The Monterufolino is a unique breed that can be found in the mountains of Tuscany, and it is known for its strength and agility.
If you’re looking for an equine breed that is versatile, strong, and good-natured, the Monterufolino Horse may be perfect for you.
If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!
Monterufolino Breed Info
Here are some of the key things you need to know about the Monterufolino:
|Height (size)||13.0 – 14.0 hands high|
|Colors||Almost always black or dark bay|
|Country of Origin||Italy|
|Common Uses||Driving, pony games, children’s mounts, they make excellent therapy animals, trail riding, they are used by the Pisan forestry police as patrol horses|
Monterufolino Facts & Information (Breed Profile)
The Monterufolino is a small horse that originated in the region of Tuscany in Italy.
The breed gets its name from an old agricultural estate Tenuta di Monterufoli, which formerly included around 4,000 acres and has since been divided up.
The acquisition of the Monterufoli estate by the aristocratic Gherardesca counts in 1913 marked the beginning of the establishment of the breed.
With the property, they also took possession of the 2000 horses that were living free on the estate.
In order to meet the growing demand for smaller horses in Tuscany to pull traps and gigs, the Gherardesca family gathered up the wild ponies and proceeded to cross breed them with Maremmano and Arabian horses to improve their conformation.
Every year, the Monterufoli estate organized a horse roundup of the free roaming horses, and would brand, geld, train the horses to be ridden, and subsequently auction them to be sold.
The ponies quickly became a popular ‘all-rounder’ breed in Tuscany, where they were used for everything from pulling buggies, bringing children to school, and working on farms.
They were also utilized by loggers, who relied on the breed’s sturdy build and sure footing to haul timber down from the mountains.
In 1956, the estate of Gherardesca was split up and sold.
The breed’s numbers severely impacted the World Wars, and they were rendered obsolete due to the growing mechanization of agriculture that took place in the 50s and the 60s.
A few herds were released into the wild, and they roamed the hills until 1989, when the mountain village of Val di Cecina collected up 11 of the last remaining horses of the breed to prevent their extinction.
The Cavallino di Monterufoli group was established in 2008 in Pomarance in Tuscany as a last effort to save the severely endangered breed.
In 2011, in order to guarantee that they would continue to exist in a semi-wild conditions in their natural environment, the municipality of Pomarance adopted the last herd of free-roaming horses living in the hills of Monterufoli, and entrusted them to the Cavallino di Monterufoli group.
The Monterufolino is officially recognized as one of Italy’s fifteen native horse “breeds of restricted distribution” by the Italian Horse Breeders’ Association (AIA).
If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating breed, keep reading!
Lively but docile temperament
The head is small, and the neck is relatively short and strong.
The body is compact, and the legs are long and sturdy.
The mane is thick.
Almost always black or dark bay
13.0 – 14.0 hands high
Driving, pony games, children’s mounts, they make excellent therapy animals, trail riding, they are used by the Pisan forestry police as patrol horses
Country of Origin
Local feral ponies from Monterufoli estate, Maremmano, Arabian