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Horse Breeds
First Posted: Mar 5, 2010
Sep 25, 2010

Norman Cob or Cob Normand

Norman Cob/Image/No Copyright on page.

Country of Origin: France


This breed descended from "bidets," small horses that from Asia. They were brought by the Celts. They lived in Brittany and Normandy before the time of the Roman Empire. Eventually these horses reached Russia and were interbred to the Mongolian Horse. The Romans interbred these horses with their heavy pack mares. A strong utility horse was the ancestor of the Norman cob. In the 10th century the Norman breeders were known for their war horses--large, strong with good endurance. In the 16th and 17th centuries Barb and Arabian blood was introduced. In 1665 the first royal stud farms were founded. Stallions were selected in 1730. In the 19th century the Norfolk Roadster was mixed in. English Thoroughbred blood was added along with English hunter stallions. The horse developed into the Anglo-Norman (in France called the Normand Cob) and today the Selle Francais.

Even though Norman Cob stallions are to be found at the National studs, especially at Saint Lô, no studbook is kept, although breeding is documented and in some areas performance testing of young stock is carried out.


The Norman Cob ranges from 15.3 hh to 16.3 hh. It is a light draft horse with a forward moving trot. The trot is the working gait. The Norman Cob has freedom of movement with a high set tail. The build is strong and stocky but not as massive as the heavy breeds. It is energetic, docile, lively and of excellent temperament. The neck is crested, the head is heavy. The coupling is short, has a powerful hindquarters, proportionate hocks, sort cannons and shanks, with prominent joints. The barrel is round and deep. The Norman Cob has strong shoulders with a good slope, and a strong back. The hooves are medium in size and hard and sound. The legs are short, extremely muscular, lightly feathered at the heel, with good bone. Colors are chestnut, bay and bay and brown. Gray and red roan are rare but do exist. The Norman Cob is of good temperament.


Used in agriculture, for carriage work under harness, under saddle and for meat.

Horse Breeds