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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Poitevin (Mulassier) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The mule producer from the marshes:
The Poitevin was created in the 16th century, in the marshy lands of the Poitou region near the western coast of France, when breeders crossed heavy Flemish and Dutch drafts with the local mares. Being raised in the marshes, the Poitevin breed adapted to life in humid regions.
The main purpose for breeding Poitevin horses was to produce strong mares, that in their turn will be crossed with Poitou donkeys (see 'Poitou Donkey') to produce strong mules. These mules, called "Poitevin mules," became popular, and that encouraged breeders to breed even more Poitevin mares and mules (see 'Poitevin Mule').
The Poitevin today:
This practice lasted until the middle of the 20th century, when the diminishing demand for mules led to a dramatic reduction in the numbers of Poitevin horses. During the 1990s, the Poitevin breed almost went extinct, until the breeding plans that were set to save the breed managed to increase its numbers.
Today, this rare breed is bred mainly in the Poitou region in France, but small numbers can be found in other countries as well. They are still mainly used for producing Poitevin mules, but also for recreational riding, and driving.
Unlike other draft breeds which were bred to work in fields or pull heavy weights, the Poitevin was first and foremost bred to live in humid marshes and to produce good Poitevin mules. Therefore, it developed a longer and lighter conformation than other draft breeds from the period.
The Poitevin has a long head with a slightly convex profile, long ears, and, contrary to most other draft breeds, a long neck and a long back. The legs are long and thick, and the hooves are wide and large in relation to their body which is broad and muscular in itself.
The manes and tails of Poitevin horses are medium to long in length, and can be sometimes wavy. The lower legs are covered with long, dense feathering that often conceals their hooves.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered Poitevins in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 14.0-15.9, 15.0 (0.4), 0.08.
Sprint: 35-48, 42 (3), 0.59.
Accel: 0.85-1.01, 0.93 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 1.10-1.31, 1.21 (0.04), 0.01.
Jump: 4.96-5.27, 5.13 (0.06), 0.01.
Pull: 3.21-4.21, 3.72 (0.22), 0.04.
Turning: 47.36-62.68, 55.55 (2.76), 0.54.
Reverse: 2.0-2.6, 2.3 (0.1), 0.02.
Stamina: 49.85-55.89, 52.82 (1.23), 0.24.
Reaction: 0.78-0.89, 0.84 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
Colors: bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, dun*, and, more rarely, cream-diluted*.
* the Poitevin is one of the few draft breeds that can come in dun and cream-dilutes.
Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, mealy, rabicnao, roan, sooty, dark mane & tail, grey mane & tail. The coat is always solid and while markings occur they are rare.
Height: 15hh to 17hh.
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