- Bardigiano -

The Bardigiano came from ancient stock and is probably related to the Abellinum breed of Roman times, to which the Haflinger and the Avelignese can also be attributed. The Bardigiano developed over the years in the Northern Appenine region of Italy, and is quite adapted to its rough mountainous habitat. The Bardigiano has a lot in common with both the Avelignese and the Haflinger although it is the least publicized of the three, but it is likely that the Bardigiano has been influenced at some point by the Avelignese which, in turn, can be traced back to the stallion El Badavi. The Bardigiano as an oriental type head, but also appears to have similarities to to native English breeds of the Exmoor and Dales ponies and the Asturcon pony of Northern Spain.

During bother the first and second World Wars, Bardigiano mares were widely used in the production of first class mules, and this actually effected the number of pure-bred Bardigianos, bringing their numbers down significantly. A number of stallions from a diverse range of breeds were introduced to the stock after 1945, but this is now considered to have been quite a mistake. The breed began to deteriorate and lose some of its defining characteristics. In 1972  a committee was formed to try and re-establish the breed and fortunately, this was successfully done.

Bardigianos are useful and attractive ponies and, as with all mountain breeds, they are very tough and enduring, as well as extremely sure-footed. The have good, quiet temperaments, making them excellent for trekking and as children's ponies. Due to their robust frame and build, they are also suitable for farm work, light draft work and for packing.
In appearance they have fine pony heads of oriental type, with intelligent eyes and alert ears. They are very muscular through the neck, which is thickset and arched, and has an abundance of mane. The shoulders can be upright, but are immensely powerful. They have short backs, with rounded barrels and muscular hindquarters. Their legs are generally short and strong with broad joints, short cannon bones, and very hard hooves. They are mostly bay in color, but can also be black or brown, with minimal white markings. These ponies can stand up to 13 hh.

 

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