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The name of Maremma horse betrays its origins but this does not mean that the animal we want to talk about should seem less interested. It is a very appreciated quadruped not only in its native land, it comes from a much larger territory than the narrow Maremma, that is to say from 6 provinces of the territory (Pisa, Livorno, Grosseto, Viterbo, Rome and Latina) but it is widespread on all the Italian territory, so most likely we also crossed paths with him without our knowledge.
Maremma horse: origins
The geographical origins were soon revealed right from the title but the historical ones we can still have fun investigating them. Many trace this horse breed back at the time of the Celts, when this people managed to overcome the Alps together with their horses, taking them to Italian territory where they met other equine populations. There was no lack of crossings and from one of them the breed of Maremma horse.
Let's take a leap forward to follow its evolution and go to the time of Lorenzo de 'Medici. We are in full Renaissance and the nobleman introduced the cross with oriental stallions dividing the breed into two types: the Tuscan one, so mixed, and the Lazio one, closer to the original type. Over the centuries, both types continued to be bred with constancy and passion, strengthening and tempering them also from a character point of view, so much so that today the Maremmano is appreciated not only because of the particularly resistant physique but also for the character he shows, proud but at the same time generous, energetic but also docile.
A further modification of the original breed took place at the beginning of the twentieth century thanks to the introduction of the English Thoroughbred with which it was crossed. From this new modification a tallest horse, with a more aerodynamic head and good aplomb. This is more or less the Maremma horse that has come to us today, a horse with an excellent physique, always suitable for chasing and branding cattle but also capable of being educated and then practicing sports disciplines, where it competes on an equal footing with others saddle horses, with excellent results. It is still an animal that lives in the wild, therefore able to resist hunger, thirst and even bad weather conditions.
Maremma horse: morphology
The minimum height at the withers for this breed is 156 cm for the female and 158 for the males, we can therefore speak of a horse of medium-high stature with a physique handsome and snappy. The head is well attached and has a sheepskin profile, medium long and very straight ears appear and lively eyes that immediately show its strong and alert character.
The neck is muscular and long like the withers which is lean and robust, the back is muscular and the limbs are muscular and with a good perpendicularity, the short pastoral with resistant hoof and medium wide. The tail has a medium-high set and is quite thick and voluminous. The coat of this breed of horses can usually be bay, dark bay and black and there are all the intermediate shades between these colors, only the females can also have a chestnut coat.
Maremma horse: character
Lively and energetic this horse is definitely reliable and it has been proving to be for centuries. Man can count on his help, for centuries he has been an important ally of the cowboys, helping them manage cattle, and today he is once again a good companion even in sports competitions in which man wants to excel. The facts speak for themselves: among the first to obtain prestigious sports awards, we can remember Ursus del Lasco (from Mirtillo), raised in the Alberese area, with whom Graziano Mancinelli won international competitions and also the Nations Cup at the CSIO in Piazza di Siena in Rome and Barcelona.
Maremma horse: attitude and successes
If its use has decreased alongside cow and cattle breeders, its presence in sports has grown and can be considered a saddle horse at three hundred and sixty degrees. Some buttero still uses it but in the meantime we have decided to take advantage of his physical prowess also in other fields, in recreational horse riding, trekking and walking, just to name a few. We can also mention the races of Monta da Lavoro, the Complete, the country disciplines, the Dressage and the Show Jumping and MIPAAF Breeding Circuits where they testify to the work done both at a morphological and athletic level.
Among the successes of Maremma horse we cannot neglect what is to be considered an absolute primacy: this animal turns out to be the first saddle horse selected in Italy through the most modern criteria such as the Genetic Indices and the Performance Test. For those who know horses this is an important result and a a sign of how much this breed promises also for the near future.
Maremma horse: breeding
Most of the Maremmano farms are located in its area of origin. In the Province of Grosseto we find “The Red Stone"In Manciano and the Tenuta di Paganico in Civitella Paganico while in the province of Arezzo, in the Sant’Anastasio area, there is theTalozzo breeding.
Also in Tuscany, but in the province of Pisa, in Vicopisano, there is also theLa Rocca breeding while in Lazio, in the province of Rome, we can contact theColle Castello breeding, in Montorio Romano, or allSibyl's Breedingin the municipality of Tolfa. An important reference for those looking for information on the Maremma horse breed is also the website of theANAM Maremma Horse, (National Association of Maremma Horse Breeders).
You may also be interested in reading our article with all the horse breeds and the individual cards dedicated to each breed such as the Friesian horse, the Ardennese horse or the Berber horse .