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Ariègeois Pony

Country of Origin: France

Ariègeois Pony


Also known as the Merens pony, the Ariègeois is a rare mountain pony native to the Pyrenees & Ariègeois mountains of Northern Spain & Southern France.


Thought to be of prehistoric ancestory, these ponies were originally domesticated for use in mines & hauling timber. Robust, kind & easy to care for, this handy pony was also indispensable to the mountain farmers of the area & valued as hardy war mounts.

Physically they are very similar to Dales pony or the Friesian & it is believed that during the Muslim invasion local stock was also enhanced by Arabian blood.

As Nature Intended

The Ariègeois breeders generally raise their animals by allowing them to graze freely in herds as nature intended. Foals are born in spring snow & in June the herd is taken to the high mountains to pasture. It is thought that this lifestyle lends to their strength & character.

Perhaps due to their rather extreme geographical isolation, the Ariègeois animals tend to be similar physically. They are black, seldom even with white markings.

Modern Ariègeois

Through dilution of the bloodlines over the years, pure-bred specimens are rare & may only be found in the high valleys near Andorra. However their signature black coat continues to bear their mark in the cross-breeds. Luckily their popularity is increasing, both inside of France & throughout Europe.


Average height 13 – 14.3 hands
Strong constitution & able to thrive in poor conditions
Built to handle severe weather
Surefooted on mountainous terrain


Small, refined head
Short, strong neck
Long back & rounded hindquarters
Feet are strong & sound
Thick mane & tail

Traditional Colors

Pure black
White markings are unusual


Surefooted & true
A willing & able mount
An independent & stubborn spirit but responds well to training


Trekking in mountainous areas
Riding horse
Agriculture work

Helpful Links

Official Merens website


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Country of Origin: France | Colors:
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