Last Updated on March 2, 2022 by Allison Price
Andalusians are energetic and gile and have been called the Royal Horses of Europe.
Andalusians are Pure Spanish Horses, (Pura Raza Espanola oder PRE), and descend from native horses of Spain or Portugal. This breed was popularized during Renaissance, when horse activities were more popular and equitation became more common among aristocrats. Horses that could move and look beautiful were desired by the nobles. The breed was beautiful and became a tool of diplomacy during the Elizabethan Age. The Hapsburg monarchs gave their Spanish horses to European kings as gifts.
Some notable stud farms in Spain were established during the Reconquista in the middle of the 1400’s. Carthusian monks from the Iberian peninsula were given the task of documenting and improving the horse breed’s lineage. One of the few people who could read and write was the Carthusians, a catholic religious order that was founded in 1011 AD. Their monastery housed the central breeding facility, which was essential for accurate record-keeping. Esclavo was the most well-known breed horse.
Two additional characteristics are unique to the Carthusian breed. These traits can be traced back to the foundation stallion Esclavo. First, there are warts under their tail, which Esclavo passed on to his offspring. Some breeders still consider this a necessary trait to prove that a horse is a descendant of the Esclavo bloodline. A second characteristic is the presence of “horns”, or frontal bosses. These are possible inherited traits from Asian ancestors. The bosses’ physical descriptions vary from calcium deposits at the temple to tiny horn-like protrusions near or behind your ear. These horn-bumps, however, are not proof of Esclavo descent like the tail warts.
The Andalusian was introduced to North America in 16th century by Spanish conquistadores who brought them over with them as breeding stock and war horses. Appaloosa and Mustang were heavily influenced by their bloodlines, as was the Morgan and Lipizzan. The Andalusians are descendants of a few horses that were bred by Carthusian monks.
The popularity of horses declined over time as lighter, smoother horses became more common for hunting and racing. The Andalusians were almost exterminated by plague and famine after World War II. The Spanish government had to ban export of the breed and it was lifted only in 1960. Today, Andalusians can be found in over sixty countries.
How do you identify an Andalusian horse
Andalusians are known for their beauty. They are between 15 and 16.2 hands high, with noble heads and gentle eyes. Their profile is straight or slightly convex, with a broad neck and well-developed crown. They are most commonly found with a gray coat, followed closely by a bay one, but they can also be found in other colors. Their tails and manes are always thick. They are energetic and strong with elastic and cadenced paces that show elevation, extension, collection. They are gentle, yet intelligent, and can adapt well to different situations and tasks.
Are Andalusians the most costly horses?
Andalusians are more expensive than other breeds, particularly if they have had show training. Each Andalusian horse represents PRE, Pura Raza Espanola. As such, the prices of horses are influenced by three factors. Typiness refers to a horse word that describes the ideal characteristics of a breed or variety. It is usually determined by the conformation of the horse and the quality of the movement. These are the qualities the PRE horse should display in the eyes Spanish judges at Concursos Morfologicos – the Conformation Shows of Pure Breed Spanish horses.
Show horses with good pedigrees and sharp minds are able to move with the style and grace expected from the breed. Young prospects will be more affordable than those who are ready to compete in the ring. However, training is expensive for juveniles. The PRE horse’s traditional movement is forward and upward, while their more pronounced knee action flutters hearts when they compete in International FEI dressage. This makes them even more desirable by equestrians around the world. Stallions, mares and youngstock with a good show record can sell for a high price. The rare chestnut-colored Andalusian horses of Andalusian origin are in high demand.
What do Andalusians do today?
Andalusians are great at eventing, dressage, show jumping and driving. They also excel in general riding. They are energetic, agile, and have a natural gait. Andalusians are the Royal Horse of Europe because of their dressage, an ancient discipline in equestrian. In 1667, the Duke of Newcastle wrote that the Andalusian was “the noblest horse and the most beautiful in the world.” He has great spirit, great courage, and docile. He has the proudest trot and highest action in his trot, and the highest gallop. He is also the most loving and gentlest horse and best suited for a king during his day of triumph.
Since their inception, PREs have been very successful on the international stage. Fuego XII, Juan Manuel Munoz and Fuego XII, both members of the Spanish dressage team at 2010 World Equestrian Games, Kentucky, were again placed 5th overall. They were joined by PREs Norte (and Gnidium)
Andalusians are more used in bullfighting than any other breed. Bullfighting is a Spanish product, and Andalusia is the region where it is practiced. The ceremony also includes Andalusians being ridden by the rejoneador throughout the event.
The horses’ temperaments and athletic abilities are displayed during the actual bullfight. While being charged at by a raging bull the horse must remain calm. Then, the horse’s lively gait will be taunted and the horse jumps free from the beast’s horns.
The Andalusian horse is a favorite for film roles due to its graceful beauty.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!