The Mangalarga Marchador is the most popular and widely spread horse in Brazil. It is a beautiful horse, exhibiting classic Iberian conformation and charm. Descending from the Lusitano stallions of Portugal and Barb mares, Mangalarga Marchadors are valued for their carriage, beauty, intelligence, and good disposition (see Wikipedia). They can easily be trained for almost any discipline. Mangalarga Marchadors are known for having a smooth stable walk, canter and gallop as well as two natural ambling gaits: the more diagonal Marcha Batida and the more lateral Marcha Picada. The decision as to which one of these two unique marcha gaits is better is subject to personal preference.
The Mangalarga Marchador averages between 14.2 and 16 hands in height and weighs around 1,000 pounds. Most colors are represented in the breed, with grays, bays, and chestnuts being predominant. The first breeders association, today’s Associação Brasileira dos Criadores do Cavalo Mangalarga Marchador (ABCCMM), was founded in 1949 in Belo Horizonte to set standards for the breed and maintain control over the bloodlines. More than 350,000 Mangalarga Marchadors are registered in Brazil today.