Mangalarga Marchador

Mangalarga Marchador photo
The Great National Champion "Júpiter Quitumba" of the Brazilian horse breed Mangalarga Marchador
Photograph by Ivan Machado. Some rights reserved.


The Mangalarga Marchador is a horse breed of Iberian origin. It is a medium sized horse with a well proportioned, compact body and fine, smooth coat. The head is long and elegant with a flat forehead. The eyes and nostrils are rather large, while the ears are alert and in proportion to the head. The Mangalarga has a strong, muscular neck, sloping shoulders and short back. The chest and hindquarters are muscular while the legs are long and fine. The Mangalarga Marchador is an overall elegant yet sturdy horse.

14.2 - 16 hands. Weighs between 850 and 1100 lbs.

The most common color is gray. Other Mangalarga colors include bay, black, chestnut, dun, palomino, pinto and roan. Mangalargas are usually solid colored, although there are occasionally spotted individuals.

The Mangalarga Marchador is an intelligent, easily trainable horse. It is an energetic and active animal, however it has a generally docile temperament. It is a very sensible horse that manages to maintain a cool head in difficult situations. Its gentle nature makes it a very popular mount among children.

Suitable for
The breed is used in virtually every discipline one can think of using horses. It is widely used as a ranch horse, working with cattle, especially in North America and Brazil. It is also used as a trail horse and in various sports; these include but are not limited to: dressage, eventing, show jumping, endurance riding, long distance riding, mounted shooting, mounted archery etc. The list is endless. Their docile temperament makes them fit for leisure riding as well.

Their needs change slightly depending on what they are being used for. For example, Mangalargas used in sports require much more food and exercise than Mangalargas used in leisure riding. In general, the more demanding the activity, the more food is required for the horse to thrive. As they are used to being out and about, Mangalargas love spending time outdoors, so make sure you give them the option.

The Mangalarga Marchador's history begins in the 19th century, when Napoleon invaded Portugal. The invasion caused the Portuguese Royal family to flee to Brazil, taking with it some of the court's finest horses. The breeding of these horses, which were direct descendants of Iberian breeds, started almost immediately and continues up to this day. In 1949, the first Mangalarga Marchador association was established in Brazil. The breed entered the United States in the early 1990's and in 2005 the first Mangalarga Marchador association in the US was formed. In 1994, the Mangalarga breed entered the Guinness Book of World Records for accomplishing the longest endurance ride.

Mangalarga Marchador horses undergo thorough inspections in order to ensure the purity of the breed. Their lifespan is 25-30 years.