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


Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: unkown
Listed by DAD-IS
Mountain horse breed from Portugal

Informations about the rare Garrano

The rare Garrano horse, from Gaelic gearran, is a pony of the Iberian horse family and is an endangered breed of horse from northern Portugal, mainly used as a pack horse, for riding, and for light farm work. An ancient breed, the Garrano has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years but is in decline due to predation and loss of interest in breeding for agricultural use. The Garrano is close to the Spanish version Cabalo Galego.

Origin and history of the Garrano

The Garrano itself is the oldest of its kind among the other breeds in the north of the Iberian Peninsula and south-western France which are identified as native to the same Celtic Trunk. Among these, due to their phylogeny and morphology, are the Exmoor pony, the Galician Mountain horse, the Asturcón or the Pottok. Ancient cave paintings and carvings in northern Portugal visualise horses in the same type and colour.

Native to Minho and Trás-os-Montes in Portugal, the rare Garrano horse is one of the great herbivores that plays a fundamental role in the prevention of rural fires, consuming fuel material in large areas and has also been used for many centuries as a pack and work animal.

Because of its size it is considered a pony. It is a tradition to release and breed the horses in semi-feral state in the mountains. Some herds are completely feral in nature reserves, having once inhabited the whole North of Portugal.


The breed’s numbers have been depleted by wolf predation, as they are a preferred prey. They have also declined as they have become less attractive for agricultural work, as a result of which they have been crossbred with other breeds for meat. 

Character and features of the Garrano

The Garrano is, once tamed, an obedient, intelligent, robust, very rustic and sure-footed horse.

Utilisation of the rare Garrano

While Garranos were traditionally used in agriculture and as pack animals, today they are more used as riding horses, especially in equestrian tourism. They are ridden at small local horse races in the Passo Travado, which are pace races.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Garrano

The very rare Garrano horse is a small and local breed and has been protected since the 1970s. In 2020 there were 2247 mares, of which only 1474 were purebred, 162 stallions and 435 breeders. The free living Garrano is one of the prey of the wolf, which is also protected in the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Native country




Risk Level

endangered: 1474 pure mares


123 - 135 cm

Coat colour

Bay, black


Can be gaited: pace


Associação de Criadores de Equinos da Raça Garrana

Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

Semi-feral or feral in the mountains.

Other names of the Garrano horse

Garrano — Minho Pony — Marrano — A raça Garrana 

Explore my Garrano 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 Garrano

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.

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.
Garrano horse
Take part in my project

Garrano 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 Garrano

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.