The rare Abaco Barb, which is in great danger of extinction, 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 have remained for centuries.
The Abaco Barbs share 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: www.arkwild.org.