In 1994, two Brazilian men completed an 8,694 mile trail ride to prove the stamina of the Mangalarga Marchador.
For one and a half years they rode all day and rested at night all with the same horses.
This was a challenge for the breed and the feat is recorded in The Guinness Book of World Records.
Characteristics of the Mangalarga Marchador
The Mangalarga Marchador is of good size with an average height of over 15 hands and weighing 900 to 1100 pounds. Horses smaller than 14.2 hands are not being accepted for registration. Most colors are represented in the breed with grays, bays and chestnuts being the most popular. The horses are well known for their keen intelligence, docile nature, undying stamina and regal bearing, but most of all, for their incredibly smooth and fluid ride even at high speeds. The head is triangular in shape with a straight profile and rounded over the nose region, typical of the Barb horse. The coat is fine and silky and the mane and tail are full. The neck is of medium length, sufficient for the horse to be well balanced for riding and reining. It is well arched and muscular, inserted in the top third of the chest to allow for a proud, high carriage. The thorax is deep and allows for great lung capacity, one of the reasons for the legendary stamina of the breed. The back is of medium length with short and well muscled loins. The gaskin and forearm tend to be long, well muscled and articulated and the cannons are short. The pasterns and hooves are at the slightly lower angle typical of Spanish horses. This allows him to overreach well and without excessive stress to his suspensories.
Gaits of the Mangalarga Marchador
The Mangalarga Marchador has two special gaits or marchas, the marcha picada and the marcha batida. Which gait is superior is always subject to debate and it seems to boil down to the personal preference of the individual breeder. In Portuguese, picada stands for a light touch and of the two marchas, the marcha picada is a bit smoother. It is a broken pace and therefore creates little vertical movement. This gait is characterized by the movement of the animal's legs in a lateral sequence, with periods of triple hooves support. The principal advantage of this lateral four beat gait is its greater smoothness resulting from the periods of triple hooves support and from the overreach. The gait can be sustained for long periods of time, allowing the rider hours of enjoyable riding with little discomfort. The timing of foot falls is similar to the paso llano of the Peruvian Paso Horse. Batida means to hit and describes the gait considered to be a broken trot. It is characterized by the movements of the legs in a diagonal pattern, also with moments of triple support and a four beat sequence. This gait, unlike a trot, shows very little suspension (all the legs in the air) as the horses are always in contact with the ground. This creates stability and smoothness. The longer and more frequent the moments of triple hooves support are, the more comfortable the gait will be. On flat ground, performing the batida at a normal speed, the hind foot overreaches the track of the forefoot on the same side, adding to the smoothness of the ride. In this gait the timing of the footfalls is similar to the trocha gait seen in Colombian Horses.
The Registry of the Mangalarga Marchador
The Mangalarga Marchador is the national horse of Brazil. It has gained this distinction due to its noble, generous character, easy gait, and its suburb and elegant appearance. A breed that has been stringently controlled by the Brazilians in their breeding and registration process. The foal from registered Marchador parents is inspected by a representative for the ABCCM noting markings, confirmation, and samples for DNA analysis. Then given a temporary ABCCMM registration until the horse is three years or older after which the ABCCMM representative must examine the horse for Mangalarga Marchador confirmation. The horse is then ridden by the ABCCMM representative to confirm the gait and confirmation, if everything is correct in the inspection. The horse is given a permanent registration and branded with the ABCCMM brand on the right shoulder. This type of breed control gives evidence to the long lasting Mangalarga Marchador qualities will stay in place and not be upset by breeders trying to change the breed characteristics to suit their motives. That has happened here in the United States with other breeds.
The Mangalarga Marchador in Brazil and in North America
The Marchador’s in Brazil are utilized much like the Quarter Horse here in United States. The horses work on large Fazenda’s working cattle daily in an older tradition similar to our cattle industry a hundred years ago. They are also used in endurance, trail riding, and dressage making them a very versatile breed.
Flying Oaks Ranch is now the largest Mangalarga Marchador breeder in North America offering a large number of horses of all ages and training for sale. There are more than two hundred registered Marchador’s in North America. Our horses can fulfill a wide range of budgets along with attractive financing. Visit our sales pages to see Mares, Geldings, Stallions and Youngstock.
Be sure to visit our breeder page that explains how you can become a breeder of these amazing horses! These packages will give a good start to breeders that want to take advantage in entering a new upcoming market with this superb breed of horses.