The Cabalo de Pura Raza Galega is a breed of small horse from Galicia, in north-western Spain. It is genetically very close to the Garrano breed of northern Portugal. It was in the past used as a war-horse and in agriculture, it was as well raised for meat. The horses are bay or black. Almost all Gallego horses are managed extensively, in semi-feral conditions on the mountains of Galicia.
During the twentieth century breeders tended to introduce stallions of other breeds into the mountains to obtain individuals suitable for meat production. In 1973 it was estimated that the population of wild ponies was around 20,000 in northwestern Spain. This number has since declined.
The University of Santiago de Compostela has implemented a programme to protect, preserve and recover this endangered breed. As part of this recovery of the indigenous breed, the CRCPRG association has drawn up a list of selected breeding stallions. Its studbook was founded in 1994.
A genetic study clearly shows the grouping of three Spanish breeds of Celtic origin from the Atlantic: the Jaca Navarra, the Galician pony and the Pottok. With reference to the petroglyphs of Galicia, ancient authors, archaeologists and historians we know that the horse has existed in Galicia at least since the Bronze Age.
With the arrival of the Celtic peoples a new horse was introduced in Galicia. This new ellipometric horse, with a small head, short ears, strong croup, coarse hair and dark coat would be the direct ascendant of the horse breeds existing in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.
The Galician pony would thus belong to the same trunk as the Portuguese Garrano, the Asturcón from Asturias, the Monchino from Cantabria, the Basque Pottok, the Mérens horse from Ariège, the Landes pony, the Connemara from Ireland, the Bardigiano pony from Italy, the Dartmoor, Exmoor, Welsh Mountain, Fell and New Forest ponies from Great Britain.
The wild horse in Galicia was first hunted for food. Then it was domesticated for use by the military in times of war and as a draft horse in times of peace.
Raza Equina Cabalo Galego do Monte — Pura Raza Galega — Pura Raza Gallega — PRG —Cabalo galego de monte — cabalo do país — pony galego — faca galega — faca galizana — caballo galaico — Galician — Galician Mountain Horse
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