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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 7, 2009
Sep 24, 2010

Mangalarga Marchador Gaited Horse Breed

Country of Origin: Brazil


The Mangalarga Marchador is the national horse of Brazil and popular throughout South America. There are more than 300,000 registered in Brazil. The Mangalarga Marchador must be more than 14.2 hh to be accepted for registration. The breed is alert, intelligent, docile, has endurance and are delightful to train. They are generally gray, bay, or chestnut. However, most colors are represented in the breed. They are usually between 14.2 hh to 16 hh. They weigh anywhere from 800 to 1,100 pounds. The Mangalarga Marchador have a solid build with strong shoulders, a medium coupling, and powerful hindquarters. The neck is elegantly arched, muscled and of medium length. The horse moves with a high head carriage. The chest is strong and the thorax deep. The horses's gaskin and forearm tend to be long--the cannons short. The angles of the pasters and hooves are of a slightly lower angle owing to their Spanish ancestry. They have a long stride from back to front and can get under themselves easily. Their conformation makes fast and prolonged gaiting safe without undue stress on the suspensories. The head is Barb, not coarse. The mane and tail are full. The horse is well balanced. They are often used for cross country, endurance riding, reining and for showing.


The Mangalarga Marchador is a gaited horse exhibiting the natural gaits of the walk, the "march," marchas (Marchador) and the canter. The march has two different types of movement:

The Marcha Picada - It is considered the smoother of the two marchas. It is a broken pace with little vertical movement. This gait is much like the corto or largo of the Paso Fino Breed. Some also compare it to the Paruvian Paso's llano. In the Portuguese language, picada translates to "a light touch."

The Marcha Batida - This movement is a diagonal four-beat gait. It is defined as more like the trocha in the Paso Fino Breed. Batida means "to hit." The gait is considered to be a broken trot. This gait, unlike a trot, shows very little suspension. The horses are always in contact with the ground. This creates stability and smoothness. In this gait the timing of the footfalls is similar to the trocha gait seen in Colombian Horses.


The Mangalarga Breed came from the Hacienda Mangalarga. Stock was acquired from Campo Alegre. Campo Alegre was a breeding farm owned by Gabriel Francisco Junquiera in 1822. These acquired horses had particularly smooth gaits, rhythmic and animated. The horses were bred to bring out the wonderfully, smooth gaits. They gained in popularity for their easy way of going as well as their amiable demeanors, intelligence and outstanding conformations. The famous stallion, Sublime (an Alter Real Stallion from Portugal) was the initial sire. He was bred to mares of Spanish Jennett and Barb blood. They were fast and smooth and did the ambler gait. These offspring were referred to as Sublime horses, after their sire. The breed can now be found in Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland and many South American countries. Mangalargas finally came to the United States in 1991.

The horse's smooth, cadenced and rhythmic gait, the marcha, contributed to the creation of the second name, the Mangalarga Marchador. The first association for the Mangalarga Marchador horse was founded in 1949 to set standards in confirmation, disposition, and gait. From these early beginnings, the Mangalarga Marchadorhas has been selectively bred for over 180 years and it is said that no other breed has been introduced. Genetic studies of these lines show many species with very little or no outside influences. These lines proved to produce horses that were sure footed, graceful, comfortable and of excellent temperament.

For More Information:

United States Mangalarga Marchador Association
Mangalarga Marchador-Gaited Horses

Horse Breeds