Photos and informations about the rare Bardigiano breed, Forgotten Horses a photographic project about endangered equines by The Pixel Nomad


Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: endangered
Listed by DAD-IS
Mountain horse breed from Italy

Informations about the rare Bardigiano

The Bardigiano, a gem in the equine world, hails from the fertile plains of Emilia-Romagna in Italy. This small horse breed carries with it a rich history and unique characteristics that distinguish it as a true representation of the region’s agricultural prowess and cultural heritage.

Origin and history of the Bardigiano

Originating in the Po River Valley, the Bardigiano has its roots deeply embedded in the agricultural landscapes of Emilia-Romagna. Emerging in the 19th century, this compact breed was meticulously developed to meet the demands of the region’s agricultural tasks, including tilling the fields and navigating the undulating terrain of the Apennine foothills. The breed’s history is intertwined with the daily lives of farmers and the evolution of traditional Italian farming practices.

Character and features of the Bardigiano

The Bardigiano, standing at an average height of 140 to 150 cm, is a testament to the adage that dynamite comes in small packages. Recognizable for its robust build, sturdy legs, and a distinctive dun coat with primitive markings, the Bardigiano exudes a rustic charm. Beyond its outward appearance, this breed is celebrated for its intelligence, agility, and a temperament that combines a gentle nature with an inherent work ethic. These qualities make the Bardigiano not only a reliable partner in the fields but also a versatile companion in various equestrian pursuits.

Utilisation of the rare Bardigiano

Traditionally, the Bardigiano was the backbone of agricultural activities in the region, demonstrating exceptional stamina and sure-footedness on the challenging terrains of Emilia-Romagna. Today, while retaining its agricultural roots, the Bardigiano has seamlessly transitioned into modern roles, excelling in harness racing, recreational riding, and even therapeutic programs. Its versatility and adaptability make it a favorite among those seeking a horse that effortlessly bridges the gap between tradition and contemporary equestrian demands.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Bardigiano

While not officially listed as endangered, the Bardigiano faces challenges as traditional farming practices give way to modernization. Efforts led by Italian breed associations and passionate breeders focus on preserving the breed’s unique characteristics and maintaining its genetic diversity. Conservation initiatives aim to strike a balance between the Bardigiano’s historical significance and its relevance in the evolving landscape of equine activities. The breed’s population size, though not large, reflects the dedicated efforts of those committed to securing its future.

The Bardigiano, with its unassuming charm and historical significance, is more than just a horse; it is a living testament to the agricultural traditions and cultural tapestry of Emilia-Romagna. As it gracefully strides into the future, the Bardigiano continues to embody the spirit of a region that values the harmonious partnership between humans and horses.

Native country




Risk Level

Endangered: ca. 4.000


135-149 cm

Coat colour

Bay, black



Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

Seasonal free roaming in the mountains

Other names of the Bardigiano horse

Cavallo Bardigiano — Bardi Horse

Explore my Bardigiano Photos


All my pictures of rare and endangered horses can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage, and ordered as Fine Art Print as well. In addition, the albums only show a part of my large archive. Contact me directly if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Where to find the rare Bardigiano

Here are some places where you can see where you can support the rare and endangered breed. Above all I want to thank everybody who works with me.


Breed show

Event calendar

Forgotten Horses Group on Facebook

This group is part of the Forgotten Horses project and aims to raise awareness of endangered horse breeds and therefore to contribute to the preservation of the diversity of horse breeds, further free living and wild horses.
The group provides information and facilitates international exchange on rare and endangered horse breeds.
Explorer Tour Italy: Bardigiano horse
Take part in my project

Bardigiano Photoshooting

Take part in my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses and consequently make an impact that matters. By photographing rare and endangered horses we can raise awareness to disappearing horse breeds and therefore preserve equine diversity.

photo archive

Professional photography of Bardigiano

Are you looking for professional photos of rare and endangered horse breeds? You will find a small selection of my pictures in the breed posts, however you may ask for more specific photos directly. In short, all my pictures can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage.


Do you want to see more of my photos? Please follow my accounts on Instagram and on Facebook and don’t miss any new updates and pictures of my projects.