Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Grade Baroque Horse (Baroque)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Baroque is a type of horse, rather than a breed. It became prominent in Spain and Portugal during the Baroque period, which lasted from approximately 1600 to 1750. Horses of the Baroque type are known for their iconic conformation, as well as for the way they move and carry themselves, and they are frequently described as majestic and noble.

Baroque horses were always known for their powerful hindquarters and superb agility. These two traits made them sought-after as war horses during the 4th century and possibly even earlier. Furthermore, during the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century), 'Destrier' horses, which were the best type of war horse one could get at the time, usually had the conformation, power, and agility that are associated with the Baroque type. In addition, during this time, the distinguished conformation of the Baroque horses also made them popular among kings and military leaders.

Baroque horses were used in bullfighting in Spain and Portugal. It was the agility and cow-sense of some of the Baroque breeds, especially of the Andalusian (and, centuries later, of the Lusitano), which enabled them to navigate and work closely to the bull and to serve as good horses during bullfights.

Starting from the 15th century, Baroque horses became popular for a more peaceful purpose: classical dressage, which was developed into an art. Baroque horses were able to perform the complex maneuvers, especially the difficult Haute Ecole maneuvers (also known as 'Airs Above the Ground') An achievement that even most modern breeds fail to accomplish. Thanks to their natural agility and strong hind muscles, Baroque horses, and especially the Andalusian and Lipizzan breeds, became the best horse breeds in the world for performing these maneuvers.

Over the course of the centuries, several Baroque breeds were developed, including the Andalusian, Friesian, Kladruby, Lipizzan, Lusitano, Menorquin, and Mungese, to name a few. The reason why all these breeds are considered to be Baroque, is that they all share the set of Baroque conformation and traits.

Baroque horses are compact and have a square frame, meaning that the length of the legs is equal to the length of their body. In addition, Baroque horses have a straight to convex profile, a neck that is short, thick and arched, a short back, and powerful hindquarters. In addition, they also have a relatively large crest compared to other horse breeds, especially when it comes to the stallions, who can have a crest so big that it tilts to one side.

Baroque horses usually have excessively long, thick, flowing manes and tails. They used to come in all colors, but the most prominent colors today are grey, black, bay, brown, and chestnut. Their height ranges from 13.3hh to 16hh, but each breed has its own height range.


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