About Menorquin Horses
Menorquin Horses, or Cavall Menorqui, are indigenous to the
island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands, from which they get their name. They
are closely associated with the doma menorquina style of riding.
Menorca was under Moorish domination from 903–1287.
According some sources, research has shown links between the Menorquín and Arab
breeds, while others have shown it to be of Berber origin, and yet others
believe that it was brought to Menorca from central Europe by King James I of
Aragon. According to the Government of the Balearic Islands, it belongs to the
eastern group of indigenous Iberian horses which also included the now extinct
Menorquin horses were officially recognized as an indigenous
breed in 1989, and are listed in the Catalogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de
Espana in the group of autochthonous breeds in danger of extinction. The FAO
lists them as Endangered. In April 2011 the total population was reported to be
2995, of which fewer than 200 were outside the Balearic Islands. A breeders'
association, the Associacio de Criadors i Propietaris de Cavalls de Raca
Menorquina, was formed in August 1988.
Menorquin horses are black. They are harmoniously made,
tranquil and obedient, noble and elegant. Their average height is 1.60 m (15.3
hands), and their minimum permissible height 1.54 m (15.1 hands) for males and
1.51 m (14.3 hands) for females. Their profile is slightly convex, their body
and limbs are long, and their eyes are round and lively. They are strong and
energetic, slender, powerful and muscular, and suited to any type of saddle or