Galiceno breed information
Galiceno horse general information
COLORGalicenos are usually bay, black, or chestnut, and all solid colors are allowed, while pinto and albino colorings are not allowed.
SIZEThe Galiceno stands between 12 and 13.2 hands high.
WEIGHTThe Galiceno weighs between 620 and 750 lbs (280-340kg)
ORIGINThe Galiceno pony breed was developed in Mexico during the early 16th century from horses shipped to North America from Cuba in 1519. The ponies are believed to have developed from the Galician pony from Spain and the Garrano pony from Portugal, also owing a debt to the Spanish Sorraia. The Galiceno is highly coveted in Mexico due to its excellent qualities of soundness, toughness, endurance, and long-windedness.
USESThe Galiceno is used in Mexico as a pack and riding pony, as well as for light draft and farm work. In the United States they are used as a riding pony for children, and has proved to be a good jumper for younger competitors. Their quickness and agility make them a good cutting horse, and also good for reining classes and timed events.
INFLUENCEGalicenos were a cross between the wild garrano type mountain ponies of Spain and Portugal, the wild Sorraia horses of the swamplands and the war horses, the Andalusians.
TEMPRERAMENTGaliceno has good disposition, is extremely gentle in nature and easy to handle, bright, alert and very quick to learn.
The Galiceno has a nicely proportioned head with alert ears, but does not show overly pony characteristics. The neck is short, muscular, and slightly arched. They are narrow in the chest and body, finely built, but are still quite strong and powerful. The shoulders have some slope, they back is short and compact, and the croup is sloping. The legs of the Galiceno tough and hard. The hooves may be small, and the natural stance of the horse may not always be correct.
The breed has good stamina, and a fast, ground-covering, running-walk gait, which is said to be smooth and a horse comfortable to ride. They are strong, able to carry a person all day in heat and over rough terrain, despite their small size.
The Galiceno developed in Mexico from horses imported to North America by Hernán Cortés, mostly thought to be Portuguese Garrano and the Galician Pony of Spain. It is thought that some Sorraia blood was added at some point in history. The ancestors of the Galiceno were among sixteen horses landed by Cortes during his Mexican invasion in 1519. The breed was introduced to the United States in 1958. In 1959, a breeders association was formed in the United States to maintain this breed of horses. Although the popularity of the breed in the US is growing, numbers are still quite small.
Galiceno fun facts
The Galiceno had lived a life in obscurity until two Texans found the horses in Old Mexico on a trip in 1958. They struck them as an ideal horse breed for children and juveniles to ride and show, and imported some good stallions and mares as foundation stock for a breeding program they were going to start in Texas, to preserve and promote them as a breed. One year later they founded a breeders’ association and by 1968 they already had about 1500 registered in 36 US states. They also closed the Galiceno studbook to outside Galicenos that same year, including further imports from Mexico.
A peculiar trait of the Cabalo Gallego is his mustache. This is just what it sounds like, a growth of hair on his upper lip that can only be described as a mustache. There is no information that this was or is a trait of the Galiceno . The mustache is also found in other breeds – the Irish Tinker, also called Vanner horse, or Gypsy horse, sometimes has a formidable mustache, possibly from North Iberian ancestors.
The Galiceno horse is still a very rare breed of horse.