Andalusian or Pure Spanish Horse (Pura Raza Espanola) is one of Europe’s oldest horse breeds. The Andalusian horse lives in the Iberian Peninsula from thousands of years and a district’s horse breeds whose genetic character changed very little. The Andalusian is one of Europe’s iconic horse breeds that influences almost all horse breeds of the World. The powerfully built, muscular, grey color, golden traditions, and purity of the breed makes Andalusian is one of the most famous horse breeds.
Why Study Andalusian Horse?
The Andalusian horse is one of the most beautiful horse breeds in Europe. The Pure Spanish Horse (PRE) is the purest horse breeds of the World that maintained the ANCCE from centuries. The horse is utilized in versatile Equestrian sports, dressage, showjumping, Western Riding, Driving, popular Hollywood movies, and historical documentaries. The Andalusian influences many horse breeds of the World, including Barb of Africa, American Quarter Horse, Lusitano of Portugal, and many more. You will be surprised to see the quality and characteristics of this horse breed.
1. Origin and History
Andalusian horses originated in the hilly areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The horse is also known as Pure Spanish Horse (PRE), and the horses are registered in the Spanish Stud Book and maintained by the Spanish Government and Military. The horses were widely used as war horses from ancient times. In the middle age, the horse’s utilization in warfare decreased as the Knights were heavily armed and required heavy horses. After the introduction of firearms, the necessity of the horses increased in the war due to their agility, intelligence, and power of natural balance.
2. Height and Body Weight
The Andalusian is a medium-sized horse with solidly built muscle and body. The average height of the stallion is 15.5 to 16 hands (62 to 64 inches), and the average height of the mares are 15 to 15.5 hands (60-62 inches). The standard set by the Spanish Government is a minimum of 60 inches for the stallion and 59 inches for the mares. The average weight of the horse is 400 to 450 kg (900-1000 lbs).
3. Physical Characteristics
The medium-sized Andalusian horse is powerfully built with a slightly convex head. They have large and expressive eyes, delicate lips, nostrils are flared, and chiseled neck. The neck is broad and comprehensive, crested, muscular, curved, running well to defined withers and massive chest. The back of the horse is short; hindquarters are strong, croups are rounded, legs are clean and energetic gaits. The manes and tails are thick, and ling but the legs have to extra feathers like Friesians. The Andalusian has a robust rounded body with smooth, long, and sloping shoulders.
4. Genetic Variations and Development of the Breeds
Andalusian horses are the oldest horse breeds of the Iberian Penninsula, vastly influenced by many rulers, cultures, and people who ruled Spain. The breed was influenced by Celts, the Carthaginians, Germans, Portuguese, and The Muslim Moors. During the period of 700-1400 AD, the horse was influenced by the Barb horses of North Africa. They influenced each other bloodlines. After the 15th century, they became pure breeds and were considered the elegant gift from the Spanish Government. In the modern age, the horse is famous in dressage, harness riding, sports due to their natural balance and intelligence.
5. Color and Identification
The most prominent color of the Andalusian horse is grey. The 80 % American Andalusian horses are grey, 15% are Bay, and 5% are Dun, Black, Palomino, or Chestnut. Other colors like Buckskin, cremello, or pearl are rare coat colors but recognized by the breed’s registry. White markings on the feet, body, face are believed to be good luck or bad luck for the owner and horses. People also recognized the markings for the temperament, loyalty, honesty, and endurance of the horse. An Andalusian has no white marking considered to be ill-tempered and having vices.
6. Gait and Movement
The Andalusians are popular due to their inherent learning capability of awkward horse gaits like advance collections and turned on the haunches. The horse’s natural gait is elevated, extended, harmonious, and cadenced with a balance of roundness and forward movement. They are successfully used in riding and dressage due to their over track is less and exhibit lesser flexing of both fore and hind joints.
7. The Temperament of Andalusian Horse
The Andalusians are excellent breeds with good temperaments. They are intelligent, lovely, and passionate. They can be easily trained for any discipline of equestrian sports. They are comfortable for riding and competitions.
8. Care and Management
Andalusian horses require regular care as other horses. They need daily grooming, weekly bathing, and clipping. The horse needs special care of their hoofs. The Andalusian needs a balanced diet like other horses. They are prone to laminitis; you can provide a joint supplement with daily diet to improve joint health.
9. Andalusian Horse Societies
The Andalusian horse is historically known as the Iberian war Horse, Iberian Saddle horse, Zapata, Villano, Extremeno, and Lusitano in Portuguese. The horse has many associations throughout the World. International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA), Australian Andalusian Association, Association National de Criadores de Pura Raza Espanola (ANCCE) are few notable horse association of Andalusian. The ANCCE is the Spanish authority maintaining the purity and registry of the horse.
10. Usage of Andalusian Horse
Andalusians are one of the best horse breeds of Europe that has many versatile uses. The significant uses of the horses are:
- They used in as an athletic horse for centuries.
- They are much faster in the multi-kilometer race than other breeds.
- They are used both in riding and driving horses.
- They are excellent in dressage competitions.
- Andalusians are used in show jumping, western racing, western jumping.
11. Popular Movies That Use Horse
The excellent look, versatile uses, energetic and muscular body are widely used in western and Hollywood movies. The Popular historic movies cast by Andalusian horses are:
- The Lord of Rings.
- Interview with Vampire.
- Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider.
- King Arther.
- The Chronicles of Narnia.
12. Health Problems of Andalusian
The specific health problems of this breed you should know before. The Andalusians are suffering from Ischemic disease more than other breeds. The Andalusian stallion is suffering from inguinal hernia 30% more than other breeds. They also at higher risk of large intestine obstruction and laminitis.
Final Talk on Andalusian Horse
There are hundreds of information of the Andalusian horse in the open-source. In my article, I have tried to accumulate crisp information and characteristics for your easy understanding. The Andalusians are the best horse for many disciplines. You can choose this energetic, intelligent, and docile horse for your pleasure, work, and pride. If the above discussion helps you, please share the information with your friends through social media.