The Criollo Horse: what does it look like?

Elevage La Brava
photo: LABRA AZAHAR- breeds la Brava- la Oración (Argentina)

Morphology of the Criollo

The Argentinian Criollo Breeding Association describes the Criollo as follow:
“Well balanced and mesomorph (measures and medium forms). The Criollo looks like a saddle horse, balanced and harmonious. Well-muscled with a strong constitution, it has a low center of gravity. Good foot and loose, agile and fast in its movements gait. Active, energetic and docile nature, its racial characteristic is defined by its hardiness, longevity, fertility, strength, courage, resilience and ability to work cattle.”

The standards adopted during the 4th meeting of criollo breeders from south American, as ratified later by the Associations of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile at this time, are the following:
  • Height: 1.44 m Ideal. The maximum fluctuations for males are between 1.40 m. and 1.48 m Exceptionally until 1.50 m. and not less than 1,38m, with prior resolution of admission by the inspector. Females 2 cm Less.
  • Chest circumference: 1,78 m perfect. Females 2 cm. More.
  • Cannon perimeter: 0.19 m great. Females 1 cm Less.
  • Fluctuations of measures shall be consistent with the general size and harmony of the horse.
  • Head: Profile preferably subconvex or rectilinear. The head is globally short, light, with a wide forehead and thin muzzle proportionately, with quite a lot of skull and a short face. Cheeks are well separated and prominent, and in between lively and expressive eyes, small ears with wide base, well separated and parallel. Nostrils are medium. The head should denote the purity of the breed, the character and the natural difference that exists between males and females.
  • Mane, tail and feathers: mane and tail quite broad with very abundant horsehair. Feathers are medium developed and only on the back of the fetlocks.
  • Neck and crest: The neck is long enough and flexible. Muscled in its upper part at the junction with the head. The crest is lightly convex in its upper line and straight on the bottom. Its axis joins the back with an angle almost right.
  • Withers: Profiled and moderately muscled. Long and junction almost imperceptible.
  • Back: Medium size, strong and firm, wide and muscled towards the hind.
  • Loin: Short, wide, muscled, strong, good junction to the back and the group, with a general harmony.
  • Croup: Long and muscled, medium wide, with a slight angle. From the hind legs view, rounded without any bony protuberance, nor hollowness.
  • Tail: The bony part of the tail is short, the tail must softly continue the upper line of the croup with a tail head (or dock) quite low.
  • Chest: Moderately wide, muscled and low. The sternum is situated approximatively at the half-height of the animal.
  • Trunk : Seen from the side, deep from withers to girth, oval shape. Great development in its perimeter and near the ground. Ribs moderately sprung and open down and back. Ample belly continuing perfectly the inner profile of the chest.
  • Flanks: Short and full.
  • Shoulders: Moderately long and sloping. Well separated and well-muscled.
  • Arms and elbows: Parallel to the median flat of the body. Arms quite long, tilted and muscled. Elbows well separated from the chest.
  • Forearm: Well straight and good plumbs, long, with good wide and muscles.
  • Knees: Near the ground, broad, moderately long, sharp, without deviation or off-axis.
  • Thighs: Broad and well-muscled, long and descended buttocks.
  • Legs: Long, broad, muscular, with strong tendons, separated and sharp.
  • Hocks: Strong, broad, sharp, parallel to the median flat of the body and near the ground.
  • Cannons: Short, strong, sharp and prominent.
  • Fetlocks: Strong and sharp.
  • Pasterns: Strong, of medium length and inclination.
  • Hoofs: Relatively small, smooth, dense, resistant: properly high and separated heels.

Photo : RP 102- MERCACHIFLE MALPARIDA – 3rd best foal, female cathegory, Exhibition:TANDIL in 2012 Y 4th best mare Exhibition: OTOÑO in 2013.

Gran Campeon
Photo : DEL OESTE FIERRO, 1st Champion male cathegory - Exhibition: Palermo 2014- from the breed La Esperanza, de Ballester S.R.L.


Regarding the coats… have plenty of possibilities! All the coats are accepted, with the exception of "paint" and "tobiano", providing that animals with advanced depigmentation and albinism must be gradually excluded.
Criollos generally have zebra stripes on their legs and a black trace on their backs that are very typical of old breeds.
You can find hereunder a table of the different coats:
pelajes de caballos

And for real, what do they look like?

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Jóia Pintada de l’élevage Reservada (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Trio de criollos overos de l’élevage São Rafael (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Natalina do Liscano na Fazenda Liscano ( par CRT Guapo et Morocha do Itapororó) - élevage Boa Vista & Maior no (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Osorno do Itaó (étalon – Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Freio de Ouro Rodopio de l’élevage Dom Alberto (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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BT Faceiro do Junco de l’élevage Estância da Quinta (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Édem da Baraúna de l’élevage Baraúna (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
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Ensimesmado do Purunã de l’élevage São Rafael. (Brésil) - Photo de JG Martini
Brava La Oracion
El Trovedor - Elevage la Brava la Oración (Argentine)
Cabana La Entreriana
Dormido Tintillo, Cabana la Entreriana, photo JG Martini
Jg Martini
Photo de JG Martini
La Brava La Oracion
Cabaña La Brava La Oracion
La Entrerianna
Dormido Tintillo - Cabaña La Entrerianna - Photo de JG Martini
Oracion Haragan  La Brava La Oracion
Oracion Haragan - Cabaña La Brava La Oracion
Torito  Cabana La Entreriana
Torito - Cabaña La Entreriana - Photo de JG Martini

Sources :
La ACCC :,52
JG Martini (Photographe) :