Photos and informations about the rare Henson 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
Small horse breed from France

Informations about the rare Henson

The Henson horse, also known as the “Horse of the Bay of the Somme,” is a relatively new breed, developed in the late 20th century in the Picardy region of France. Recognized for its gentle nature and versatility, the Henson was specifically bred for leisure activities and outdoor riding. With its harmonious physique and dun coat, characteristic of the primitive markings, the Henson horse embodies the spirit of adventure and is ideally suited for trekking and outdoor pursuits.

Origin and history of the Henson

The Henson horse breed was created through a deliberate breeding program that began in the 1970s, with the aim of producing a horse that was well-adapted to the demands of modern leisure and tourism riding. The breed’s foundation stock was mainly composed of Norwegian Fjord horses mixed with local saddle horses, including Thoroughbreds and French Trotters, to refine the breed’s features while enhancing its stamina and temperament. The Henson horse was officially recognized as a breed in 2003, symbolizing the success of this thoughtful and dedicated breeding effort.

Character and features of the Henson

Henson horses are known for their friendly and cooperative temperament, making them excellent companions for all age groups. They typically stand between 140 to 155 cm in height, displaying a sturdy build that’s well-suited for endurance and outdoor activities. Their most distinguishing feature is their dun coat, complete with primitive markings such as a dorsal stripe and zebra stripes on the legs, showcasing their unique beauty and genetic heritage.

Utilisation of the rare Henson

Originally bred for leisure and tourism, Henson horses have proved themselves to be highly adaptable, excelling in a variety of disciplines including trail riding, trekking, and even competitive sports like endurance riding. Their calm demeanor and sturdy build make them particularly well-suited for beginner riders and therapeutic riding programs, offering a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Henson

Although the Henson is still considered a rare breed, its population has been steadily increasing thanks to the efforts of breeders and enthusiasts dedicated to its promotion and preservation. With an estimated population in the low thousands, the Henson horse enjoys a protective status in France, with breeding programs and initiatives aimed at maintaining its genetic diversity and promoting its unique qualities. The breed’s adaptability and appeal have garnered it a growing interest not only in France but internationally, contributing to its gradual expansion and recognition.

Native country




Risk Level

Endangered: 1.000


150-160 cm

Coat colour




Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

Kept outdoors all year; free roaming in marshland

Other names of the Henson horse

Cheval Henson — Cheval de la Baie de la Somme — Horse of the Bay of the Somme

Explore my Henson 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 Henson

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.
Take part in my project

Henson 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 Henson

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.