HORSES OF THE WORLD

 

ARIEGEOIS
Also Known as MERENS

 

Origin:
Europe - France   

Ariegeois
Photo supplied by Horse Directory Australia

History:
This breed takes it's name from the valley of the Agiege river in the Pyrenean mountains of south west France. It is an ancient horse believed to be used in the Gallic wars. Over the centuries the Ariegeois was used as a small riding horse, pack horse and farm horse on steep farmland. During winter the Ariegeois develops a distinctive reddish coat with a fine texture as a protection from the often freezing winter weather. It also has an exceptionally thick mane and tail. In summer the horses seek shelter from the sun and graze at night.

Characteristics:
Head:
light boned, expressive head; flat forehead; straight profile; bright, alert eyes with gentle expression; short, hairy ears
Neck: short, straight
Shoulders: fairly straight
Body: long, strong back; broad chest, round hindquarters; sloping croup
Legs: short, relatively slender limbs; tendency to cow hocks
Feet: good, strong
Mane and Tail: extremely thick; low set tail
Colors: solid black; usually no white markings on the head or stockings; occasional light, white flecks on flanks
Height: 13.1 to 14.3hh, rarely reaching 14hh
Temperament: kind
Qualities: hardy; extremely sure footed

Today:
The Ariegeois is used as a small riding horse and can still be seen working on small farms.