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If you are interested in horses and the many different kinds, you may have come across the Mangalarga Marchador horse, which is a Brazilian breed that is currently gaining and enjoying massive popularity.
It is a beautiful horse, and also extremely versatile and intelligent.
The Mangalarga Marchador horse is one of the most numerous riding breeds in the whole world, and it is a notably comfortable ride, being smooth gaited. This breed of horse is very concentrated in Brazil, but it is starting to spread across the globe, and it is used for a variety of different purposes.
The Mangalarga Marchador is a horse breed of Brazil, and it originated in the 18th century. The Baron of Alfenas (in Brazil) started to import Lusitano horses and breed them with Barbs and some other breeds of horses that had already been introduced to Brazil.
One of the starting points of the breed was a horse called Sublime, an Alter Real stallion that was gifted to the Baron by the heir to the Emperor of Brazil (who later became the emperor). This horse was descended from a breeding farm in Portugal.
The Baron bred the stallion Sublime with many different mares of the hacienda Campo Alegre, including Spanish Jennets (now extinct) and Andalusian mares. The Spanish Jennet is the most famous and was known for its particularly smooth and quick walk.
Many of the foals produced at this time embodied the positive traits of today’s Mangalarga Marchador horse, including its docility and the smooth ride it offers.
Some of these Sublimes were then sold to a friend of the Baron’s, who owned a farm called Mangalarga.
The owner would ride the horses when traveling to and from Rio de Janeiro, and the smoothness of the horses’ gait was admired by many locals. They named the horses Mangalargas.
The Baron made recommendations about breeding horses that would match the standard of good health, excellent endurance, hardiness, a smooth gait, and a pleasant temperament.
The “march” in the horse’s name comes from the gait, which is called marcha batida, and is one of the smoothest ambling gaits that any horse boasts. No other horses offer this gait, since the Spanish Jennet is now extinct, and the Marchador breed is famous for it.
This horse breed is famous for many things, but the first is for its gait – as you may have guessed.
According to GlobeTrotting, this breed of horse does not trot. They have four different gaits, which include the canter, the marcha picada, the marcha batida, and the walk.
With both the marcha gaits, three out of four hooves are on the ground at the same time, making for a ride that is smooth and unusually comfortable. Both marcha gaits can be either fast or moderate, and the horse can keep them up for hours – as can the rider, thanks to the comfort they offer.
The marcha batida results in the horse’s feet moving much like in a foxtrot dance, with a diagonal flow. In the marcha picada, the feet will move separately, creating a rhythm that has four beats but is still extremely comfortable.
These horses are large, standing about fourteen to sixteen hands high, and they are considered beautiful horses. They are refined noble beasts.
Barb ancestry shapes their straight profile and rounded muzzles, and they have deep thoraxes that offer phenomenal lung capacity.
According to Exhibits, these horses are highly intelligent and docile, which again makes them favorable as workhorses.
They have extraordinary endurance, and a Mangalarga Marchador holds the Guinness World Record for completing the longest endurance ride ever. This was 8,694 miles long and is demonstrative of how resilient and tough this breed is.
Like other horses, a Mangalarga Marchador needs to be permitted to forage for the majority of its food, namely eating grass and hay throughout the year. Ideally, the horse should be eating fresh grass that it has grazed from the fields.
Most owners will supplement this sort of feed with vitamins, minerals, and fortified grains, and HolistaPet says that horses should eat one percent or more of their body weight every day.
Breeding And Uses
The Mangalarga Marchador horse was bred for multiple different purposes, and it is used for many activities today. They are superb at working with cattle and for cross country riding, being very good on rough terrain and trails.
The horse is known as an excellent family horse, because of its gentle nature and docility. They are good at working on ranches, and according to GlobeTrotting, they are also adept when it comes to polocrosse and showing.
Their endurance makes them superb for riding, and their smooth gait makes them extremely popular with people for all kinds of uses. They can turn on a dime, so they are good for sports like cutting and reining, and their strength also makes them suitable as workhorses.
They are also used as riding horses for schools and experiences, because of their docility and the smoothness of the ride they offer.
