Criollo Horse

Criollo Horse photo
Photograph by Luciodec. Some rights reserved.

Criollo Horse photo
Criollo Horse in a Rescue Center in Toscana (Italy)
Photograph by Ildebrando. License: Public Domain.


Other Names
Argentine Criollo, Crioulo

The Criollo Horse is a breed that is a native of South American countries like Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. If any breed of horse can dare to compete with the Arabian horses in terms of stamina and endurance, this is the breed. This only second to the Arabians in these characteristics.

The height of this horse can range from 14 to 15 hands. These horses have a medium sized or large sized head that has either a slightly convex or straight profile. The eyes o this horse are set wide apart. The muzzle of this horse is long. The necks are muscular. The shoulders are strong and slightly sloping. The chest is wide and deep. The ribs are well sprung out. The back is short. The haunches of this horse are well muscled and the croup is sloping. The loins of this horse are strong. The legs are short but sturdy and have a good bone structure. The hard feet have sound joints.

The Criollos are horses that are known to survive in the toughest of conditions. This is because they experience extremely harsh climatic condition, both during winters and summers, in their place of origin. They can survive on minimal supply of grass for a very long time. These horses have a good life span since they have strong resistance to diseases. This animal that is renowned for its tremendous endurance is tractable and intelligent. These willing animals are also sensible.

14 - 15 hands

Though the line backed dun is the most famous color, there are other coat colors too like black, chestnut, dun, grey, brown, buckskin, grullo, palomino, strawberry and blue.

Suitable for
These horses that have amazing stamina and endurance are used for riding over long distance in the toughest conditions. It is also used as a cow horse on farms. These horses are also good for trail riding and as pleasure mounts. They are excellent horses for rodeo competitions, endurance riding and polo.

The history of the Criollo horse dates back to the 15th century. Pedro de Mendoza imported 100 pure bred Andalusian stallions from Spain to Buenos Aires in Argentina. When the native Indians drove the Spaniards out of their country, a few horses were set loose. These horses mainly bred in the wild in the harshest conditions which helped transform themselves into a tough and hardy breed. These animals were then being captured the Native Americans and the settlers who came post 1580 and used as pack animals.

In the 19th century, these animals were influenced by the blood from the English Thoroughbreds. This continued until 1934 when a person by name Dr. Solanet took control of the association for these horses and developed a studbook for this breed.