Desert Norman Horse

These strong, graceful creatures are easy on the eyes and make an excellent addition to anyone’s stable.

Not only that but their history makes for an exciting conversation topic amongst equestrian enthusiasts.

In this blog post we will take a dive into all things related to these interesting and rare horses!

Desert Norman Horse Breed Info

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

Height (size) 15.0 – 16.2 hands high
Colors Most commonly gray or very dark bay, lighter bays are less common, and white markings on the legs are uncommon
Country of Origin France
Common Uses Recreational and competitive equestrian activities, driving

Desert Norman Horse Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Percheron breed was once a much more refined horse than the huge animal that it is now, and the Desert Norman is really a very early variant of the Percheron breed.

The origin of the breed may be traced back to La Perche, which is located in Normandy in France, which is a region known for its long history of horse breeding.

In that region in the year 732, Arabian horses left behind by Moors after they lost the Battle of Tours were crossed with big Flemish horses which eventually developed into the Percheron breed.

During the Crusades, additional Arabian blood was introduced and bred into the Percheron lineages.

The resultant animal was adaptable and could be used for a variety of purposes, including driving, riding, and agricultural labor.

The Desert Norman is today’s equivalent of those initial lineages.

In the early 19th century, the French Government’s Stud at La Pin introduced more Arab blood to the Percheron breed.

This cross resulted in the development of a versatile horse that could be used for driving, riding, or working on a farm.

But in the 19th century farms and transportation changed during the Industrial Revolution, requiring stronger and more robust animals.

The solution was to create a larger and more powerful animal, which we now know as the Percheron.

Now, the breed is making a complete circle back to its early beginnings, with its popularity being propelled by modern horse lovers who participate in a wide variety of recreational and competitive equestrian activities.

A new fan base has emerged for the 1200 year old mix of Arab and Percheron horses, which are renowned for its elegance, and great versatility.

Animals with desirable characteristics move in a way that is free-flowing, rhythmic, and balanced, and they have a wide range of performance abilities.

In recognition of the fact that these two breeds were instrumental in the creation of this new breed, it was given the name Desert Norman.

The registry was established in 2000 by Peggy Stockbridge, a sport horse breeder from New York State.

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

Alternative Names



Calm and intelligent

Physical Characteristics

The head is attractive and well proportioned with large eyes.

The neck is of medium length and arched.

The withers are long and well defined, and stand higher than the croup.

The chest is deep and muscular.

The shoulders are sloped, long, and muscled, and the back is short and strong.

The hindquarters are powerful, and the croup is fairly long and relatively level.

The hooves are quite big with strong hoof walls and soles.

This breed is essentially an earlier version of the Percheron breed, which existed before they developed into the large animal that they are today.

The height differs depending on the size of the mare, with Arab mares producing more offspring of cob size than Percheron mares.


Most commonly gray or very dark bay, lighter bays are less common, and white markings on the legs are uncommon

Height (size)

15.0 – 16.2 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Recreational and competitive equestrian activities, driving



Popular Traits



Easy keepers

Country of Origin



Percheron, Arabian