Corsican Horse

While most of us are familiar with the typical breeds such as the Thoroughbred or the Quarter, chances are that you have never heard of the Corsican horse.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about these unique animals, from their history to their physical characteristics to where you can find them today.

So read on and learn all about the Corsican horse!

Corsican Horse Breed Info

Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Corsican horse:

Height (size) 12.3 – 14.3 hands high
Colors Black, seal brown, or any shade of bay with minimal white markings
Country of Origin France
Common Uses Trail riding, equestrian tourism, driving

Corsican Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Corsican pony is almost exclusively found on the island of Corsica, with just a small population in France.

It is unclear exactly when horses were initially brought to the island of Corsica, however there are a number of theories.

The discovery of a skeleton in Corsica that was dated to 4 million years BC that was quite similar to that of Cériolé has led paleontologists to speculate that a tiny horse may have arrived there between 2 and 25 million years ago.

The second theory sets their arrival to the Pleistocene, about 1 million years ago BC.

This is based on evidence that a platform used to connect the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and the Ligurian islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea (called the Tyrrhenian shelf).

As a result of this shelf, flat-faced horses began appearing in Corsica, northern Tunisia, and central Europe.

They were similar in appearance to the ponies that were native to India, and had the same origin as them.

The third hypothesis is based on historical texts, the earliest of which is attributed to Procopius, a Byzantine historian who wrote in 536 BC that “on this island (Corsica), is a breed of horse barely larger than sheep”.

Throughout the centuries, there is a great number of written and iconographic evidence that witness the existence of the Corsican horse.

Also, in 1861 the island became home to a remount depot run by the Haras Nationaux, which focused on breeding light cavalry horses and mules.

After the military stopped breeding horses there, the animals that were left were bred by local people, and the phenotypic of the horses gradually grew more uniform as a result of what was, in essence, natural selection.

In 2012 the breed was officially registered.

If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!

Alternative Names



Lively but cold-headed and easy to handle

Physical Characteristics

The head is expressive, relatively short, sometimes heavy, and with a straight profile.

The nostrils are open and eyes are bright.

The ears are straight and small.

The neck is short and wide and well aligned.

The withers are strong but not prominent.

The shoulders are quite long.

The body is compact and well proportioned, and the back is relatively short.

The croup is short and sloping.

The legs are fine, dry, and strong.

The hooves are small and hard.

They are sure-footed and agile.

This horse was formed and shaped by a harsh island environment, which gave it remarkable hardiness and character.


Black, seal brown, or any shade of bay with minimal white markings

Height (size)

12.3 – 14.3 hands high






660 – 800 lbs (300 – 400 kg)

Blood Type

Common Uses

Trail riding, equestrian tourism, driving



Popular Traits

Exceptional toughness and endurance



Country of Origin