Abaco Barb

The history, characteristics, and facts about the extinct Abaco Barb horse.

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Abaco Barb Profile:

Horse Illustrated February 2009
Abaco Barb on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Horse Illustrated, photographed by Arnd Bronkhorst

The Abaco Barb has been extinct since 2015.

The breed is believed to have descended from Spanish horses that were in route aboard ships with early explorers to the New World. Many of these ships never reached their destination, and instead were shipwrecked or pirated in the Caribbean. It’s believed that some of the Spanish horses survived the ordeals and made it safely to the island of Great Abaco, where they remained for centuries.

Abaco Barb Characterisitics:

The Abaco Barbs shared traits of other Spanish-lineage horses, such as low-set tails, convex faces and thick, long manes and tails. Their ears tend to be pointed, and they have broad foreheads that taper. The horses are small, about 13.2 to 14.2 hands, and are exceptionally strong.

One additional distinguishing characteristic is that Abaco Barbs have only five lumbar vertebrae, and new findings have discovered a difference in the Wing of Atlas—the first bone in the neck adjacent to the skull.

For more information

Further Reading

This breed profile was originally published on December 28, 2006

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