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Camargue Horse image
Camargue Horse

Camargue Horse

(Mammal)

Camargue Horse Baby
Camargue Horse Baby

Camargue Horse Habits

The wild Camargue hors is found only on the watery plains and salt marshes of southeastern France. The region is bleak and cold in winter and intensely hot in summer, but the hardy Camargue horse may have descended from prehistoric horses that lived farther north. Bones of the Solutre horses, dating from the Paleolithic period (17 000 years ago), were discovered there. And the many horse images in Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux give evidence of Prehistoric horses in south-western France.
The Camargue horse is the traditional mount of the farm workers, or ranch hands, of the Camargue region, called "guardians." The guardians are responsible for rounding up the wild black bulls that graze on the land. There is also an annual roundup of the horses to inspect and brand the newborn foals. The Camargue horse is also bred and used by many riding stables in the region. Once the horse is accustomed to a rider and saddle, it makes an excellent and reliable mount. Its sure-footedness makes it ideal for riding over hazardous terrain.

Camargue Horse Communication

Horses can communicate how they are feeling by their facial expressions. They use their ears, nostrils, and eyes to show their moods. Beware of a horse that has flared nostrils and their ears back. That means it might attack.

Camargue Horse Breeding

The Camargue horse lives and breeds in herds that roam. In some herds, dominant stallions force out young males, which form their own bachelor herds. Once they are mature and strong enough, the young makes try to win a herd of mares for themselves. The stallions fight one another with their hooves and teeth. Mares come into season once a year, usually in late spring. The foal is born 11 to 13 months later in the sprint. A mare does not necessarily breed every year that she mates.
The foal stays close to its mother for its first few months, and she guards it aggressively. If the mare becomes pregnant the following year, the foal is weaned after 10 months. But if she does not become pregnant, the foal suckles for up to two years.

Camargue Horse Food & Feeding

The horse is a herbivore (plant eater). Its teeth are specially adapted for eating grasses and herbs: incisors (cutting teeth) tear the plants, and premolars (grinding teeth) behind the incisors chew the meal. In spring the Camargue horse also grazes on an indigenous (native to the region) plant called "samphire," as well as on the tender new shoots of the tall reeds. Camargue Horse
In winter the Camargue horse must survive on dried grass and on goosefoot, a tough plant that most other grazing animals cannot eat. The horse's behavior is affected by the amount of food available. When food is scarce, the Camargue horse may graze for as long as 22 hours a day. When food is plentiful, it grazes only at dawn and dusk.

Camargue Horse Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: 13-14.2 hands high (1 hand = 4 inches)
              Weight: Average 3,750 pounds
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: Female, 18 months. Male, 1-2 years
             Mating: Late spring
             Gestation: 11-13 Months
             Number of young: 1
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Sociable; lives in small, free-ranging herds
            Diet: Ground vegetation: leafy grasses, herbs, and plants
            Lifespan: 20-25 years

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The only truly wild horse today is the Mongolian wild horse, or Prezewalski's horse, which lives in small numbers in Central Asia. All others are feral; that is, they are descendants of once-domesticated horses.
  • There are approximately 30 separate herds of Camargue horses in existence today.
  • Any horse shorter than 14.2 hands is considered a pony. One exception is the miniature horse, the South American Falabella, which is only about seven hands high.
  • Although it is an ancient species, the Camargue horse was not officially recognized as a breed until 1967.
  • One year of a horse's life is roughly equal to there years for a person.

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