Murgese horses are a rare breed that originated in the south of Italy.

They are known for their athleticism, beauty, and very gentle nature.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about Murgese horses, so read on to learn more about these amazing animals!

Murgese Horse Breed Info

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

Height (size) 14.0 – 15.0 hands high
Colors Black or blue roan
Country of Origin Italy
Common Uses Trekking, cross-country riding, dressage

Murgese Facts & Information (Breed Profile)

The Murgese horse developed in the Murge region of Apulia in Italy during the Spanish rule (Spain lost control of Italy in 1713).

It is believed that the breed originated from the breeding of imported Barb and Arabian horses with local horses, especially the well-known Neapolitan horse.

The Murgese horse has also been used for farm work and light draft work.

However, after their heyday as 15th and 16th century cavalry mounts in Italy, the breed saw its population dwindle to the point of extinction.

The Murgese horse breed that exists today evolved from horses chosen in 1926, when the studbook was officially formed; for the purpose of reviving the breed, 46 mares and 9 stallions were chosen.

The Murgese population numbered about 1500 breeding animals in 2005.

Many Murgese horses are reared and kept in semi-wild herds in the scrubby and steep woods of Murge.

They spend their whole lives outside, searching for food and living outdoors, and they have become very resilient as a result of this.

It is widely held that the foundation stallions of the Lipizzaner breed, Conversano and Neapolitano, were influenced by the progenitors of the Murge horses.

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

Alternative Names



Lovely nature; the stallions are rarely gelded because they are very docile

Physical Characteristics

The head features mostly straight, but sometimes also a convex profile.

The forehead is broad, and the jaw is prominent.

The neck is strong and wide at the base.

The chest is well-developed.

The shoulder is sloped.

The croup is wide and long, and it is either sloped or flat.

The legs are strong.

Black and incredibly hard hooves are a distinguishing characteristic of this breed.


Black or blue roan

Height (size)

14.0 – 15.0 hands high







Blood Type


Common Uses

Trekking, cross-country riding, dressage


Resistant to many diseases

Popular Traits

High endurance, hardiness, trainability



Country of Origin



Arabian, Barb, Neapolitan horse, later: Italian Heavy Draft, Avelignese