The story of Alexander and his horse, Bucephalus, is very famous.
When Alexander was 12, his father was given a horse.
The steed was named Bucephalus, a term meaning ox-head, from the shape of a mark on its shoulder.
It was quite wild and no one could ride it.
Alexander watched the horse’s behavior and realized that it was scared by the movements of the rider’s shadow.
He took the horse and turned its face towards the sun so that the stallion could not see his shadow and then leaped on its back.
Instead of throwing him or attacking, Bucephalus remained calm and accepted Alexander’s weight with ease.
His father remarked afterwards, “Son, find another kingdom to rule, for it seems that Macedonia is too small for you!’’ The same horse carried Alexander in his expeditions to conquer the lands of Phoenicia and Alexandria, and it died heroically in the battle a t Hydaspis River against the King of India.
To honor his faithful companion and loyal steed, Alexander buried Bucephalus with full honors, and established a town a t the site of the battle, bearing his loyal horse’s name. The Barb’s lineages spread throughout Europe, breeding into other species of ponies and horses.
The Barb retained its stability throughout the interbreeding processes, and many of its offspring show the definite genetic effects of their sturdy heritage. Sorraia The Sorraia horse has n o history as a domestic breed, but it is the last remnant of the indigenous wild horse of Southern Greece and Africa.
Although it is related to the Barb, it is very distinct in many of its features.
The Sorraia actually possesses very little Berber blood and is possibly the only family of horse that can be traced back t o the Ice Age without passing through the lineages of the Barb, the Arabian, or the Andalusian.
However, its presence in the Iberian Mountains shows that i t almost certainly was given the opportunity to interbreed with the Barb, and it is impossible to be certain that the two did not become intermixed at some point in the distant past.
Therefore, it is considered an offshoot of the Barb, although it is probably the first and purest lineage descended from that noble beast.
The Sorraia stands around 14 hh -just a bit shorter than the Barb – and its physical structure is smaller and leaner.
Although the Sorraia is predominantly a wild horse, some captured animals are broken to ride each year.
These small, hardy steeds are seen as the rabble of the equine world by U I true horse-breeders and rarely claim a high price in the dockets.
They are often used for herding fighting bulls and 22 other livestock or for other simple tasks.
T h e Sorraia’s features are very similar t o that of the North African Barb, displaying very few deviances from that standard profile.
They possess the classic Barb convex muzzle, also found in the old-time North African Barb.
Most are found today in Portugal, where they live in small herds in the southern part of the country.
The Sorraia is noted for its ability to withstand extremes of climate, particularly dry, hot ones, and to survive on very little forage while at the same time maintaining its health.
Its hardiness as well at its agility and ability to collect and work in the bridle makes the Sorraia highly valuable to herders and other peasantry.
Although the Sorraia is a small horse, it is too long-legged to be seriously considered a pony type.
The legs and torso are longer than is usual for a pony, and the Sorraia stands just above the limit of those commonly considered within the pony class.
Its close relative, the Garrano pony, has a much better reputation thanks to an infusion of Arabian blood and is used as a work-horse more often than the Sorraia.
Although the true Barb can be found in many different colorations, the Sorraia is always dun, solid bay, black, or buckskin in color, and the only white (if any) is a small star.
They are dark in the face/muzzle area and have a black dorsal stripe and black-tipped ears.
Other markings are rare, although younger Sorraia have darker lines like zebra stripes down their legs or across their withers and lower back.
Occasionally, a wild Sorraia is found with a stripe across the shoulders or even across the neck, shoulders, and back.
Its black mane and tail are fringed by lighter-colored, often almost white, hair.
When they are younger, Sorraia are darker in color and more prone to unusual markings which disappear as they age.
Some Sorraia foals are born with a zebra-like pattern all over in dun and brown, marking their wild heritage very clearly.
A handful keep these markings on their legs into adulthood.
The head of a Sorraia horse is somewhat long, with a convex profile much like that of the common Barb.
The eyes are set high, and the horse’s ears are fairly long.
Although those Sorraia raised in the wild and then broken may show signs of their rough past, they are a hardy breed and rarely break down under difficult terrain.
