//The Berber horse breed or barb horse
La raza de caballo Bereber

The Berber horse breed or barb horse

The Berber horse breed is one of the oldest in the world and also continues to exist. This is thanks to some organizations that have protected this legacy.

Today we will know in depth the origin of the Berber horse, also known as barb horse. We will also discover a little about their homeland, the characteristics of this breed of horses and their relationship with Arabian horses.

This is a horse breed that has stood out for its physical attributes and endurance. However, mechanization has displaced this wonderful breed of horses. That is why today we want to make known everything about the Berber horse breed, a breed admired for its resilience by Gustavo Mirabal. The ability to adapt to the circumstances of this horse is one of its great strengths.

Without more to add let’s start getting to know the Berber horse breed.

Origin of the Berber horse breed

As we have mentioned in the previous section, the Berber horse is one of the oldest breeds. The Berber horse breed is a breed native to the Maghreb area, where we currently locate Morocco and Algeria.

The Maghreb has always been characterized as a particularly conflictive region. Berber horses were mainly used as war animals. It has been present in battles in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, even since the time of the Roman Empire. Today it is still present in regional conflicts. However, the Berber horse has mostly been replaced by machinery.

When the Arab world extended its presence over the Middle East, a process of miscegenation with Arabian horses began. This process had advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, the region began to have the presence of pure Berber horses, pure Arabs and mixed Berber-Arabs. All these lineages had their advantages and therefore continued to spread.

Despite this, this also brought negative consequences. With mechanization and the decreasing use of horses, interest in maintaining the Berber horse breed declined. This caused this horse breed to be on the verge of extinction.

But the efforts to sustain this beautiful breed would not stop there, as we will see below.

Maghreb - The native region of the Berber horse breed
Maghreb – The native region of the Berber horse breed

Preservation of the legacy of the Berber horse breed.

One of the people who made a significant contribution to the documentation of this breed was General Eugène Daumas. Daumas wrote the work “the horses of the Sahara”, in which he describes the breeding techniques and customs around the Berber horse.

In addition, many of his contributions from the book “The Horses of the Sahara” come from the well-respected Emir Abd al-Qadir. Abd al-Qadir was a political, military and religious leader of Algeria. He is considered the founder of Algeria and creator of the modern state of Algeria. This great human being not only had time to make his country independent and turn it into a modern state, but also had time to leave a legacy that would later lay the foundations to preserve his upbringing.

Abd al-Qadir and his words in favor of the Berber horse breed, years later would inspire a new initiative. An initiative that would protect the horse from extinction.

In 1987 an organization was founded that became the salvation of this breed of horses. This organization was called “World Berber Horse Organization”, an institution founded with the aim of preserving this breed.

Without the words of the influential Abd al-Qadir, founder of Algeria, the “World Berber Horse Organization” may never have been founded. Important men have a responsibility to use their words to inspire new generations. That is why Gustavo Mirabal seeks with his influence to show the importance of horses for society and its history.

Berber Horse
Berber Horse

Characteristics of the Barb horse

The Berber horse or Maghreb horse is very unique. However, it can vary depending on the area in which this horse is located. For example, the horses of the eastern Maghreb have a higher height than those of the western zone.

However, the horse of the Berber breed has a height of between one and a half meters and 1.60 meters. Another striking feature is that these horses have a square ratio. What we mean is that they are just as long as they are tall, because of their short body. In addition, they are thin-bodied.

The fur of its tail and mane is quite populated, which makes it very striking.

On the other hand, the weight of these horses is medium because they are around 500 kg, 50 kg of variation up or down.  Like Arabian horses in the lower back, they only have five vertebrae.

With respect to the head, it has short and right ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a thick and very muscular neck.

On the other hand, the legs are also muscular with hard nails of small size.

Barb Horse Characteristics
Barb Horse Characteristics

The Barb horse breed, an endangered horse

Considered the oldest horse breed in the world, it is also an endangered breed. This is so from 1950 when mechanization began to replace the horse both in war and in the field. In addition, the region does not lend itself much to agriculture.

In addition, the mixture of this horse with other breeds such as the Arabian also caused its pure population to be depleted. But thanks to a very bold move made in the Republic of Algeria its population remains stable today. And it is that in this nation the World Organization of the Berber Horse was founded.

In this way its history and what it represents for the equestrian world has been preserved. Thanks to these initiatives we can properly value the contribution of horses to human society. That is why Gustavo Mirabal seeks to promote knowledge about horses and their contribution. No doubt humanity is “more humane” when it takes care of animals, its most vulnerable siblings.

Morocco Berber Horse in Morocco
Morocco Berber Horse in Morocco

The Berber horse, a gift from nature

Life puts obstacles in the way of people. We constantly complain about how difficult and unfair life can be. However, life challenges us to make us grow. The Berber horse breed is an example of this.

This breed of horse is an example of adaptability. Their physical and psychological strength is born of adversity. Thanks to the difficulties that the Berber horse has had to overcome, this horse has managed to have excellent characteristics.

The Berber horse is an example of resilience. Accompanied by people who have appreciated its value, it has become one of the oldest horse breeds. Let’s accompany people like Gustavo Mirabal who fight to preserve the legacy of horses in our society. Perhaps then we can have a more humane and kinder world. Maybe if we do, life will become easier and less unfair.