Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Breton   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Breton is a French draft breed that originated in Brittany. It is one of the most popular draft breeds in France.

The Breton is an old breed, dating hundreds and even thousands of years back. It is unclear how exactly it was developed, but there's no doubt that the harsh environmental conditions in Brittany contributed to the strength and stamina of this breed.

In the Middle Ages, there were two subtypes of the Breton horse: Sommiet, which served primarily as a pack horse, and Bidet (also called Roussin), which had a unique, comfortable trot gait, and which was therefore used as a riding horse. Both of these subtypes are no longer in existence.

In the 19th century, Breton horses were crossed with Norfolk Trotters and Hackneys, resulting in the creation of a third subtype of the Breton horse: the Postier Breton. This subtype still exists today, and is considered to be the lightest and most agile type of Breton horse.

Aside from the Postier, there is one more subtype of the Breton breed: the Heavy Draft Breton, which is larger, heavier and stronger than the Postier Breton. It was created when Breton horses were crossed with Percheron, Boulonnais and Ardennese horses. It is acceptable to cross Postier Bretons with Heavy Draft Bretons.

Originally, there was a third subtype of the Breton breed called Center Mountain Breton (also known as the Corlay Breton), which was created by crossing Breton horses with Arabian and Thoroughbred horses. However, this subtype is not recognized by the Breton association anymore, and it is unclear if it was absorbed into the other two Breton subtypes. Therefore, Center Mountain Breton doesn't exist in Horse Isle.

Today, the Breton is one of the most popular draft breeds in France. It is usually used for farm work, tourism, and pulling competitions.

Breton horses have short and boxy heads, short and muscular necks, short backs, and short legs, though the legs of Postier Bretons can be slightly longer than the legs of Heavy Draft Bretons. In addition, the croup is flat in the Postier, and rounded in the Heavy Draft. While both subtypes have muscular bodies, Heavy Draft Bretons are larger and heavier than Postier Bretons.

Bretons come in the colors of bay, brown, black, roan, and chestnut, with the latter being by far the most common color in this breed. The mane and tail are almost always flaxen, or, in the case of non-chestnut horses, silver. White markings on the legs and faces are common in this breed. Breton horses stand between 15hh and 16.2hh, with each subtype having its own height range.

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