Their origin dates back several centuries, when they were already very present on the island. At that time, they were of remarkable assistance: pack-saddled, harnessed or ridden, in the stone quarries for agricultural work in very steep places, in order to connect distant hamlets, or going to separate agricultural farms.
Also used for the production of male/female mules.
Obedient, courageous, enduring and very resistant with safe feet, capable of climbing up and down very steep slopes.
Up to the 18th century, they didn’t exceed 90c at the withers, and the coat was grayish – then, they grew thanks to the Catalan donkey, and the coat became black.
Today, two types can be found:
– the pure Corsican, light grey with 1.17m at the withers
– black, descended from cross-breeding with the Catalans (1.24m at the withers).
Nowadays, they are used for trekking, and carrying luggage or children, along with a carriage and saddle. They are also very handy for olive harvesting, which can be in the most inaccessible places at times.
Text : asiniens.e-monsite.com
Photo: Gérard Gabert