French horse breeds
French - description
The French have a very long history with horses. Ancient breeds, like the Camargue from the Provence region, date back to the time of Julius Caesar and later were recruited by Napoléon for the army. The Merens pony, native to southwest France, traces its origins back to prehistoric times. A mountain pony with a pitch black coat and no markings has a calm temperament which makes it extremely well suited for equestrian tourism in the mountains.
France also has a number of draught horses. The most well known is the Percheron, native to the Normandy region of La Perche, from which it derives its name.
French Trotters have undergone selection in their breeding program since the mid-19th century, a result of crossing more Normandy mares with Thoroughbreds and particularly Norfolk trotters from England.
The Arabian was introduced to France in the 8th century during the Crusades. Napoléon was one of its biggest promoters and imposed purebred breeding.