This is due to the fact that their bodies are constructed for such dangerous travels.
The neck of the Sorraia is long and slender with a very slight arch.
Its withers are prominent and well-defined, while its back is of medium-length and straight.
The Sorraia has a clearly defined alteration from the true Barb in its tail, which is never held very high, not even when the horse is excited.
A Sorraia’s chest is deep and narrow, its shoulders are long, and its croup and back are sloping but not steep.
The width of the back is not particularly large, and it can handle even the smallest riders easily upon its narrow shoulders.
Other distinctive characteristics of the true Sorraia are its Barb Statistics Apply the following modifiers to the Light Horse Base Statistics for all Barb steeds including the wild Sorraia: + I Constitution + I Natural AC bonus -5 Speed lean body structure and strong ribs.
It can survive on far less food than the Barb or any other horse, growing thin but not losing its vitality for a great number of days o f starvation.
Flat muscles help the horse t o conserve energy, thus living through a long trek in difficult terrain or an exceptionally dry season.
In order to prevent hoof or ankle injuries, the Sorraia has adapted to its terrain with long legs that are free of feathering and fetlock hair.
The legs are straight, with long, – round cannon bones, well defined tendons, long, sloped pasterns, and hard hooves of dark color.
These are . .
Minor differences from the traditional Barb, but essential t o the Sorraia’s development in the wilderness and its ability to survive under difficult conditions. Spanish Andalusian The Spanish horse was the premier horse throughout Europe before the invasion of the Barb and the Arabian, and its strength and courage are still lauded today.
It was the favored mount of kings and princes, and its bloodline was kept relatively pure until the invasion of the Americas by the Conquistadores.
There, the Spanish bloodline truly began, interbreeding with each other and with the ponies and donkeys of the Americas to create unusual strains.
The famous Lipizzaners of the Spanish school are considered t o be among the purest blooded Spanish horses remaining in the modern world, and lineages descended from Spanish steeds are known for their incredible strength.
Although recent Spanish horses have been interbred with the Barb stock and the true Andalusians are considered to have a touch of Barb blood, they are still considered to be the “third true horse,” or the third lineage to which all other bloodlines of horses can be traced.
These horses were primarily bred in the province of Andalusia by a fanatical group of nobles who did not wish contact with outsiders.
Because of their moderate xenophobia, the Andalusian breed remained fairly pure for several hundred years before and during the Berber attack on Europe.
The pure breed is also called Pura R a q Espaiiola c . — Treasure: None Always Neutral Norwegian Fjord The Norwegian Fjord is one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds of pony.
It is among the most commonly found Y breeds in Europe and is one of very few strains even black, their hair slowly changes as they reach their sixth to 10th year, turning white, or a soft dapple grey.
Since white horses were preferred by the royal color was stressed in breeding.
Non-white Lipizzaners are extremely rare.
The Lipizzaner horse is a medium-sized steed with a wide ribcage that is difficult for most riders to straddle.
It is a very rectangular horse, with the body lying flat against low but strong legs.
Its lively eyes give it an intelligent look.
The ears are well-positioned, a thick but muscular neck is set high, and the tail is thick and fine.
A Lipizzaner’s legs are strong, muscular, but set very low; they are a short-legged steed, unlike their cousins the Andalusian.
Their hooves are very hard, but small for the overall size of the horse.
A Lipizzaner’s stride is high and energetic, a uniquely proud and dignified action which makes it very popular for parades and noble Norwegian Fjord Statistics the following modifiers to the Pony Base Statistics for Norwegian Fjords: Norwegian Fjord.
The center hair of the mane is dark (usually black) while the outer hair is white.
T h e mane is generally cut short so it will stand erect and show off the unusual coloration.
The white Outer hair 1s then trimmed slightly shorter than the dark inner hair to display the dramatic dark stripe.
The feather of the pony’s legs, which extends up to the knee, should be straight and silky.
The head and neck should present an appearance of elegance without coarseness.
The head is medium-sized and well defined with a broad, flat forehead and a straight or slightly dished face.
The eyes are large.
T h e ears are of small to medium size and set well apart.
The neck of the d’ Fjord horse is well-muscled and crested.
It has lower withers than many breeds.
