Welcome to the new and improved breeds section, have a look around and meet a breed or two.

Bardigiano Horse

Country of Origin: Italy

Bardigiano Horse


During WWII Italian Bardigiano mares were used to produce mules to feed the war & in the process nearly decimated the pureblood of the breed.

Bardigiano Horse

Image from Caballos De Raza


The origin of this breed comes from the horses of Belgian Gauls who invaded Italy during Roman times. The same ancestor thought to produce the Haflinger. The Bardigiano also shows physical similarities to the Exmoor & Dales ponies, as well the Asturcon. This is a small horse native to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, taking their name from the town of Bardi in the Apennines of Parma. The local terrain is steep & mountainous which has contributed to a robust, hardy animal that is agile & sure-footed.

After WWII stallions of several different breeds were introduced to the area & the bloodlines became even more diluted, as did the specific traits of the original breed.

A Pure Strain

However small herds of pureblood animals were found, preserved by mountain agriculturists in the area. In 1977 the breed was officially recognized in an attempt to preserve & document their bloodlines. The official stud book was also established, held by the the regional animal breeders’ association of Parma, Associazione Provinciale Allevatori.

Modern Bardigiano

The Bardigiano is widely distributed in Italy, with breeders in 26 different Italian provinces. While the breed isn’t at risk for extinction, they are classed as ‘vulnerable’. In 1994, the breed standard was modified with the intention of increasing the suitability of the Bardigiano as a saddle horse while preserving its character.


Average height 13.2 – 14.1 hands
Small and sturdy


Head is light, has a slightly concave profile & a jutting upper lip
Neck is arched with a wide base & thick crest
Medium length back
Legs are slim & strong
Hooves are large & very hard

Traditional Colors



Docile nature & easy to work with
Great children’s horse

Bardigiano Horse

Image from BS_Thurner_Hof


Mountain trekking
Horse therapy
Show horses
Pleasure horse


Do you have images or know more about the Bardigiano breed? We’d love help completing this page, please contact us to get involved.

Country of Origin: Italy | Colors:
Don't forget to subscribe now to get the latest. It's Free.
© 2010 The Equinest