Ariegeois

The always-black Ariegeois is a true mountain pony and is at home in snow and ice and impervious to even the harshest of cold weather. It does not, though, thrive in heat. This breed gets its name from the Ariège River in the Eastern Pyrenees in France, where it originated in on the mountainous Spanish border. It is very similar in appearance to the English Dales pony. This breed is recognizably related to horses depicted in prehistoric paintings and carvings in its home region, despite the introduction to blood from Roman heavy horses and some Oriental genes.

The Ariegeois is primarily a pack pony and can work unshod on mountains, icy or not. The Ariegeois is an easy keeper and can work in the most unstable conditions. Rarely are white marking found on the jet black coat. This breed stands between 13.1 and 14.3 hands high and have thick facial and leg hair.
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OVERVIEW
This pony is native to the Pyrenees mountains of France. It is said to have existed in relative isolation for thousands of years. Due to the mountainous terrain of its native land, the Merens is a very sure-footed animal, and as such makes an excellent trekking pony. Although not large, the pony can be used by adult riders as well as making an excellent riding pony for children.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
These ponies stand between 13 and 14.1 hands high and have black coats. Due to the Arabian influence, the head is small and refined, the neck strong and short, the back long, the shoulder solid and the hindquarters well-rounded. Although light and somewhat short, the legs are strong. The mane and tail are thick.

ORIGIN
Although the pony has existed in its native Pyrenees and Ariegeois mountain region since prehistoric times, breeders began taking an interest in the ponies around 1908. It was bred to work in the mines of southwestern France and to haul timber. It shows similar characteristics to the Fells pony and the Friesian.

INTERESTING FACTS
The Merens has been used for centuries by the native farmers of the Ariegeois mountains. Popular for its hardiness and disease resistance, the Merens also found homes in the southeastern Pyrenees, around the Riviera, and into the Alps.

INFLUENCES
1. Arabian

Reference Links


http://www.equinekingdom.com/breeds/ponies/ariegeois.htm

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