Ariegeois Pony Horses
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About Ariegeois Pony HorsesAbout Ariegeois Pony Horses



rnrnAriegeois Ponies, also known as Merens ponies, are a pure-blackrnrare mountain pony native to the Pyrenees and Ariegeois mountains of NorthernrnSpain and Southern France. Thought to be of prehistoric ancestry, these poniesrnwere originally domesticated for use in mines and hauling timber. These handyrnponies were also indispensable to the mountain farmers of the area and valuedrnas hardy war mounts.


rnrnThey are robust, kind, and easy to care for. Physically theyrnare very similar to Dales ponies or Friesian horses. It is believed that duringrnthe Muslim invasion local stock was also enhanced by Arabian blood.


rnrnAriegeois breeders generally raised their animals byrnallowing them to graze freely in herds. Foals are born in the spring and inrnJune the herd is taken to the high mountains to pasture. It is thought thatrnthis lifestyle lends to their strength and character.


rnrnPerhaps due to their rather extreme geographical isolation,rnthe Ariegeois animals tend to be similar physically. They are black, seldomrneven with white markings. Through dilution of the bloodlines over the years,rnpure-bred specimens are rare and may only be found in the high valleys nearrnAndorra. However their signature black coat continues to bear their mark in therncross-breeds. Luckily their popularity is increasing, both inside of France andrnthroughout Europe.


rnrnOn average they are 13 - 14.3 hands high. They have a strongrnconstitution and able to thrive in poor conditions. They are well built tornhandle severe weather and are surefooted on mountainous terrain. They have a small,rnrefined head; short, strong neck; a long back and rounded hindquarters; and a thickrnmane and tail. Traditionally they are pure black, sometimes they have whiternmarkings, but that is usual.rnrn

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