Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed that originated more than 2000 AD in the Iberian Peninsula. The horse is also known as Pure Blood Lusitano or Pura Sangue Lusitano (PSL). The horse was a very close association with Spanish Andalusian horse and was considered the same breed until 19960. The horse becomes popular during 800BC as a warhorse. The Muslims conquer the Iberian Peninsula in 711AD, and they brought Barb horses with them to this region. They crossbred the Lusitano horses with Barb and Arabian horses. The name of the horse ‘Lusitano’ was taken from the Roman era; for its speed, attributes, and beauty.
Important Information on Lusitano Horse Breed
Lusitano is the only Portuguese horse breeds in the Iberian Peninsula. The horse breed is one of the ancient horse breeds in this region and originated more than 2000 years ago. The horse is famous due to its intelligence, majestic behavior, athleticism, and beauty. In my article, I shall present the most exciting information on this versatile horse breed.
Origin and History of the Breed
The Iberian Peninsula is the host of many horse breeds that originated more than thousands of years. The famous horse breeds of this region are the Andalusian horse, Spanish horse, and Lusitano horse. In addition, during 800 BC, this region was a well-known inhabitant of warhorses.
Lusitano horse is considered the twin brother of the Spanish Andalusian horse. This is because the two horses have a genetic similarity and originated in the same region. Thus, the two-horse breed is ancient and shares the same ancestral history. The bloodlines of both Andalusian and Lusitano horses trace back to 2000 BC with the Sorraia horses of the Iberian Peninsula.
In 711 AD, Muslims conquer the Iberian Peninsula and brought Barb and Arabian horses with them. They breed the local Lusitano horses with Barb horses of Africa and enhance the bloodlines with more speed, stamina, and endurance. In the later stage of the Middle Ages, the Lusitano horse becomes one of the most popular and demandable war horses in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The Lusitano and Andalusian horses were considered the same horse breed up to 1960. Therefore, they share the same registry and studbook. In 1966, the official studbook of the Lusitano horse was established, and the horse was named Pura Sangue Lusitano (PSL).
Physical Characteristics of Lusitano
Lusitano is a medium horse with a compact body. The head is narrow, well-pronounced, and slightly convex. The neck is arched, thick, and well defined, leading towards the withers. The shoulders are muscular, strong, slopping, and deep. The chest is deep, back is strong, slopping, rounded, and short. The croup is well defined and leads to a low-set tail. The legs are muscular and sturdy.
The gaits of the horse are more agile and elevated but comfortable for the riders. The horse differs from the Andalusian horse by low-set tail, more sloping croup, and more convex head profile. The mane and tail of both the Andalusian and Lusitano are incredibly thick, silky, and long.
Height and Weight of the Horse
The average height of the horse is from 15 to 15.3 hands (60 to 63 inches). However, some Lusitano horses found more than 16 hands (64 inches). The average body weight of the horse is about 900-1100 pounds (420-500 kgs).
Color and Markings of Portuguese Horse
Lusitano horses are found in many horse colors, including grey, chestnut, and bay. The horse is also found in solid colors, including buckskin, palomino, and black. The Alter Real strain of Lusitano was found only in grey color. It is ubiquitous for a Grey Lusitano horse born black or bay and turned into bay color by age.
Behavior and Temperament of the Lusitano
The Lusitano is a powerful horse breed with intelligent and wellness nature. The horse is easily trainable and extremely gentle. The horse is suitable to smooth movement like dressage. The horse is suitable for pleasure riding, amateur riding, kids, and equine therapy.
Registration and Societies of Portuguese Horse
Before 1960, Andalusian and Lusitano horses were considered the same breed and registered under the Andalusian studbook. The studbook was separated in 1966 by the two countries, and the horse name was taken from the ancient Roman era. The horse bloodline was preserved by selective breeding. Today, the horse is found in Australia, Brazil, the United States of America, South Africa, Great Britain, and many Europian Countries.
The crossbred horses of Lusitano with the Arabian, Andalusian, and Thoroughbred are very famous. The parent organization of this horse breed is Associacao Portuguesa de Criadores do Cavalo Puro Sangue Lusitano (APDCPSL)
Health Issues of Lusitano Horse
The horse is generally healthy and physically fit all the time. There is no specific disease or syndrome for this horse breed. However, the horse is generally affected by horse diseases. Therefore, you need regular care, management, vaccination, and deworming of your horses. In addition, you must take care of hooves, daily grooming, and a periodic health checkup by an equine veterinarian.
Feeding and Nutrition of Horse
The horse is medium in size and requires an ordinary diet of a horse. You must provide a balanced horse diet with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. The general horse diets are barley, corn, cowpeas, soyabean meal, brans, and available concentrates in your locality. The roughage includes green grass of good quality and pasture. The horse must have adequate pure drinking water to drink all the time. In addition, you can provide some horse supplements suggested by your vet.
Unique Characteristics of Lusitano Horse Breed
Lusitano is an ancient horse breed but recognized as a separate breed in 1960. The horse breed is new to many horse lovers. The unique and exciting features of the horse breed are:
- The horse originated more than 2000 years ago.
- The Andalusian and Lusitano were considered as the same horse breed up to 1960.
- The horse breed was named from Lusitania, and a separate studbook was 1created in 966 in Portugal.
- The horse is considered a national symbol of Portuguese pride.
- The horse is still used in bullfighting in Spain and Portugal.
- The horse was a famous warhorse in the Iberian Peninsula region.
Versatile Ues of Lusitano Horse
Lusitano is a versatile horse breed used in many equestrian disciplines and horse breed development. The common uses of the horse breed are:
- Combined driving.
- The horse was to breed Colorado Ranger horse between 1980-1987.
- Pleasure riding.
- Horse show.
Final Talk on Lusitano Horse
Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed very close association with Spanish Andalusian horse. The horse is bearing the national symbol of Portugal. Though the horse is an ancient breed but very new as a separate horse breed in the equine world. The horse has an excellent conformation and smooth gaits. The horse won much competition in the Olympic Games and FEI. In my article, I have tried to highlight the most exciting information for horse lovers. I think this will enrich your knowledge and passion for this excellent horse breed.