Norman Cob - Breed & Info
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The Norman Cob, or as it is called in France, the Cob Normand is a type of horse bred in Normandy which has always been a land of horses, and where people have used them for every sort of purpose. This particular horse supported the rich agricultural area, working the land, carrying produce to market and providing a means of transport.
The Norman Cob is bigger than its British counterpart, standing between 15,3 and 16,3 hands in height. And the modern Cob is heavier than the sort bred earlier in the breed's history, which was closer to the riding type of horse and was bred in vast quantities for military purposes. It still retains, however, much of the activity and freedom of action, particularly at the trot, which is the working gait of the light draft horse.
Royal stud farms were founded in 1665 and the first stallions installed in 1730. By 1900, breeders were making a distinction between horses suitable cavalry remounts and the heavier type that could be used in light draft. The tails of those heavier horses were docked, and soon the animals were termed cob after the English cobs they resembled. Today, many cob stallions are kept at the national studs, and there is performance testing for young stock and the breedings are documented.
The La Manche region is the cob country of Normandy, and the Norman cob is still regularly worked there. They perform various light draft jobs on the lad and work in general farm transport. Over the years, the Norman Cob has become progressively heavier to meet the demands of the work it is expected to do but it has never lost its energetic paces nor its appealing character.
The Norman Cob is one of the nice draft types bred in France. It is stockily built throughout and is obviously strong and powerful, but it is not a true heavy breed and lacks the massive frame and proportions of the heavy draft horses a good trade for its energetic and active ability. A crested neck and a sensible head are typical.
Just like the lighter English riding cobs, the Norman Cob is compact through the body with a short, strong back running into powerful quarters. The barrel of the horse is characteristically deep an round and the strong shoulder is nicely sloped.
The limbs of the Norman Cob are short and very muscular but they are lighter than those of the heavy breeds and do not carry the same profuse feather. Nonetheless, I the forelimbs the bone measurement is more than ample. The traditional coat colors are chestnut, bay or bay-brown. Occasionally red-roan or gray occurs but rarely any other color.
Today the Norman Cob is bred to maintain purity and uniformity. Objectives are to keep the draft horse type skeleton and build, with the docile temperament but also to keep the qualities of active movement and qualities of fertility to with the end goal of enhancing skills under saddle, use in agriculture, and also for France's meat production.
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