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Use and characteristics of the Berber horse
Berber horses were traditionally raised in harsh desert conditions, living closely with the nomadic Berber people who kept them. The best examples were often selected to join the studs of the rulers of North African kingdoms, and so the Berber has a dual history as both a high-status animal used in displays and a practical mount for desert conditions. Any riders considering a horse suitable for distance riding will find the decision to buy a Berber is a good one. They have qualities of both speed and endurance and thrive in harsh conditions, being used to living on frugal fare. Internationally, the horses are still relatively rare and those who sell a Berber are usually experts on the breed. Berbers are usually 14 hands (56 inches/142 cm) to 15 hands (60 inches/152 cm) high, making them a good size for riding horses for experienced equestrian families. Despite their designation as Orientals, their conformation is distinctive and different from others in the group. The Berber has a distinctly convex profile and a low set tail. Their legs are long, clean and strong, contributing to their speed as racehorses. Grey is a popular colour, though foundation colours are predominantly black and bay.