The Asturcon is one of the oldest and purest horse breeds in the world. Certain historical references to the breed date back over 2,000 years. Numerous Roman texts praise the small Asturcons that served alongside their riders as troops for the entire Empire. The Asturian breed of this mythical horse has been conserved throughout the centuries, which affords it a unique unity as it remains one of the few native horse breeds in Southern Europe. An archaic race, the Asturcon maintains the same shape that very probably it had when it first stood out as a race some 2,800 years ago.
It’s said that the Asturcon is a pony, a small horse with a height of less than 148 cm (according to the criterion set out by the French). The term pony most likely comes from Epona, the Celtic goddess of the cavalry who was always represented as mounted on a small horse.
During the Middle Ages and into the modern period the Asturcon played a central role in the economy of the region. In the 15th century they were taken to Ireland, where they quickly gained fame. Sometime thereafter they made their way to Paris, where they laboured drawing carriages. As the use of animals as tractors persisted, groups of Asturcons were annually sold throughout Spain for their use in agriculture.
Asturcons measure on average 1,25 m in height, depending on their breeding. Their head ranges from small to medium size and they have a wide forehead and recessed nostrils which are more pronounced in males. Their eyes are large, black, and particularly lively. The ears, small and mobile. The nostrils wide and dilated. Their manes are long and robust. The neck, of average length and moderately thin, tends to curve more in adult males. The wide, muscled chest possesses notable depth. Their extremities are thin and strong. Its small, oval-shaped forearms protrude while those behind tend to be small or nonexistent. The fetlocks are scarce. Their helmet small and round. The ribcage well-bowed. The tail low and dense. The group inclined, never double. The shoulder point black or deep chestnut, with the presence of a but a small star.
Asturcons live in freedom all the year long. They give birth in the fields, a truly rustic place. Their natural and eye-catching behaviour pairs perfectly with a vigour uncommon in its size. Once tamed, they display an excellent temperament, which makes them the ideal pony for children. With its smooth, simple, and calm movement the Asturcon shows itself sure in its step and natural in its jump. Its aptitude increases with the harness.
One of the most eastern nuclei of Asturcons lives at La Montaña Mágica; it is made up by a dozen of the horses, all certified and branded with a chip which ensures their identification. La Montaña Mágica is a member of the Association of Breeders of Ponies of Asturian Race (ACPRA), which was founded in 1981 to guarantee the origin of the animals through the Genealogical Book. Each they brand newborn colts, administer the corresponding certificates (Genealogical Letters), organise different events and expositions of the breed, participate in livestock competitions, and organise meetings for members.
Asturcons can be seen up close in La Montaña Mágica. We invite our guests to pet them to see for themselves their docility and their capacity for the mountainous terrain. We hope they too will create a unique bond with such an emblematic animal – the Asturcon.