During the 16th century, the Spanish explorers and conquerors, as Hernn Corts settled the New World, bringing their horses with them. Beside the Andalusian, Iberian and the Lusitano horse bloodlines, they also brought Galician ponies from northern Spain.
These ponies together with the ancient horse breed Garrano, which was originating in Portugal, are considered to be the foundation of this breed. Some of the imported horses escaped or were released by their owners, so they were roaming free through Mexico. Even today they are seen as feral bands through Mexico. Many people adopted them and used them for agriculture purposes. The Galiceo is also called Galiceo, by the province Galicia in Spain and today it is very prized in Mexico.
Unlike the other Iberian horses, which were spread all over America, the first imports of the Galiceno horse in the United States were in 1958, so in this country, it is a relatively new breed. Only one year after the first imports, an association was established and a studbook for the breed was opened. The development of the breed came along with the gaits and the extreme hardiness that they possess. Although small by size, the Galicano is considered a horse rather than a pony. It ranges an average height of 12.2 14.1 hands high and weighs from 280-340 kg.
Besides their small size, set apart from pony breeds, they still can carry a grown-up and ride all day on coarse terrains. The coat color of the Galiciano is mostly bay, black or chestnut, but any other solid color is accepted, while pinto and albino are not allowed for registration by the United States Association. The goal of the association is to protect and preserve the Galiceno breed. The Galiceno is an ancestor of the American Indian Horse, thus many Galicenos are also registered in the AIHR.
The head of the Galiceno horse is nicely proportioned and refined with good width between the eyes, straight profile and large and lively eyes. The ears are pointed and the muzzle is small. The neck is short, but muscular and slightly arched the chest is narrow, though deep the back is short and straight the shoulders are straight and the withers are prominent. The hindquarters are set under the body, which is slightly muscled the croup is slightly sloped. The legs are sturdy, long and well defined with well- shaped and small, yet hard hooves and strong joints.
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