Thought to descend from the prehistoric Solutré horse, the Ardennais is one of the most ancient horse breeds in Europe. The use of this breed dates back to Ancient Rome. First bred for the purposes of war, then agriculture, the Ardennais was considered one of the best breeds of draft horse. At the end of the XIXth century, the breed’s legendary characteristics as coach and draft horse slowly gave way to that of heavy draft horse. The Ardennais’ coat color is usually roan or bay, with dark and abundant feathering.
Wild Horses of the Camargue, photo by Kathy Reeves
The Camargue horse is an ancient breed of horse indigenous to the Camargue area in southern France. Its origins remain relatively unknown, although it is generally considered one of the oldest breeds of horses in the world. For centuries, possibly thousands of years, these small horses have lived wild in the harsh environment of the Camargue marshes and wetlands of the Rhonedelta, which covers part of the départements of Gard and Bouches-du-Rhone. There they developed the stamina, hardiness and agility for which they are known today. Traditionally, they live in semi-feral conditions in the marshy land of the region. The Camargue horse is the traditional mount of the gardians, the Camargue “cowboys” who herd the black Camargue bulls used in bullfighting in southern France. Camargue horses galloping through water is a popular and romantic image of the region.