Europe - France   

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Breeders in Brittany, France crossed their primitive native stock with horses from the Middle East imported by the Crusaders. There were always two types of Bretons. During the Middle Ages they were classified as the Sommier a descendant from stock horses used for farm and pack work mainly in the north of Brittany and the lighter Roussin, a popular saddle horse from the south and central region. In more recent times the breed was crossed with English blood which was not always successful.
The Breton is no longer a riding horse but it still comes in different types, as a large and small draught horse and as a coach horse. During the 19th century cross breeding with the English Norfolk Roaster produced the lighter Postier a coach horse type with great paces.
The Breton is extremely adaptable and able to work in hot climates and was used by Italian, Spanish and Japanese breeders to improve their stock.

short legged, stocky built
Head: fairly square; straight profile; wide forehead; bright, beautiful eyes; small, low set ears; open nostrils
Neck: short, strong, slightly arched
Shoulders: short, sloping
Body: short, broad, strong body; wide, short, muscular back; well sprung ribs; wide croup; very powerful hindquarters
Legs: short, strong limbs; very well muscled thighs and forearms, sound cannons
Color: mostly chestnut, also red-roan, bay and grey, rarely black
Mane and Tail: often flaxen colour
Height: 15 to 16.2hh
Temperament: most willing temperament
Qualities: strong; hardy; very active, lively trot; adaptable; matures early

In some areas the Breton can still be seen working on the land especially in vineyards. Maturing early it is highly prized in the French meat trade.