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Alternative names: Galiceño
Country of origin: Mexico
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Galiceno is a horse breed from Mexico, bred from horses brought from Spain by Hernán Cortés. They are used mainly for riding and pack work. Although small in stature, they are generally considered a horse, and are ridden by both children and adults. The breed is known for their athleticism and smooth gaits.



The Galiceno stands between 12 and 13.2 hands high, and weigh between 620 and 750 lbs. They are usually bay, black, or chestnut, while pinto colorings are not allowed. They have a nicely proportioned head with a straight profile. The neck is short and muscular. The breed is narrow in the chest, though deep, the shoulders are straight, and the withers pronounced. The back is short, the croup sloping, and the legs long and strong, with small hooves.[1]

The breed has good stamina, and a fast, ground-covering, running-walk gait, which is said to be smooth and comfortable to ride. They are strong, able to carry a person all day in heat and over rough terrain, despite their small size. [2]


The Galiceno developed in Mexico from horses imported by Hernán Cortés, mostly thought to be Portuguese Garrano and the Galician Pony of Spain.[2] It is thought that some Sorraia blood was added at some point in history.[3] The ancestors of the Galiceno were among sixteen horses landed by Cortes during his Mexican invasion in 1519. The breed was introduced to the United States in 1958.[2] In 1959, a breeders association was formed in the United States to maintain the breed. Although the popularity of the breed in the US is growing, numbers are still quite small.[3]


The Galiceno is used in Mexico as a riding and pack pony, as well as for light draft and farm work. In the United States they are used as a riding pony for children, and has proved to be a good jumper for younger competitors.[1] Their quickness and agility make them a good cutting horse, and also good for reining classes and timed events.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies. Bongianni, Maurizio. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1988, pg. 90. ISBN 0671660683
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Galiceno". Oklahoma State University. Referenced January 7, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Galiceno". Equine Kingdom. Referenced January 7, 2008.


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