This pony is native to the Pyrenees mountains of France. It is said to have existed in relative isolation for thousands of years. Due to the mountainous terrain of its native land, the Merens is a very sure-footed animal, and as such makes an excellent trekking pony. Although not large, the pony can be used by adult riders as well as making an excellent riding pony for children.
These ponies stand between 13 and 14.1 hands high and have black coats. Due to the Arabian influence, the head is small and refined, the neck strong and short, the back long, the shoulder solid and the hindquarters well-rounded. Although light and somewhat short, the legs are strong. The mane and tail are thick.
Although the pony has existed in its native Pyrenees and Ariegeois mountain region since prehistoric times, breeders began taking an interest in the ponies around 1908. It was bred to work in the mines of southwestern France and to haul timber. It shows similar characteristics to the Fells pony and the Friesian.
The Merens has been used for centuries by the native farmers of the Ariegeois mountains. Popular for its hardiness and disease resistance, the Merens also found homes in the southeastern Pyrenees, around the Riviera, and into the Alps.
For more information:
Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle du Cheval (U.N.I.C.) 22, rue de Penthievre 75008, Paris FRANCE
French Ministry of Agriculture National Stud & Equestrian Sports Department 14 Avenue de la Grande-Armee 75017 Paris FRANCE