Gerês National Park
2017-02-02

Garrano - The Gerês Wild Horse

Small in size but one of strongest horse breeds able to survive in unfavorable conditions. A2Z proudly presents you the Garrano, an ancestral pony and one of the oldest breeds originated in Portugal.

While exploring the Peneda-Gerês National Park it is very likely you come cross a little horse called Garrano. That is the beauty of this region. Behind every corner a surprise awaits. Garranos are spread mainly throughout the north of Portugal in places such as Serra do Gerês. This idyllic portrait is real. Take a tour with us and we will show you.

This wild horse breed has existed since primitive times. Its origin dates back a pre-historic Iberian pony which has adapted to the geography and climate in the northern mountain regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Evidence such as cave paintings from the Paleolithic era in Portugal describing the appearance of the Garrano.

The Garrano is undoubtly the ancestor of many breeds existing nowadays such as the Andalusians and other European breeds. Garrano stands 15.2 to 16 hands high 61-64 inches (155-163 centimeters) and usually display brown or bay color shades. It is strong and hardy, sure footed and fast, with a concave profile (dish faced). Despite the fact of running free in the mountains of Gerês, the Garrano is very dedicated to its work, quite dependable and capable of performing several labor tasks. Those who own one still use it in various chores like travels, trotting races, packing, trekking and light farm work. Also, since Garrano ponies can carry up to twice their weight, they ca been pulling carts.

The Garrano was classified in 1994 as an endangered breed by CEREOPA. A program aiming to reconstitute the breed, under the responsibility of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, is currently in place. The population of the breed has been decreasing mainly due to the Iberian wolf predation. These equines are one of their favorite preys.

All said, the Garrano horse is an integral element of Gerês high mountains. Join A2Z in a biking or hiking tour in the spectacular Portuguese National Park and you won't be disappointed. The Garranos will surely be there to welcome you.

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