Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Breeds of Livestock - Balearic Horse
The Balearic originated in Spain on the Island of Majorca. It is used mainly as a riding pony and stands 14 hands tall.
Among the rarest of equine breeds, the Balearic island horse or pony is of ancient origin and little is known about it. Because the breed is considered unimportant by officials, it is very hard to find information and its existence is barely acknowledged.
Some report this to be a delicate, beautiful pony with primitive features with an upright mane and slender legs. Others say the Balearic is a scrubby individual, roughly made.
Summerhays' Encyclopedia for Horsemen states that the Balearic is an ancient and distinctive type most abundant in the Palma district; differing from other breeds in slender limbs, free, graceful carriage, a short, thick, arched neck, and delicate head with Roman nose. Summerhays claimed the Balearic may be descended from horses shown on ancient Greek coins and vases.
The ponies are used on small farms for agricultural work and by peasants for transportation and in harness. They are usually bay or chestnut color, sometimes gray. Possibly there is a link to the tiny Skyros of Greece.
Population Status: RARE
Reference:Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, Univ of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
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