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Asociación Criadores de Caballos Criollos (Argentina)

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Summary of the characteristics of the Criollo horse

Generally small in size, the characteristics of the horse from the pampa demonstrate its ability to adapt itself to the environment, a capacity which has ensured the survival of the Criollo breed.

Coming from the Barb and Andalusian horses imported by the spanish conquerers, he went back to the wild before being used and raised by the Indiens from the pampa. He served all the partisans in quest of their freedom : the Gauchos, the Indians and the armies of the European settlers. Today, it's the peon's horse for the work and the displacements.

The horse's name can vary from a country to an other : Criollo in Argentina, Crioulo in Brazil, Costeño or Morochuco in Peru, Corralero in Chile and Llanero in Venezuela. As well, the horses' morphology of vary slightly according to the characteristics of the original environment and the habits of breeding . For instance, since several years some Chilean Corralero reproducers, more robust and heavier than their Criollo cousins from the East are imported by breeders from southern Brazil and Uruguay. The Criollo horse lovers, more traditionalist from Argentina and Uruguay are mostly reserved to an evolution of the official standard.

Photo © ACCC

Photo © ACCC

Two magnificent Criollo stallions, Preferido and Manzanares

Race Criollo
Origin South America; it is in Argentina that we find the Criollo that most resembles the breed standard.
Height at the withers 13 3/4 to 15 ¼ hands (1.38 à 1.50 m). Maximum of 1,52 m (15 ¼ hands) and minimum of 1,38 m (13 ¾ hands) for mares and 1,40 (14 hands) for males.
Build Medium, harmonious morphology and strong body.
Colors Thick, abundant mane and tail, often cut short (mane and forelock almost shaved, tale cut right at the level of the hock). Various colours (more than 100 counted) but the breeders sometimes refuse those that are characteristic by a partial or complete albinism. Certain colors include a dorsal stripe, or darker rays over the legs.
Character Strong character, independent, tenacious.

Saddle horse. Work with livestock, equestrian sports, trail rides, long voyages.

Qualities Resistant to diseases, capable of long distances, medium speed.
Head Rather short, broad forehead, profile rectilinear or sometimes convex, streamlined nose and dilated nostrils, alert eyes, small, pointed ears.
Neck Muscular and slightly rounded under the mane, but sraight under the throat.
Body Muscular front legs. Prominent withers. Short and straight dorsal-lumbar line, large and strong back and haunches. Rounded sides and flanks. Well-muscled, rounded hind quarters of medium dimensions. Tail firmly attached.
Shoulder Long and sloped.
Chest Wide and deep.
Legs Rather short, solid, strong bone structure, well developed and resistant joints, short hocks, small, hard and preferentially black hooves.

Criollo stallion

Photo © Cédric Ganné

Criollo mare with foal

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