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Camargue horse: characteristics and character

Camargue horse: characteristics and character

The name of this horse - Camargue horse - betrays its origin, it is clearly a French horse and we can also tell which part of the country it comes from, but let's not be satisfied and let's get to know it better by discovering its movements, its character and also its presence in Italy because even if it is French, we can also find it in our peninsula.

Camargue horse: origins

This equine breed has very ancient origins. The Camargue horse it is an animal endemic to the Camargue, a region located in the south of France, next to Provence, a very green area full of animals. Many spend their holidays there, even coming from Italy, to rediscover the silence and beauty of flora and fauna. Returning to our horse, despite being explicitly linked to this land, today it is also widespread in other parts of the world, especially in areas with a humid climate because, precisely because of its origin, it is used to adapt to high humidity. At one time it was mainly used to conduct herds of bulls that were used in the arenas of the village.

These animals were in fact accompanied with firmness towards the stables where the choice of bovine heads took place, with techniques that became more and more refined and targeted from year to year. Usually during this selection, called triage in French, three bulls were chosen to take to the arena for the typical course camarguaise, or course a la coccarde which in Italian is simply called Camargue race.

After this traditional run, the bulls had to be brought back to pasture but for this second move it was not so necessary the presence of a horse to lead them on the right path because the bulls usually went home alone they just need to be accompanied.

Camargue horse: characteristics

The Camargue horse is a very physical animal rustic and resistant, therefore suitable for both saddle and soma. Let's not expect a very large horse because its size is one of the smallest, so much so thataverage height at the withers can reach a maximum of 150 centimeters and a minimum of 135. Compared to other horses that reach 170 centimeters, he is very short. But be careful, do not call it pony because you would be wrong, it is always considered a horse that weighs a maximum of 500 kg and a minimum of 300.

Let's take a better look at its appearance starting from the head, large and with pronounced jaws, the spacious forehead and the ears which, although not very long, are wide. Expressive and large eyes pop up that fascinate. It should be noted that the big head is not accidental, it serves to allow him to protect the body from strong wind which comes from the north the mistral or in French.

The neck is muscular, broad at the base and short, with a thick, shaggy mane. The withers of the Camargue horse is in evidence, the dorsal-lumbar line is straight and ends with long loins and well developed hips. The rump is slightly oblique and at its end the thing appears, thick like the mane. This horse while not tall has a decidedly broad chest with a short, straight shoulder.

Let's move on to the limbs which, with consistency with respect to the rest of the body, can only be muscular and robust but with dry joints, forearms and long legs. The hooves are large and equipped with strong nails, the legs sturdy and short, not at home, because they are what you need to resist humidity, the one typical of the areas where this horse was born, the one where the Camargue grew, with the extremities perpetually bathed in the marshes.

Camargue horse: cloak

The mantle of the Camargue horse because it is born dark bay or black and then changes with growth until it becomes completely gray.

When horses are young most often theirs fur is black, a perfect color on the one hand to protect you from the sun's rays and on the other to blend in with the dark ground. Towards the age of 4, or rather upon reaching adulthood, the coat changes color, it begins to become the definitive color which is a light grey.

Camargue horse: character

Raised with bulls, to lead bulls, so used to dealing with bulls, this horse has developed a character very determined but at the same time not aggressive at all. He is used to dealing with humans too, so he is an animal entirely reliable and docile, resistant to fatigue and also to bad weather.

Camargue horses in Italy

Surprisingly, but perhaps not that much, we can also find this in Italy Camargue horse, and not necessarily in the wetlands we imagine. There are for example horses of this breed also in Mouth of the Isonzo Nature Reserve, were introduced in 1991, thanks to funding from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region.

The presence of these animals in the reserve is very important not only because they are interesting animals but also because with their diet they help us to conserve the environment and, to be precise, to control the vegetation. If they were not there, nature would transform this place into an area covered with reeds and riparian groves and the flora and fauna characteristic of the grazed environments would disappear.

The Camargue horses therefore, even if they are not “local”, have been magically inserted and make a strong contribution to conservation and to the increase of diversity environments, favoring the proliferation of numerous plant and animal species, especially birds, which prefer humid and open areas, with low water levels.

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