The Camargue horse is characterised by its small size, its unrefined
skeleton, large limbs, big head, and grey (almost white) coat when it is
fully grown. However, the foal has a dark coat when it is born. It is
only when the horse is 4 or 5 years old that its coat turns to white.
The Camargue horse, a very rustic animal, lives almost free within the marshes and salworts all round the year. In the "manades" (farms where the horses are bred), there are several brood mares and one stallion; the births occur from April till July in the wild. When the foals are one year old, they are branded, bearing the mark of their owner and separated from their mother.
At the age of three, they are corralled and trained: this is a difficult operation, the "guardians" (cowboys) have to be patient and gain progressively the horses' confidence. They are guided with the technique of neck reining which permits the riders to keep only one hand on the reins. In most of the "manades", only the males are broken in, the mares are bred for reproduction.
The Camargue horse species has been officially recognized by the National Stud Farms since March 17, 1978. It has its Stud-Book and its breeders are gathered in an Association called the A.E.C.R.C (Association des Eleveurs de Chevaux de Race Camargue). (Breeders Association for the Race of the Camargue Horse )