Losino Pony - Ponies & Breeds
Losino Pony Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below
The Losino pony is one of several breeds in the north of Spain, between the Cantabrian mountains and the Burgos region, and is supposedly a very old breed, although there seems to be a lack of historical mentioning of this breed before 1924. Because the Losino sometimes shows some conformation traits reflecting the blood of the famous horse of southern Iberia that today is known as Andalusian (PRE) and Lusitano (PSL), some claim it occupies a spot midway between the mountain pony and South Iberian horse, but as all the Iberian mountain ponies seem to have received a certain amount of South Iberian blood, it is debatable whether the Losino pony actually represents some unique blend.
The Losino population was drastically decimated by the 1980s, partly because mares had been mainly used for the production of working mules (bred to large donkey stallions) and meat production (bred to draft stallions). Then a private breeder searched for remaining animals and acquired 33 mares and two stallions that he considered pure Losinos. He let these horses multiply on about a thousand acres, where they were allowed to run semi-wild. He also founded a breed association for the Losino pony. The population recovered nicely up until about 2000, reaching nearly 200 head. This population was considered pure Losino - the last pure population - in contrast to horses of other breeders who had crossed them with Andalusians and Arabs to increase the size of the animals.
The project met not only with good will, but some neighboring farmers wanted the horses gone. According to other sources, the opposition was of a political nature. In any event, fences were cut, and escapees caused damage in nearby fields. Law suits were the result, the private Losino pony breeder went bankrupt, and the horses were sold at public auction. There was no effort on the part of the authorities to help save the horses; their special status was denied with respect to those other existing "Losinos".
There are currently only two authorized breeders in Spain, in Pancorbo, and in Quincoces de Yuso, two villages in the north of the province of Burgos, where the breed seems to have developed. In total there may be around 300 to 400 Losino horses registered, and all of the stallions belong to either one of these two. These breeders sell only Losino pony geldings - no stallions, and no mares. The average horse varies in the two breeding operations, one population looking more like the Pottoka pony, while in the other the animals tend to show more South Iberian influence.
The Losinos are bred semi-wild in a large area of limestone highlands and are only gathered for branding and to separate sale animals. Otherwise, they have little or no contact with humans and are often preyed on by wolves, who in some winters take a toll of up to 20 foals.
The area in which the Losino pony is bred - the valleys of Losa and Mena, on the border with the Basque land - overlaps with that of the Pottoka pony, and it is obvious that the two breeds are related.
Someone interested in the preservation of the Losino could still have a chance tracking horses of those that were sold at public auction, as they are being offered from time to time. Hopefully, some of them will be retrieved by dedicated breeders. Losinos are usually black without white markings, and around 13 to 13,3 hands, with small ears, a strong neck, wide chest, and broad back. Like all Iberian mountain ponies, they are sure-footed, durable and sound, and long-lived. They have small ears, a strong neck, wide chest, and broad back.
Article ©HorseShowCentral.com Submitted by Hardy Oelke and Photos ©Oelke or Oelke Archive.
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Photo at the top of the page, the grazing herd, and the first two photos on the row above are ©de Juana. The last two photos on the row above are ©Alonso Nez.
You may also wish to read the HSC page regarding the North Iberian Pony!
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