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Breton Horse Breed:

The Breton breed is made up of draft horses.

This breed originated in Brittany, located in Northwest France. It was developed from ancestral stock of the native region which dated back to several years. The Breton horse breed was the result of crossbreeding between several Oriental and European breeds. These horses usually have a chestnut color and have strong, muscular bodies.

The Breton breed comprises of three distinct types, each belonging to a different part of Brittany. The smallest of these three types is the Corlay Breton which is mainly used for under saddle and light draft work. These horses are the product of crossbreeding of native stock with Thoroughbred and Arabian horses and considered to be the true descendants of the original Breton breed. The Psotier Breton type is generally used for light agricultural work and harness work.

These horses developed from crossbreeding with the Hackney and Norfolk Trotter. Their gait is attractive and they grow to a height of 15.1 hh. The largest type is known as the Heavy Draft Breton which is employed for the most difficult draft work. These horses have also been used in military and agricultural work. Heavy Draft Breton horses are a combination of the Perceron and Ardennes bloodlines. This type has absorbed the Grand Breton, an older type of heavier horses that were used to improve other breeds of draft horses. Breton horses have been used for the improvement of many other breeds of draft horses. They have also been bred for the production of mules.

Breton horses are usually chestnut in color and the manes and tails are flaxen. Some horses can also be grey, bay or blue or red roan. The head of this horse has good proportions with medium volume and a straight profile. The neck is short and strong and is set well into the muscular withers. Breton horses have long sloping shoulders and broad chests. The back is wide, short and muscular and the croup is sloping. The horses have short legs that possess broad and strong joints. The hooves are well formed and the legs are feathered. Crossbreeding actually served to degrade the unique qualities of this breed and as such was stopped, resulting in the preservation of the purity of this breed. Instead, Bretons have been used to improve other horse breeds and buyers from around the world visit France to mainly purchase Bretons to enhance their native draft breeds.

  Submitted on February 16, 2010