelligent
Physical Traits Have a straight profile with the head being triangular; the eyes are large and dark while the ears are erect with the tips turned inwards; the neck is muscular and arched, and the chest is deep and well-built; they have a medium back with straight, long, well-muscled legs
Coat Colors Black, white, brown, bay, gray, chestnut, dun, buckskin, palomano, perlino, cremello, roan, champagne, and grullo
Height/Size 14.2 – 16 hands (adult stallions and mares)
Weight 975 pounds
Common Uses Jumping, dressage, work, endurance, general riding
Health Problems Healthy in general; no known breed-specific issues
Type Cattle Horse, Riding Horse, Sports Horse, Transportation Horse
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Barb Horse, Spanish Jennet
Children Riding Yes
Popular Traits Smooth-gaited, multi-talented, excellent in jumping, easily trainable, durable
Feeding/Diet General horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Time of Development 1740
Country of Origin Brazil (Iberian Peninsula)
Associations and Registries Breed Standards and Breed Association

Video: The smooth gaits of the Mangalarga Marchador

History and Development

In 1740 the first Mangalarga Horse was developed by Francisco Gabriel Junqueira, the Baron of Alfenas, crossing the Barb horse with the Spanish Jennet. Primarily Iberian in character, the Mangalarga is probably the purest offspring of the Jennet Horse, which is now extinct.

This horse developed during a time when traveling by horse was an important means of transport. The smooth gaits (inherited from its Spanish Jennet parent) and its persistent energy made them very much suitable for this job.

In 1949, the breeders formed an association so as to set specific standards and maintain control over its bloodline. Since then, more than 350,000 Mangalarga Marchadors have registered with the Association Mangalarga Marchador (ABCCMM). Outside of Brazil, Europe has the greatest population of these horses.

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