The Fjord horse has a compact body with a deep girth and wide ribs.
The back is short to medium in length and very strong.
The Fjord pony can carry a significant amount of weight despite its small size.
Their short legs are powerful, with substantial bone and dark feet. + 1 Constltut1on Cold Resistance 10 (Ex) very important to their culture, serving many roles from work to travel.
Throughout history it was used by the farmers of Norway as a general-purpose pony to pull carts on their hilly farms as well as a guide and assistant to help travelers with heavy loads.
Earlier names for the Fjord horse have been the Vestlandshest (West Country horse) or the Nordfjordhest (North Fjord horse).
These names are used interchangeably with the Norwegian Fjord appellation, although the majority of lineages do call themselves Norwegians.
However, all of these names indicate the breed’s geographical connection with Norway.
The Vikings used the Fjord horse as their primary war mount.
Therefore, it may be assumed that it affected the breeds indigenous to other countries, notably the mountain and moorland ponies of Great Britain and Iceland.
One of the earliest known ponies, it was bred into both Mongolian and Asian horse lineages, lending its stability and intelligence to many other types.
The Norwegian Fjord is a tall pony, usually standing between 1 3 and 14 hh.
It has a pronounced dark stripe that runs along its back, marking it from the shoulders down through the pony’s tail.
Its overall coloration tends to be pale, dun, or golden, with dark skin beneath the light hair.
The singular exception is its one stripe.
More than 90 percent of all Fjord ponies are brown dun in color, though a rare few are either reddish dun, gray, pale dun, gold, or yellow dun.
Dark stripes may also be seen over the withers of the occasional specimen, particularly if it is interbred with its own line.
Red duns possess reddish-brown stripes and body markings rather than dark brown or black ones, and gray duns have black or very dark gray stripes and markings.
The pale or white dun is a very light body color with black or gray stripe and markings.
The yellow duns have a darker yellow stripe and markings, and they may have a completely white forelock, mane, and tail.
The yellow dun is a very rare color in the breed.
The Fjord pony also possesses a very distinctive mane, which often continues down even mixed lineages and can serve to distinguish those ponies who can trace their ancestry t o the The Norwegian Fjord Horse is known for its gentleness of temperament, willingness to work, stamina, and vigor.
Used Heracles’s Eighth Labor Heracles was sent by Eurystheus t o capture and bring back the mares of Diomedes, a Thracian Chief (according to some sources he was the son of Ares and Cyrene and was known as Diomedes, King of Thrace).
H e lived in the wild and rugged region on the shores of the Black Sea.
Diomedes kept four savage mares, to which he fed unsuspecting strangers.
So often had they eaten human flesh that their coats were stained blood red.
These beasts were totally uncontrollable and tethered by chains to a bronze manger.
When Heracles arrived a t the palace, the hero took the king prisoner.
Then Heracles, knowing the brutality and suffering Diomedes caused, took the king to his stables and threw him into the bronze manger, whereupon the mares devoured their own master.
This caused them to be calm and subdued, which made it easy for Heracles to drive them back to king Eurystheus.
When Heracles led the mares meekly into Eurystheus’ palace, the king dedicated them to Hera, and then let them go free to roam the plains of Argos.
In later years one of the offspring from this breed was Bucephalus, the favorite horse of Alexander the Great. 27 for draft work, riding, and driving, individuals vary in size and weight according to use.
Although there is no true distinction, references are often made to a “riding” versus a “draft” type of Fjord, depending upon the characteristics emphasized.
The Fjord horse ranges in height from between 13.2 and 1 5 hands, with most individuals measuring I4 14.2 hands and weighing between 9 0 0 and 1200 pounds.
The Fjord pony is a strong, durable, and pleasant-natured animal.
In addition to its strength, the breed is also noted for its light and smooth gaits, which make it easy to ride.
The Fjord pony has a thick coat so that it can endure rough winters with minimal care – an essential quality in cold Norway or the northern parts of Europe. fairly slender and short and are not always straight – many Ariegeois ponies have a tendency to be cow-hocked, meaning that their knees bend inward slightly toward each other.
The present-day specimen stands up to I 4 hands, which is the height limit, although most average I 3 hands, two inches.
