Andalusian Breed Profile
|Height||15.2-16.2 hand (15-16 inch; 155-165 cm)|
|Head||Straight, broad forehead|
|Colors||Gray, dun, bay, black|
|Temperament||Spirited, sensitive, gentle, obedient|
|Gait||Elegant, flowing, smooth|
|Bred since||15th century|
|Suitable for||Dressage, show jumping, leisure, classical dressage|
The High-Spirited Spanish Horse
When you look into the friendly big eyes of an Andalusian and see the mane on its neck flowing in the warm summer wind, you can quickly lose your heart. The Andalusian is a spirited and also very graceful and sensitive horse. It is often being called the “perfect” horse.
History: Noble Influence on Other Breeds
The Andalusian originates from Iberian horses and has been bred since the 15th century by Carthusian monks. The Spanish royal family and rich aristocrats were so enchanted by the horses that they supported the monks. Even though the fiery horses look slightly similar to the Arabians, both species have never been cross-bred. Yet, the Andalusian had great influence on other breeds such as the Hannoverian, the Holstein horse, the Knabstruper and specifically the Lipizzan.
Character: for Beginners and Show-Jumpers
The Andalusian is high-spirited, but also very gentle and reliable. Many show-jumpers appreciate the Andalusian because it is eager to learn and obedient. It is also perfectly suited for fearful novice riders.
Abilities: Piaffe and Jumps
When you think about classical dressage, the Lipizzans come to mind instantly. But they are not the only breed that is so skilled in this respect. The Andalusian shows great elegance when performing the piaffe, canter-pirouette, capriole etc. Piaffe indicates trotting without moving forward, during the pirouette the horse performs a circle, and a capriole is a jump in the air.
Where Does the Name Come From?
Andalusia is a region in the south of Spain, in which the Andalusian was mainly bred – hence the name. Specifically beautiful, healthy and talented animals listed in the stud book have the privilege to be named “Pura razza espanola” (PRE, pure Spanish breed). But generally, both breeds are simply called Andalusians.
Breeding: Strict Rules
In Spain only those stallions and mares of the PRE breed that have passed a specific test are registered in the stud book. This test is called breed survey and includes checking the physique, movements and character of the horse.
Did You Know?
Andalusians are very popular with film directors and producers. For instance they enacted Shadowfax in Lord of the Rings, Peter Pevensie’s unicorn in The Chronicles of Narnia and the unicorns in the movie “Legend”.