The Mangalarga is a rare horse breed originating in Brazil in the early 19th century when Francisco Gabriel Junqueira began a breeding program crossing Royal Alter Real Stallions from neighboring Portugal with the local brood stock derived from mares brought across by the Spanish and the English to Brazil some centuries before.

The Junqueira family moved to São Paulo(Baependi County at Minas Gerais State.) in 1812 and shortly thereafter realized the ground cover, the density of the forest and the size and speed of foot made made their horses unsuitable as hunting them. To counter this problem, Fransisco experimented with crossing the local mares with other bloodlines such as Alter Real, Thoroughbred, Arabian, American Saddlebred, , and Luzitano horses.
The resulting breed was the Mangalarga and for a time it grew in popularity, but at some point it became clear the offspring from the progeny of the local mares cross with only Alter Real, Jennet and Barb horses of Spanish descent were superior than the those that also had Throroughbred, Arab and Saddlebred blood.

It was not so much a matter of the quality of the Spanish horses being superior to the British Thoroughbred and American Saddlebred Stallions, it was the large improvements in the gait of their offspring that made a pure injection of Spanish blood more successful than attempt at mixing the English, American and Spanish stallions

The horses with pure Iberian Stallion bloodlines developed a smooth gait that is typical of horses of Spanish ancestry, but kept the toughness of the local mares. These horses went on to become their own breed, the Mangalarga Marchador

The Mangalarga whilst having some Spanish horse influence, is more heavily influenced by the British horse genetics and thus they lack the smoothness of gait.

The Mangalarga and Mangalarga Marchador remain separate breeds with their own stud books, the Mangalarga stud book have been registered since 1934.

They are exceptionally rare but no extinct today with only a few active breeding lines.  Uncommon in Brazil, they are not seen at all in Australia.