Breton Draft horse breed
The short-legged, chunky Breton is surprisingly active, for a heavyweight he has an unusually fast trot, which shows the presence of blood from Norfolk roadsters and, if you dig in the past, even Arabs. Like most people in the south of Europe, Bretons used horses brought from the east by crusaders to cross with local animals of plebeian origin when breeding, and relatively recently began to add blood of English and some continental breeds – in the latter case not always with good results. For centuries, there were several types of Breton horses. In the Middle Ages, sommier and russen lines were distinguished.
Sommier were born from horses raised in the north of Brittany, and were used mainly as pack and farm animals. The Russeni inferior to them in size were popular riding horses in the southern and some central regions of the province and were valued for a convenient pace of the pacer.
Despite the fact that now the Bretons are not considered to be more riding horses, the varieties still remain – large and small sleds, as well as postal ones, so-called posters, inferior in massiveness to sledding types.
The lighter constitution and the magnificent course of the Pestiers are due to the blood of the Norfolk roadsters, which he infused in the nineteenth century.
Early maturing Bretons are in great demand in the meat markets of France for a large amount of high-quality meat. But at the same time, they continue to be valued as piggy animals, which can sometimes be found in field work, especially in vineyards.
The usual suit of the Bretons is red. Beautiful, kind eyes wide apart on a slightly square head. The stocky and short-legged Breton nevertheless was very frisky and for many years was used as an army, draft, load-bearing, post, and even as a riding horse. Despite the fact that the Bretons are most appreciated by French meat dealers, sometimes these attractive horses can be found in the harness.
Bretons are easily adaptable to any climate and are excellent workers. Thanks to their ability to work in hot climates, they were used to improve breeds in Italy, Spain and even in faraway Japan.
Height – 152-162 cm
Color – Predominantly red; sometimes red-brown, bay or gray; black is rare.
Exterior – Slightly square head with a straight profile, open nostrils, shining eyes and small, rather low-set ears; short, strong and slightly arched neck; short wide and strong body with wide ribs; very powerful croup;
short strong legs with muscled thighs and shoulders….