The Jaca Navarra, a rare and indigenous horse breed of the Navarre region in Spain, embodies the cultural and environmental diversity of its homeland. Known by various names reflecting its close ties to different localities within Navarre, this breed is celebrated for its versatility, resilience, and historical significance. Traditionally associated with the pastoral and agricultural life of the region, the Jaca Navarra has played a crucial role in local communities.
The origins of the Jaca Navarra can be traced back to ancient times, with its lineage likely intertwined with the rugged landscapes of Navarre. Historically, these horses were integral to the daily lives of local people, used for transportation, agricultural work, and as mounts for the region’s pastoral activities. The breed’s various names—Caballito de Andía, Caballito de las Améscoas, and others—reflect its widespread use and importance across different Navarrese communities.
The Jaca Navarra is known for its hardiness and adaptability, traits honed by the challenging terrains of its native region. Typically standing at only 130 cm in height, these horses are characterized by a strong, compact body, capable of navigating the mountainous and varied landscapes of Navarre. Their coat color is mostly bay, often with a thick mane and tail that provide protection from the elements.
Originally bred for work in challenging terrains, today’s Jaca Navarra continues to serve in various capacities, from agricultural work to recreational riding. Traditionally, most of the Jaca Navarra is kept in semi-wild conditions in the mountains and forests of the region.
As with many indigenous breeds, the Jaca Navarra faces challenges related to modernization and the decline of traditional uses for horses. Efforts to preserve and promote the breed are vital for its survival. It’s listed in the Catálogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de España as an autochthonous breed in danger of extinction. The breed has seen fluctuating population numbers, with estimates ranging from 240 in 1997 to 899 in 2011, all located in Navarre. It was classified as endangered by the FAO in 2000 and 2007. A breeders’ association, the Asociación de Criadores de Ganado Equino Jaca Navarra, was formed in 1999, and a stud-book was initiated in 2001 to support conservation efforts. The breed is primarily kept in semi-feral conditions at the Sabaiza estate, representing nearly the entire population
Nafarroako zaldiko — Navarrese Horse — Caballito de Andía — Caballito de las Améscoas — Caballito de la Barranca — Jaca de Montaña
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