The Bardigiano Horse
History along with the Belgian barbarians, who descended the Emilian Appennines in several waves after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, a number of horses of Celtic origin (native to Gaul) came into the Bardi valley. These horses adapted very well to the mountainous territory.
They were bred, selected and recognized as the Bardigiano breed and were a valuable military support to the Landi knights and other medieval lords of the area. They were strong, tame, rough, but friendly animals. Since then these horses, free from military duties, have been loved by the local people and served them both as a means of transport and valuable work companions.
Every year Bardi hosts a fair where the best animals are prized: in order to attain the right to be part of the noble lineage of the Bardigiano horses, every foal is meticulously examined by a rigorous committee The Pelpi pastures, in the Colombara area, already hosted some beautiful free-roaming Bardigianos and others were added to gradually form a small herd which, once trained, has become an ideal and effective means of transport by which to get to know these adventurous places.
It is a mesobrachymorphic horse, with an allowable height at whithers from 137 to 149 cm, weighing between 400 and 450 Kg for mares and 500/550 Kg for stallions. The head is light with a slightly concave back/nose line, a large mouth with protruding upper lip, big, lively eyes, often covered by a thick falling tuft. The head, an interesting morpho-functional and ethnic element, takes on a peculiar aesthetic value, as from its expressed traits breeders often draw subjective information on tameness, temperament, and talent. The neck is of fair length, with a wide base, preferably arched, with thick, sometimes double mane. The rib cage is wide and fully lowered, the chest is large, deep, and muscular. The back line is medium length, the loins are short, wide and straight, the croup is broad with well developed transverse diameters. The legs are not long, with narrow but strong bones, short pastern, large hoofs with very hard nails, suitable for animals living on rugged land. The body coat is bay, from blood bay to black dun, with prevalence of dark bay. Socks are tolerated if not too high, saddles must not be too large. From such distinctive features, the Bardigiano horse shows the combination of a century-long adaptation to high hills and mountains, where chestnut trees, cedars, broadleaf trees (mainly beech trees) and high-altitude pastures prevail.