About Galiceno Horses
Galiceno horses were developed in Mexico, from horses
imported by Hernan Cortes, mostly thought to be Portuguese Garrano and Galician
Ponies of Spain. It is thought that Sorraia blood was added at some point in
the breed's history. The ancestors of the Galiceno were among sixteen horses
landed by Cortes during his Mexican invasion in 1519 for use in the mines and
as transport. During the rest of the 16th century, conquistadors continued to
bring horses into what is now Mexico, including many small-framed,
smooth-gaited horses. Many of these horses eventually escaped or were released
and formed feral bands in Mexico's mountainous interior. Over the next few
centuries, local inhabitants began to catch and use horses from the increasing
populations; the type that eventually became the Galiceno was especially prized
in coastal regions. Galicenos were used by Spaniards in silver mines and as
pack horses; in the latter role they moved further northward with the Spanish
missions and were sometimes lost in battle or stolen by Indians. These horses
eventually became part of the Mustang herds of the American West, as well as
playing a role in the ancestry of the American Indian Horse.
Although small in stature, they are generally considered a
horse, rather than a pony, and are always solid-colored. In Mexico, they are an
all-around horse, used for riding, packing and light draft. In the United
States they are often used as mounts for younger competitors, although they are
also found competing in Western events.
Galicenos are extremely gentle in nature and easy to handle.
With such good disposition they are an excellent family horse. From the time of
the conquistadors the Galiceno has performed conceivable tasks and has
accomplished each with a remarkable native intelligence. Galicenos are bright,
alert, and very quick to learn.
All solid colors are accepted for registration while albinos
or pintos are not allowed. Their head shows refinement with good width between
the eyes, pointed ears, a large, lively eye, and a small muzzle; their neck is
slightly arched with a clean throat latch and fits smoothly into the withers,
which are prominent. Their body is smoothly muscled; the back short and
straight; the croup slightly sloped with a moderately high tail-set. Their hind
quarters are set slightly more under the body than other breeds; their joints
are strong and well shaped; their shoulder is well sloped, giving a long
stride; their forelegs have well muscled forearms.