4 Principal Italian Horse Breeds | Italian Heavy Draught, Maremmana, Murgese and Salerno (Quick Breed Comparisons)

Pizza isn’t the only amazing thing that came from Italy! This booth shaped country with great football history has more impressive contributions to the world – horses! The most popular principal horse breeds of Italy are Italian Heavy Draught, Maremmana, Murgese and Salerno.

Keep reading to learn more about the size, colours, use and characteristics of these 4 principal Italian horse breeds.

Italian Heavy Draught Horse Breed (Popular in Agriculture)

Italian Heavy Draught is a medium-sized draught horse with a Breton ancestry, the Italian Heavy Draught horse breed used to be a popular agricultural worker.

Today, it is bred as much for meat throughout central and northern Italy and its numbers are decreasing.

Italian Heavy Draught Horse Breed

Italian Heavy Draught horse is an active animal, whose head is fine for so heavy a build and is set on a short neck.

Other characteristics of Italian Heavy Draught include a deep chest and girth, and a compact body; the feet. tend to be boxy.

Italian Heavy Draught (Quick Breed Facts and Specs)

  • size: 15-16 h.h. (150 – 150 cm)
  • main colours: often a striking dark liver chestnut with flaxen mane and tail, although other colours notably roan and chestnut
  • characteristic: strong quarters
  • uses: meat and draught work
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Maremmana Italian Horse Breed (Originally Italian)

A rather common heavy saddle or light draught horse, the Maremmana is indigenous to Italy.

Its chief uses are as a mount for the Italian mounted police and for Italian cattle herdsmen, the butteri.

Maremmana Italian Horse Breed

Maremmana horse breed is a hardy horse and an economical feeder, and, being a good steady worker, makes a useful farm horse.

Maremmana Horse Breed from Italy (Quick Facts)

  • size: 15.3 h.h. (157 cm)
  • main colours: all solid colours
  • characteristic: hardness
  • uses: riding and agricultural work

Murgese Horse Breed from Italy (Light Draught Horse with Oriental Blood)

The modern Murgese horse, which takes its name from the famous horse-breeding region of Murge near Puglia, dates from the 1920s, the old breed had died out 200 years ago.

It is a light draught or riding horse in which oriental blood is obviously present, although this cannot be positively identified.

Murgese Horse Breed from Italy (Light Draught Horse with Oriental Blood)

The Murgese horse breed has active movement despite its short stride.

When Murgese mares are put to Thoroughbred and Arab stallions, they produce a good stamp of riding horses.

Murgese Italian Horse Breed (Quick Facts)

  • size: 15-16hh (150-160 cm)
  • main colours: usually chestnut
  • characteristic: versatility
  • uses: riding and light agricultural work

Salerno Italian Horse Breed (Italian Cavalry Horse)

A good saddle horse bred in the Maremma and Salerno districts, this breed was formerly the favourite mount of the Italian cavalry.

It is one of the most attractive of the Italian Warmbloods, although today its numbers have greatly decreased.

Salerno Italian Horse Breed

The Salerno is a sensible horse possessed of intelligence and good jumping ability and, although there is now less demand for it as a cavalry mount, it makes a good, all-round riding horse.

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The breed of Salerno horses traces back to the Neapolitan and is a horse of very good conformation.

Salerno Italian Warmblood Horse Breed (Quick Facts)

  • size: 16 h.h. (160 cm)
  • main colours: all solid colours
  • characteristic: jumping ability
  • uses: riding

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