The Mangalarga Marchador, originating in Brazil in the south of the state of Minas Gerais, has, as the true expression of the breed, the "marcha." This is an accelerated gait that maintains regularity making the ride very smooth and comfortable for the rider. It originated in the mid-19th century from Alter and Brazilian native. A breed society was formed in 1934. Varieties include Marchador or Mineiro (Minas Gerais) and Paulisto (São Paulo). The Paulisto is lighter, leggier and of more recent development.
During the "marcha", the Mangalarga Marchador makes a semicircle with the anterior members and uses the posterior members as leverage, thus propelling the animal forward. When in movement the Mangalarga Marchador executes an alternation of diagonal and lateral supports, always softened by an intermediate time: the triple support. This is the movement when three of the horses hooves touch the ground at the same time.
Another characteristic of the Mangalarga Marchador breed is its alert and attentive attitude. Always an active horse, in movement it has a clear-footed stride, with upright ears and a firm look in the eyes equal to any obstacle encountered along the way.
The excellent disposition of the Mangalarga Marchador, as well as its docility and intelligence, makes it an easy animal to train. After a very brief period of basic training, it is well prepared for assuming a direct and forward position with complete submission to commands.
Some morphological information is important for recognizing the Mangalarga Marchador. It is a light horse but strong and well-muscled. The front is light with a triangular head and a pyramidal neck. The body is strong with well-arched ribs. The members show vigorous and well-formed tendons. It is a horse of medium stature, measuring from the withers to the ground between 1,47 to 1,57 meters.
The sturdiness of this breed can easily be noted as one observes its great adaptability to any type of adverse terrain or climate, be it tropical, temperate or cold. Its endurance is demonstrated by its capacity for traveling long distances without fatigue. The Mangalarga Marchador is not a demanding feeder, surviving well on a regime of either partial stabling or open field which, for the owner means low cost and freedom from the usual problems caused by diversity of pasture. It is also quite resistant to disease and parasites.
Associaçao Brasileira dos Criadores do Cavalo Mangalarga Marchador
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.