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
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
in color, but can also be
with minimal white markings. These ponies can stand up to 13 hh.
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