The Breton is a breed that falls under the category of draft horses. This breed is a native of France. A place called Brittany, in the north western part of France is credited with the development of this breed. This breed can be classified into three and they come from various part of Brittany.
The three categories are “ The Corlay Breton”, “The Postier Breton” and “The Heavy Draft Breton”. The Corlay Breton which is also called the Central Mountain Breton is considered have descended from the original Bretons. This category was derived by cross breeding the original Bretons with the Arabians and Thoroughbreds. The Postier Breton that has an attractive gait and comes from central Brittany has been derived by cross breeding the Bretons with Norfolk Trotter and Hackney. The Heavy Draft Breton that comes from Leon in the north coastal region of Brittany is derived by cross breeding Bretons with Ardennes and Percheron.
The height of the Breton horse can be anywhere between 14.3 – 16.2 hands depending on the category it belongs to. They have a well proportioned head with a straight profile. They have a short neck which is strong. The withers of this breed are muscular. The chest is also muscular, but wide. The long shoulders are sloping and the broad back is short. This animal has a sloping croup. The legs which are short are very powerful with joints that are broad and hooves which are well developed. The legs of the Breton horse are feathered. The Bretons are kind creatures which are willing in nature.
14.3 – 16.2 hands
The coat of the Breton is generally chestnut colored and with a sand colored tail and mane. The other coat colors that are found are bay, blue roan, red roan or grey.
The Breton horses are sturdy animals that are used for a variety of purposes. These animals are used as draft horses and even for farming. At times, they are also used to pull coaches. Today, they are also used for military purposes. They are also used for pleasure riding. These horses are also bred for their meat.
The history of the Breton horse dates back thousands of years. These horses that have been found in the Breton mountains have their time of appearance shrouded in mystery. While one school of thought states that these horses appeared on the European soil during Aryan migration, the other states that this breed descended from the horses bred by Celtics.
The horses were in great demand for military purposes during the Middle ages due to their walk. From then to the early part of the 19th century, this breed was cross bred with various other breeds to improvise the existing breed.
In 1909, the studbook for the Bretons came into existence. Today, the breeding of the Breton horse is spread to various parts of the world.