By PetMD Editorial on Jan. 2, 2010

The Galiceño is a rare Mexican breed, small in size and is commonly known as a riding horse.


Physical Characteristics


The Galiceño characterizes splendor, elegance and ability. This native animal is quite distinct.  comes in pure colors like brown, bay, black and gray; white is somewhat rare. Its head is quite broad, but its lively eyes and keen ears complement the shape of the face.  The neck is lean and the withers are sloped and even. The body contour is slightly small and the back is horizontal and smooth. Its legs are strong and well-built and their hooves are tough and well-formed. It typically stands 12.2-14.1 hands high (49-56 inches, 124-142 centimeters).


Personality and Temperament


Galiceños are typically very docile animals. They can easily adapt to their trainers and to the environment. The Galiceños is perhaps one of the best riding horses for children. Galiceños possess outstanding intelligence and fortitude. Even though Galiceños are small animals, they are very strong. They have excellent endurance and can carry things heavier than their own weight all day long. One thing that is innate in the Galiceños is its exceptional gait, which they acquired from their Spanish lineage.


History and Background


Having been around for more than five centuries, this horse breed originated from the Spanish. When Spanish travelers arrived in the United States, they brought the Galiceño with them. When Hernando Cortes attacked Mexico, the Galiceño was distributed to different parts of this country. Because these horses exhibit superb intelligence and elegance, they have been used by Mexican breeders to cross-breed some of the mustangs in the United States.


Today, the Galiceños are preserved to assure their long-term existence. Breeders maintain the genuine bloodline of the Galiceños by guaranteeing that purebreds breed together. Many Mexican breeders have also made great efforts to develop a new breed of Galiceños that can participate not only as riding horses but also as sport horses.

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