It has had an influence on the Galiceno breed in Mexico and, allegedly, on the Mustang. It is thought to have developed partly from a mix of Celtic horses, Roman horses and horses brought to Galicia by the Swabians. The ponies are hardy and rugged. They are between 1.20 and 1.40 meters in height, and have a short body and strong legs. They have a straight profile, and usually are bay in color.
In the Middle Ages these ponies were rented or swapped for other horses at the border between Galicia and Castile, since the Galician pony was more sturdy and suitable for the rugged landscape of the country. The ponies are currently used for riding and meat production, although they had been used to produce brushes from their mane hairs. A herdbook was formed in 1994.
A 1973 study by Pedro Iglesias estimated more than 20,000 Galician ponies are free in the mountains of Northwestern Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, it is thought that their numbers have probably decreased. Once a year, the semi-feral herd is driven from the mountains to the curro, where the ponies are branded and their manes and tails are cut. Some are sold, while the rest are set free again.
At present, the Galician pony is regulated and protected by the Galician government, in an attempt to increase the numbers of the feral stock.
Horse breeds thought to originate wholly or partly within the Iberian peninsula.
Some have complex or obscure histories, so inclusion here does not necessarily imply that a breed is predominantly or exclusively Iberian.