All in all, they have been bred to embody some of the best traits that a horse could have, which may explain their popularity, and they are suitable in almost any scenario. It is amazing what versatile horses they are!
Fei says that the Mangalarga Marchador horse is around fifteen hands high, and it is deep-chested and has a long back. These factors, coupled with its hard, sound hooves and feet make it an excellent runner and contribute to its endurance.
What Breeds Make Up The Mangalarga Marchador Horse?
The Mangalarga Marchador horse was born when Criollo stock was bred with the Portuguese Alter Real horse. In 1943, a breeder’s association was founded, but it became divided in the later 1900s.
The Mangalarga Breeders Association ended in 1943, but a group of breeders then met in 1948 to found the Association Mangalarga Marchador. This became known as the Mangalarga Marchador ABCCMM (the associacao brasileira dos criadores do cavalo mangalarga marchador).
It’s important to note that the Mangalarga Marchador and the Mangalarga are not the same horse. Different breed organizations exist for both, but they are very similar at their roots.
There are many accepted coat colors, although not all possible colors are considered standard. HorseBreedsPictures says that the accepted colors include:
An example of a non-acceptable coat color is appaloosa, which is disqualified by the standards for registering Mangalarga Marchador horses.
What Do They Look Like?
These horses are considered regal and graceful beasts, and their limbs are proportional. They have triangular heads and prominent withers.
Their hooves are hard and their hindquarters muscled, and they have big, expressive eyes.
The stallions in the breed have a light crest on the neck, and all Mangalarga Marchador horses have silky coats and ears that point slightly inward.
What Are They Used For?
These horses serve a variety of purposes. Their two unique gaits, the batida, and the marcha, make them popular as riding horses, and their endurance enhances this trait.
They work well with children, which also makes them suitable in riding schools. They are often used for showing and jumping because they are both beautiful and athletic.
One of their primary uses is in Brazilian functional trials, and they are superb when it comes to working with cattle.
Where Do They Live?
According to Fei, these horses are almost exclusively found in their homeland of Brazil, so despite their numbers, they are rare in the rest of the world.
In 2017, there were only about 250 horses registered with the breed association in the United States, and yet in Brazil, their numbers are close to 540,000.
How Long Do They Live?
Weebly estimates that a Mangalarga Marchador will live for about 25 to 30 years, or even longer. That makes it about average for a horse; it is neither long-lived nor short-lived. A healthy individual could probably live to about 35 years old in some circumstances, but this is just an estimate.
How Fast Are They?
There is no information given about the top speed that these horses can reach, but according to Narmarchador, its marcha can reach speeds between 14 and 18 km per hour without the gait breaking or faltering.
The horse is described as “fast” by multiple sources. It’s likely that the horse is not record-breakingly fast, or more information would be offered on this subject, but it can certainly reach good speeds, and it is unbeaten when it comes to endurance running.
How Much Do They Cost?
MangalargaMarchadores says that the average asking price for a Mangalarga Marchador foal in 2011 was around $6000. As the horse gets older, its value will increase.
BizJournals estimates values between $30,000 and $40,000 in most cases, but the president of Regal Legacy Farms claimed to be asking $250,000 for one of her horses in 2002.
Are They Good For Beginners?
The gentle nature of the horse makes them good for beginners. EquiTrekking lists their qualities as being easy to train, kind, and gentle, and says that they are often ridden by young children in Brazil.
They are a relaxing horse to ride and tend to be easygoing and placid, so they are ideal for learners of any age. They are also sure-footed and do not spook easily, so they make for an enjoyable and easy ride overall.
Are Mangalarga Marchador Horses Gaited?
Yes, the Mangalarga Marchador horse is a smooth-gaited creature with a lovely, secure, ambling gait. It has two different speeds, the marcha batida, and the marcha picada.
The Mangalarga Marchador is a hidden gem of Brazil, and many people across the globe have been amazed by its versatility and beauty. It moves as nicely as any horse and manages to offer both speed and endurance running. It is also easy to care for, gentle, placid, and calm.
These horses are highly versatile and can be used for any number of different activities, including showing, jumping, running, herding, farm work, and pleasure riding. This has made it popular with riders and equine enthusiasts everywhere.
There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.