The head should be neat and pony-like and set on a fairly long neck, which, together with well-laid-back shoulders, gives the rider a good length of rein.
When choosing an Ariegeois pony for riding, large or coarse heads should be avoided because they are a sign of stubbornness and make a difficult mount with which to work.
A pony with a short, thick neck should be avoided as well, for they will never have a smooth ride.
Good legs are one of the qualities of the breed, and these must be strong with plenty of bone.
The normal color for an Ariegeois pony is dark, ranging from dark brown and chestnut to a more common solid black.
Normally, there are no white stockings and no other markings on the head.
The pony’s flank may be lightly flecked with white, in the manner of an appaloosa or a dapple-grey, but no other markings are common.
In the winter, the coat of the Ariegeois acquires a distinctive reddish tinge, and never grows particularly furry.
The coat is fine in texture, unlike the mane and tail which are harsh to the touch and extremely thick.
The Ariegeois has been used as a packhorse for centuries.
It also functions as a small riding horse and can easily work the land on the steepest of hill farms where machinery cannot venture.
The Ariegeois is noted for its hardiness, courage, and adaptability, but it is not a stubborn animal.
It is extremely gentle and docile, a temperament that makes it very popular as a children’s pony even for fairly young riders.
Because it has n o hot blood and is not prone to shy or scare easily, the Ariegeois is also well-suited for driving and pulling small carts.
Further, it is a creditable jumper and has the ability to trot for long distances at a steady speed. Ariegeois The Ariegeois pony lives in the Pyrenees Mountains in the southwest of France, and it is known to be a breed of great antiquity.
The Ariegeois is a bold pony, unafraid and eager for even difficult journeys.
It closely resembles the horses of Southern Gaul and was interbred with the Barb horses as Caesar and the Romans spread north and west along the European coast.
The original home of the breed is the high valley of the Ariege River, from which the pony takes its name.
One of the most noticeable things about this breed is its light and delicate bone structure.
Unlike the other, tougher ponies of the northern areas, the Ariegeios is a swift-running but lightly built animal.
It does not do well in frigid climes, although it is adept at mountain-climbing.
It is outstandingly surefooted, and even ice-covered mountains hold no terrors for the little Ariegeois.
In the summer, it will seek shelter part of the day and come out to graze at night.
These ponies can travel into Southern Spain, North Africa and even the Middle East and live well on the scrub grass that they find in those sparse areas.
Ariegeois ponies have an expressive head with a flat forehead, straight profile, hairy ears, and bright, alert eyes.
The neck is short, and the shoulders straight – not t o handle heavy burdens but instead built for speed and conservation of energy on long travels.
The back is long and strong, and the chest is broad, with a great deal of room.
The limbs are Shetland At least 2,000 years ago, there was a pony like the modern day Shetland living on the islands of the same name.
Like the islanders, the pony mixed British with Viking to create a distinct Shetland type, breeding – most probably – with the Norwegian Fjord pony.
The true Shetland is a hybrid breed, containing the blood of the British Hill type pony, like a Highland or Fell/Dale of Scotland, and a Scandinavian breed influenced by some Oriental bloodlines.
The resulting pony was first represented in a 9 t h Century stone carving found on the island of Bressay.
It depicts a hooded priest riding a very small pony with the distinguished profile and body structure of the Shetland.
O u t of a broad and widely diverse stock, the Shetland has grown into a very predictable, hardy, and constant breed.
Their background and breeding were highly influenced by the relative isolation of the islands on which they were Ariegeois Statistics Along with the standard Pony Base Statistics, Ariegeois gain the Sure-Footed Feat for free. 28 originally bred.
Despite the various strains first developed, all of the ponies that lived in the Shetlands coped with an environment that was constantly, almost unbearably hostile.
The island is cold, bitter, and does not support much animal or plant life.
These tough little ponies must live on bad grass, hard, wet ground, and in the continual path of the driving wind.
T h e cold climate encouraged them to conserve body heat; the resulting pony has short limbs, a short back, a thick neck, and small ears.
Big stock starved; fragile stock broke; only the small, quick, hardy, and intelligent animals survived.
