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


Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Critical
Listed by DAD-IS
Horse breed from Portugal

Informations about the rare Sorraia

The Sorraia horse is a rare breed of wild typed horse native to the Iberian Peninsula, particularly found in Portugal. Characterized by its primitive features, the Sorraia is believed to be close to the last remaining descendants of the ancient wild horses that once roamed Europe. They are known for their slender build, large eyes, and the distinctive dun coloration with a dorsal stripe.

Origin and history of the Sorraia

The existence of the Sorraia was first recognized in the 20th century by Portuguese zoologist Ruy d’Andrade, who identified them as a distinct type among local feral horses. The Sorraia is thought to have contributed to the genetic makeup of many Iberian horse breeds and is considered a cornerstone in the study of equine evolution. The breed’s name is derived from the Sorraia River in Portugal, near its presumed place of origin. Historically, these horses were semi-wild and played a role in the husbandry practices of local communities.

Character and features of the Sorraia

Sorraias are small to medium in size, typically standing between 140 to 150 cm tall. They exhibit a narrow but well-proportioned body, with a straight profile, long legs, and a high-set tail. Their coat is primarily dun, ranging from light to dark shades, always displaying primitive markings including a dorsal stripe, shoulder stripes, and zebra-like leg barring. Sorraias are known for their hardiness, agility, and calm temperament.

Utilisation of the rare Sorraia

Historically, Sorraias were used for light agricultural work, herding tasks and as pack animals, or left as wild. In modern times, their primary role is in conservation and as a genetic reservoir for studying equine history and the restoration of primitive horse types. They are also valued in natural horsemanship programs for their intelligence and willingness to form close bonds with humans. Efforts have been made to preserve the Sorraia horse, and it has found a niche in equestrian pursuits such as dressage, working equitation, driving and endurance riding. Its versatility and unique appearance contribute to its appeal among horse enthusiasts.

Current situation of the rare and endangered Sorraia

The Sorraia horse, like many primitive breeds, faced a decline in numbers and genetic diversity. Dedicated conservation efforts, spearheaded by breed enthusiasts and organizations, aim to safeguard the Sorraia’s unique genetic heritage. Managed breeding programs and conservation initiatives work towards preserving the breed’s distinct traits and ensuring its continued existence. The Sorraia Horse is protected in several nature reserves and is the subject of international efforts to ensure its survival.

Native country




Risk Level

Critical: ca. 500


140-147 cm

Coat colour




Forgotten horse

Rare and endangered

Free Horse

semi-feral and feral populations

Other names of the Sorraia horse

Cavalo sorraia

Explore my Sorraia 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 Sorraia

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.
Rare and endangered Sorraia Horse
Take part in my project

Sorraia 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 Sorraia

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.