The Bardigiano is a breed of small horse from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. It takes its name from the town of Bardi, in the Apennines of Parma, and is principally associated with the surrounding area and the Valle del Ceno. The mountain environment and steep, rough terrain of the area have contributed to produce a robust, hardy breed, agile and sure-footed over difficult ground. Although some males and all females are under 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm), the Bardigiano is always considered a horse in its home country. The stud book was established in 1977, and is held by the Associazione Provinciale Allevatori, the regional animal breeders' association, of Parma. The breed is widely distributed in Italy, with breeders in 26 Italian provinces; a recent study examined 3556 stud book entries for living horses. Due to these relatively large numbers, the breed is not considered to be at risk of extinction, but is classed as "vulnerable".The Bardigiano is used for activities that range from farm work to competitive driving and riding. They are also used extensively for pony trekking. In 1994, the breed standard was modified with the intention of increasing the suitability of the Bardigiano as a saddle horse while preserving its character.
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