Find out more about the Andalusian Spanish horse – probably the most famous Spanish horse breed.
The Andalusian horse, or Purebred Spanish horse, is one of the most famous horse breeds in world. Many European breeds, as well as American breeds, were derived from the Andalusian bloodline such as the Hispanic-Arabian, Hispanic Breton, Friesian, Lipizzan, Kladruber, Criollo, Paso Fino, Peruvian, Mustangs, Alter Real, and Lusitano horse breeds.
Their intelligence as well as their nobility has made these horses extremely popular in the world of equestrianism. They are ideal horses for different types of dressage training and styles. Andalusian horses generally stand between 62-66 inches, or 155-165 cm tall, with strong arched necks and long manes, heads of medium length with straight or slightly convex profiles and eyes that are alive and intelligent (that many say resemble a falcon). For all these reasons they are considered to have a harmonious shape with perfect proportions.
Ever since the Roman Empire, the Spanish purebred horses have been cherished and adored. They were used in Roman circuses in the Roman province of Bética in southern Spain. In the Middle Ages, Abd al-Rahman III, caliph of Córdoba, and Almanzor were famous for their Andalusian horses and feared Berber horsemen. The origin of the Purebred Spanish breed dates back to the XVI century, when Don Diego López de Haro and Sotomayor, ordered by Felipe II, united the best mares and studs of Guadalquivir and created what is known as the Royal Stables of Córdoba.
From this moment forward, the famous Spanish horse breed has pushed boundaries and limits and has become an integral part of European nobility. These purebreds even made their mark in faraway lands such as the Americas through the vast expansion of the Spanish Empire.
Nowadays, the Andalusian horse is bred all around the world, although Spain is still the main global breeding center. They are still raised in very traditional ways; the mares live in herds in a semi-free state and are neither ridden nor tamed. When they are bred, some of the colts are sold as soon as they have been weaned, while others stay with the herd for 3 years until they can be tamed.
Traditionally, an Andalusian colt will receive its mother's name in masculine form. Basically, if the mare's name is “Garbosa” her colt will be called “Garboso”. Foals born will be given names that start with the same letter as their mother and later their future offspring will follow the same tradition.
An interesting fact about Andalusian Spanish horses is that they have often been protagonists in the film world; appearing as unicorns in: Legend, by Ridley Scott, and as horses in the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings. Mel Gibson even rode the famous Spanish horse called Jardinero X for his role in Braveheart.
You can enjoy the unforgettable experience of watching these magnificent animals in Salamancan meadows or Andalusian pastures any time of the year in Spain.