The Pyrenean horse is typically the one of mountains. He is living during six months on hebraic plateau. He gets a high agility, he is self confident, when he is riding, he is in good health and tireless. He benefit from an independent living, more savage than something else.
We appreciate horses from Ariege after having riding them, and his high energy spending is striking a lot. His fame has been established in cavalerie legere considering his way of living and moving and his ability of being obedient to men.

Sources: "Grande Encyclopédie Illustrée d'Economie Domestique", sous la direction de Jules TROUSSET, Paris, Anthème Fayard, sans date mais fin du XIXe siècle, tome I, col. 1085 à 1112.

Merens Horse Ariègeois de Castillon Mule of the Pyrénées Donkeys of the Pyrénées.

The Merens

     Firstly we have to mention the Merens known through out the world.
From the high valley of Ariège, this little black horse, officially listed as a poney, is compact and robust. His qualities of rusticity is not to be proved anymore;
In mountain, this horse has confident feet, courage and he is exceptionally tought.
The Merens is used by professionals of mountain riding.

    His little size, about 1.45 m-1.50 m safety and easier for the beginner rider.
He is perfect for autonomous riding as well.
More than a hundred horses is being used for riding in the department of Ariège, and this number is constantly increasing.


 Horse Ariègeois de Castillon.

Silex, Etalon Castillonnais


    Less known than his neighbour the Mérens, the horse Ariègeois de Castillon, which comes from the valley of Biros at the south west of the department, has the same qualities as the Merens.


    As his brother, the famous horse of Mérens, the little horse of Castillon is today perfectly adapted to leisure riding. He does not forget his ancient military and country vocation that get him traditionally nimble, self resistant and easy to ride.

    His capacity to hold, and his ability to resist in mountains are exceptional.
In spite of his size, he is able to work as a mule.


    Named as well « horse of Biros » or « St Gironnais »(from the name of the town St Girons), the horse from Castille arose since the beginning of the century (1908) the curiosity of a famous equestrian researcher from Ariège : Gabriel LAMARQUE.

    Highly threatened by melting blood and above all by the progressive disappearing of his original cradle and the decreasing of the tradition activities ( agriculture, transport…),this deserving little horse would have been died without the work of some men in the eighties.

    Historical writers say that François 1er was riding horse of Biros during the fight of Pavie.
In 1966, the breed is officially admitted by the department of agriculture as pure-bred.

    The Ariège Pyrenean association of the horse of Castille created in 1992 backed by National Haras of Tarbes and the Conservatory of Biological and Regional in heritage of Midi Pyrenees organize once a year a competition (in Castillon en Couserans).

    Contact : APACC Mairie de Castillon- 41, rue François Camel - 09800- Castillon-en-Couserans


Mule of the Pyrénées.


    From the melting of a donkey and a mare, they belong to the equidés. The male is sterile, the female is exceptionally fertile.

    The mule of the Pyrénées , present in France as in Spain, is rightly famous.

    The mule is said to be strong as two horses, tireless, and his living is higher than a horse.
He eats 40% less than a horse and can hold about 200 kg on steep path, that is why he is used much of the time for the supply of high altitude mountain hut.


    The Pyrenean mules increasingly searched for their qualities by demanding users : militaries, forest men, biological farmers, etc…, become expensive.


Donkeys of the Pyrénées.

     Works for the genetic in heritage are now done by the INRA to protect donkeys of the Pyrénées.
These little animals, strong and courageous, will certainly play a important role in the foreseeable development of the green tourism.