The Balearic is a breed of horse that originated in Spain, and is native to the island of Majorca (Mallorca) off the southern coast, one of the Balearic Islands.
It matures to about 14 hands tall, and it is disputed if the breed should be classified as a horse or a pony. The breed is considered rare, and little information is available.
The Balearic is said to be a riding animal that matures to about 14 hands. It is agreed that breed representatives have an upright mane, a primitive feature in horses, but reports differ as to whether the breed is attractive or "scrubby." It is said to have a short, thick, but arched neck, a head with a convex profile but refined bone structure. They are said to have slender legs and carry themselves well.
Most representatives of the breed are bay or chestnut, occasionally gray.
The breed is also sometimes referred to as the Balearic Island pony and its origins are obscure. Some claim it is an ancient breed descended from horses of Ancient Greece. There is a claim that original stock came from Skyros in Greece. It is said that the breed bears a resemblance to horses in illustrations on ancient Greek pottery, coins, and friezes . Because modern government officials in Spain consider the breed unimportant, little is known about it.
Genetic studies suggest that the Balearic is a distinct breed from other Iberian horse breeds, including other breeds that live on various islands in the Balearic chain.
The Balearic is used by the local population in harness for farm work and as a riding horse for basic transportation.
- Balearic (disambiguation)