With a maximum height of 46 inches, Shetlands are the perfect size starter pony for a child.
Bred t o pull ore carts in coal mines, Shetlands have retained an innate driving ability.
A well trained Shetland not only excels at driving, but is a sturdy and reliable mount for any child.
One of the main problems that the Shetland breed faced in its incipiency was its use in the coal mines – the strongest and hardiest of them were used as laborers in these dangerous conditions and often died – leaving only small, inferior stock to breed more ponies.
In time, stables were built to house and breed the finer examples of these tough little ponies, encouraging the type to flourish and revive once more.
Generally, most peasants and farm laborers do not ride their ponies.
Some used by doctors or ministers are ridden in order to visit the scattered peasants on farms that are not near the main villages.
However, the main use of Shetlands in primitive British life was for work, carting, or carrying heavy loads.
The majority o f ponies live almost free out on the scattalds, or wide pasturelands of the island.
These ponies remain on the scattald until the season turns and they are required for use “flitting the peats,” which means to carry recently cut strips of peat moss from the hills to the homes of local peasants.
These strips of peat (moss, manure, and other decaying plant matter) are the main winter fuel of peasant homes, and many commoners would have frozen to death in the cold winters without them.
Because there were few roads into the higher areas where the peat grew, the ponies were required to navigate crosscountry in all weather.
Shetlands were needed during the winter more than any other time of year, and were often found carrying heavy woven baskets filled with peat from the deep moorlands.
T h e Shetland pony can be seen in all colors except spotted: black, chestnut, grey, bay, dun, blue roan, piebald, or skewbald.
Unlike bigger horses, measured in hands, the Shetland pony is measured by inches in height at the withers.
The smallest of the British native breeds, maximum height reaches 42 inches, with a minimum as small as 28 inches. Shetland Statistics Shetlands add the following bonuses to the Pony Base Statistics: Hardy and resilient, the Shetland is very strong for its size. It has a medium-sized head, a rather dished face with a wellshaped muzzle, and a jaw capable of grazing through poor growth over an extensive area.
The ears are medium-sized, and the eyes are large and kindly.
T h e coat is thick, with a heavy mane and tail, offering good protection against the local winter weather conditions. Part 3: The Heavy Horse The introduction of heavier horses began around the time of the disintegration of the Roman Empire.
The original heavy horse was conceived as a hardier, heavier workhorse that would be capable of carrying and pulling tremendous loads.
Speed and sleekness would be sacrificed for rugged strength and endurance.
The brawny draft horse was developed from horses introduced into Europe by the Germanic tribes of the north, where breeds tend to be heavier than those from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Arabian blood was bred out for the most part because the special qualities of the Arabian horse were not needed in these large, strong brutes. 29 A Another major factor in the creation and use of heavy draft horses was the introduction of the shoulder collar, or yoke, into European carting.
Where before this time, all carts were pulled by a series of straps and harnesses and the horse was kept between two rails, the shoulder yoke is an oval or teardrop form of metal or wood that slips over the horse’s head and settles firmly on its broad shoulders and chest.
Exactly when this invention emigrated from China is not clear.
A variety of harnessing methods were in use to hitch horses to carts and chariots in ancient times, but the shoulder collar (also called the horse-collar) is far and away the most efficient.
The shoulder collar enabled farmers to take advantage of the horse’s greater speed and strength.
With a larger horse using this strong invention, the peasants and lower classes of Europe could cultivate bigger fields and pull heavier loads to market.
Another important invention that revolutionized horsemanship in Europe was the stirrup.
Although stirrups may seem an obvious device, they were not created nor brought into European society until the 8th Century.
The stability and power they gave to the mounted rider changed cavalry fighting dramatically.
The stirrup’s introduction also caused a revolution in social organization.
Because the stirrup enabled a heavily armored man to thrust with a lance or hack with his sword, the mounted soldier became far more deadly than he was in earlier times.
The “Great Horse” needed for a metal-plated rider replaced the light chariot and unarmored cavalry horse and at the same time opened new opportunities for using horses.
The mounted knight was so vital to medieval warfare that a landowner’s position on the feudal ladder was measured Heavy Horse Base Statistics
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