FRENCH HORSES. The ordinary mixed breeds of French horses require no notiee. The Arden horse has many good points as a vvork horse. The distinctive breeds that have acquired celebrity, are the Norman and the Percheron, somethnes called Norman-Percheron. Of these the principal difference seems to be in the fact that the horse of Normandy is larger, heavier, and slovver than the horse of Perche, the latter showing more of the original Andalusian stock, from vvhich both varieties are said to have sprung. However these admirable draft horses may have originated, vvhether they have been knovvn in France since the Crusades, a very doubtful question, or vvhether they were pro duced by breeding from the fine Arabian stal lions, which fell into the hands of the French, at the victory of Charles Martel over the Sara cen Chief A.bd-er-Rahmitn, and being brought into La Perche and Normandy, and bred upon the heavy Norman horse, from which they have been developed into the present strains; -which ever may have been the case, there is no doubt but they are entitled to stand in the first rank of horses, where all that constitutes activity, con stitutional vigor, and ability to pull a heavy load at a good pace is desired. So strong is the character of the Percheron and Norman, in perpetuating their distinguishing features, that the stallion is sure to impress the foal, and in like manner the mare when bred to another breed, gives her impress sure in the foal. There has been much controversy first and last, over the proper name to be given to these two varieties of French horses. The fact is they are different strains of one breed, and do not differ more than thorough-bred horses, or short-horn cattle, both composite breeds. Reference to the
cut of Percheron-Norman, will give a correct idea of the form and appearance of one of the best of the race. The original race of LaPerche, as they existed fifty years ago, were from fifteen to sixteen hands high, and weighed from 1,200 to 1,400 pounds, and before the advent of rail roads were used to move the heavy road vehicles, (Diligences) of France, at a swift pace. Later, heavier weights beiug required, by selec tion and crossing, immense animals weighing up to 2,000 pounds have been produced, and it is said that novv scarcely one of the active Percherons of fifty years ago are to be found. Yet the medium to smaller stallions of to day, are admirable ge'Lters of horses adapted • to hauling heavy loads, and especially to city trucking and omnibus work. As we understand it, the Norman or large horses seem to have been mixed with the large Belgian and Flemish horses, while the horses of La Perche have retained to a greater degree, the distinguishing characteristics of the lighter and more agile ancestors. So difficult did it seem to draw dividing lines, that the editor of the Percheron Norman Stud-Book, seemed at fault as to just what should constitute fitness for entry. The plan adopted was to give a full account of the course of breeding and crossing practiced in France, and admit to registry all horses imported from France, as Pereheron, Norman, Percheron Norman, and Norman-Percheron.