Originally from the French Pyrenees, Ariège, more precisely, the Mérens, has significant physical similarities with prehistoric horses. Indeed, there are painted representations of the Merens in the cave of Niaux.
Used as a warhorse in the Middle Ages, the Merens were used for agricultural work and the mines.
Officially called Merens in 1866, this black horse was threatened with extinction at the end of the 20th century. But, thanks to breeders in love with the breed who fought to preserve its purity, the Merens found a new direction with leisure riding. From around forty horses in 1970, the figure rose to nearly 4000 in 1985: the breed’s preservation was assured.
First considered a pony, the Merens was reclassified as a blood horse in 1998 by the Haras Nationaux.