A dual-purpose horse, indigenous to Italy, that is strong enough to be used
for light draught work or as a riding horse, in particular cattle herding,
they are the traditional mounts of the 'butteri' (cattle men). The breed has
also been used as a police and army mount.
The origin of the breed is not certain but it is likely that they are
descendants of the Neapolitan horse, which was based on Arab, Barb and
Spanish blood. In the sixteenth century Frederico Grisone was the founder of
the Neapolitan riding academy and as the first great classical riding master
since the famous Greek, Xenophon (430-350 B.C.), the Neapolitan name won
fame. Since that time the breed has been outcrossed to many others,
including the Norfolk Roadster, resulting in the horses known as the
Maremmana having no particular breed type.
It varies considerably, though
overall it is not particularly good looking; the shoulders are upright and
it generally has poor conformation resulting in it not being able to cover
the ground with any speed. However, it is an honest hard worker, an
economical feeder, with a calm and amiable temperament.