- Maremmana -

The Maremmana has a rather vague background, but it is generally considered that the breed is based on early stock that came from North Africa, combined with Spanish, Barb, Neopolitan, and Arabian blood. During the 19th century the breed was exposed to infiltrations of Thoroughbred blood and also probably Norfolk Roadster and some half-bred stallions. By the end of the 19th century, the Maremmana features had become fixed although it was not until 1980 that the breed's studbook was opened.

They are mainly bred in the northern regions of Maremma in Tuscany and were really established through the efforts of the stud at Grosseto, although there are still herds of Maremmana being bred in a semi wild state in some local areas. It is likely that they were originally developed for agricultural use and would have been used to work the land, as well as working in harness. They were also employed by the cavalry as troop horses and have often been used by the police force. The Maremmana excels at working cattle. They are frequently used by the Italian ranch hands and cowboys, known as butteri, and demonstrate an enormous about of 'cow sense', similar to that seen in the American Quarter Horse. 'Cow sense' is probably best described as the horse's natural instinct to follow and herd cows.

The Maremmana is a natural highly athletic and agile animal, and is known for its considerable jumping ability. A Maremmana horse called Ursus del Laseo won the Italian Jumping Championships in 1088; they are today frequently crossed with Thoroughbreds to produce jumping horses. The Maremmana is typically an extremely tough and hard animal with god stamina and endurance. They are resistant to fatigue and seemingly have a very sound constitution. They are also economical to keep, being frugal feeders, and in spite of quite haphazard breeding policies within the breed, they do tend to be versatile and steady in character, which makes up for their less than perfect conformation.

Generally they have a long and heavy head, a good, muscular neck, prominent withers, fully chest with slightly sloping shoulders, a short, straight back, sloping hindquarters, and solid legs. Usually any solid color, they stand between 15 hh and 15.3 hh.

 

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