Pura Raza Menorquina (PRMe)

Research has shown links between the Menorcan and Arab as well as Berber breeds.  Others believe that the original horses were brought to Menorca from central Europe by King James I of Aragon.

According to the Government of the Balearic Islands, the Menorcan belongs to the Eastern group of indigenous Iberian horses, which also includes the now extinct Catalan horse.

The Menorcan breed was officially recognized as an indigenous breed in 1989, and it is listed in the “Catálogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de España” in the group of autochthonous breeds that are in danger of extinction. In Menorca, the breeders of these horses have done an amazing job to preserve the bloodline.  In 2021 the total population was reported to be 3785, of which fewer tan 900 were outside the Balearic Islands.

The Breeders Association “Associació de Criadors i Propietaris de Cavalls de Raça Menorquina” was formed in August 1988. The objective of the Association was to maintain as well as improve the breed morphologically as well as for performance.  This breed has demonstrated their functionality in different sporting disciplines such as dressage, without neglecting the island’s own dressage discipline, Menorcan dressage.  This discipline is recognized as such by the Balearic Islands Equestrian Federation.

The goal now is to publicize the breed outside of the island. So far, the breed is present in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, UK, Russia, Ukranie, Denmark, Belgium, Greece and Luxemburg. Now, we already have 5 in the USA, and we will bring top stallions and mares so that we can mantain the bloodlines and promote the breed in the United States.

Characteristics of the Breed:

The Menorcan horse may only be black.  Horses of any other color cannot be registered as Pure Menorcans.

Limited White markings are permitted.
It is known that Menorcan horses are noble, elegant and easy to train.
The average Height is 1,60m (15.3 hands)
The mínimum permissible Height is 1,54 m for males and 1,51 m for mares.

The profile is slightly convex, the body and limbs long, the eye round and lively. Their build is strong and athletic, slender, powerful and muscular.  They are suited to any type of saddle or driving use. 

The island of Menorca is very rugged yet lush and is very hot and windy.  The horses have adapted to this environment.  They are a hearty breed with no metabolic issues.  They are surefooted and excellent on the trail yet have the movement of a top dressage horse.

In Menorca, the breed’s most valued quality is its suitability for the traditional festivals of Menorca, where it is irreplaceable. During these festivals, the horses perform the elevade and Bot movements of the “Doma Menorquina” (Menorcan Dressage).  They do this in parades, with hundreds of people watching. In one festival, it is traditionand worth a year of good luck if you touch one of the horses while they are performing the Bot.

Does each year of birth imply a certain starting letter for the horse’s name?

Yes. We have done this since 1989. We eliminated some letters, but this system allows you to know, by the horse’s name, its age.  So, for example, all horses born in 2021, have a name that starts with an ‘N’.

What is Menorcan dressage (Doma Menorquina) like and its origin?

The main difference from dressage is that we ride with our left hand and with a special tack and outfit. We can do the same movements that you would see in dressage and we have some specific movements only done in Menorcan dressage, like the “menorcan movements” or the “bot”. The “menorcan movements” are two little circles, one in each hand, it’s almost like a reverse piorette. We use this movement in the fiestas to request space with the circles to later make the “bot”. The “bot” is the elevation of the horse on its feet. Some of the horses just stand for a moment, and some of them can walk a long distance while doing the “bot”. We also perform “alta escuela” movements like the Spanish walk, passage, piaffe… The menorcan dressage arena is the size of our small dressage arena, 20 by 40.

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