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Height at the withers:
155 - 165 cm
up to 40 years
Colour of coat:
black, white and chestnut-coloured horses are rare, if not undesired
bold, intelligent, spirited, with strong nerves
rhythmic, elegant, vibrant
predominantly in Menorca, sporadically in other parts of Europe
dressage and show riding
Did you know? When taking part in the traditional “Fiestas de Menorca”, the beautiful black horses always keep their calm, even with a great number of visitors and loud noise. This is due to being trained for such situations at a very early stage.
A majestic sight that is not so easy to forget: the deep black horses with their lush mane standing on their hindquarters. The elegant horses have been an integral part of a centuries-old tradition in their home, the Spanish island of Menorca. At festivities such as the “Fiestas de Menorca” they fascinate the audience with difficult walking pesade exercises – walking several metres on their hindquarters. Today, the popular horses are bred almost exclusively on the island of Menorca. This is where the majority of the 3,500 animals existing worldwide can be found.
However, in recent years, the fiery horses have also been in demand in other parts of Europe. Menorquín horses are a relatively young breed that has only been officially recognised since 1989. It isn’t easy to retrace how it evolved.
Since the Spanish island was occupied by different cultures in the past – that all brought their own horses along – traces of Arabian horses, Berber horses, English thoroughbreds and Lusitano horses are likely.
Menorquín horses have a nicely shaped head with relatively small ears and a strong neck with a beautiful, lush mane. They have a strikingly slim and athletic body and long legs with strong joints. Their hindquarters are extremely well developed – perfect for proudly presenting a walking pesade. After all, this exercise is known as the Iberian horses’ specialty. At the same time, they have a relatively slender physique, which is highlighted by their long tail. The beautiful horses are known for their black coat. Even though they are also born with a brown coat, Menorquín horses are only recognised as such if they are black. Just like with Friesian horses, marks are not desired and only accepted if they are very small.
Although they are known for their fiery temperament, these horses from Menorca are very eager to work and have strong nerves. Menorquín horses are also considered to be sensitive, friendly and very eager to learn. This makes the athletic animals born show horses. They are not only highly skilled in performing the walking pesade with great ease. Their perfect gaits and their baroque type also give them a graceful and elegant appearance in classical dressage and advanced dressage, among others. The so-called “Doma Menorquina” is a riding style that was developed on the island of Menorca over time. It combines elements of English and Iberian riding with classical dressage elements and advanced dressage exercises.