Andalusian Horse Profile: A Brilliant & Influential Breed

Published April 7, 2021
Two grey Andalusian stallions

The Andalusian or Andalucian is a type of 'light horse' from Spain primarily used for riding or driving. This horse is not large but has a commanding presence. Monks preserved the purest strain of the Andalucian and selectively bred this horse with the best lines.

Andalusian Horse Overview

In 1912, the Spanish Breeder's Association replaced the name Andalucian with "Pura Raza Espanola," or pure Spanish breed. The same horse may be called Spanish, Carthusian, Lusitano, Alter Real, Peninsular, and Zapatero. This horse was Europe's premier breed in the nineteenth century, and the Andalusian inspired the name for the Riding School of Vienna. This horse is known as feisty, courageous, obedient, and intelligent.

Origin and History

Spanish horses have had the most significant influence on the development of all modern horse breeds. This horse originated in Andalucia, Spain, and evolved from a mix of indigenous Sorraia stock and Barb horses.

Size and Weight

A horse's size is measured in hands or "hh." The head of the Andalusian displays the breed's North African ancestry.

  • Height at the withers: The Andalucian horse is 15 to 17hh at the withers.
  • Weight: This light horse weighs between 900 and 1,100 pounds.

Andalusian Horse Colors

Half of the Andalucian horses are grey, and the rest are different shades of a bay or black. There are a few different colors and shades available for horse lovers.

  • Gray
  • Bay
  • White
  • Various shades of black
  • Chestnut
Bay Purebred Andalusian horse playing on sand

Andalusian Horse Facts

In Spain, Andalusians work cattle, drive carriages, and act as mounts in the bullring. The infamous El Cid, Spain's national hero, is immortalized in equestrian statues astride his Spanish Andalusian stallion.

The Andalusian Is a Desirable Riding Horse

This horse's paces are lofty and spectacular. The Andalusian is well-balanced, supple, and agile. He is a high-quality riding horse with a natural ability for dressage.

Carthusian Cousin

The 'purest strain' of Andalucian is the Carthusian, and this horse commands a high price. The line dates to the eighteenth century and a stallion called El Soldado. A study in 2005 confirms there is no sizeable genetic difference between the Andalucian and the Carthusian Andalucian.

Notable Features Of Lighter Horses

These lighter horses range from the fast-moving Arab and smooth-gaited breeds. Light horses vary significantly in their conformation, and many have long limbs compared to their lightweight bodies.

Large Animal Vet Consult

Seeing a large animal or equine vet is an essential step if you are interested in lighter horses for your pasture. An equine vet may examine the horse breed and recommend if the animal is in top condition and healthy. Large animal vets vaccinate against disease, treat horses when they are sick with colic and lameness. It is essential to visit with your equine vet if you notice he is not drinking or eating, as these are signs there may be a problem.

Andalusian Lifespan

The Andalusian horse lives for approximately 25 years. Owning a horse is a lifetime commitment! Horses live a long time, and a few regular visits each year from the equine vet may ensure your horse stays healthy and happy.

Andalusian Horse Resources

The best resources for any horse lover looking for information about lighter horses or the Andalusian are breed clubs or an organization in the Spanish region.

The Andalusian Is a Light Horse

Lighter horses like the Andalusian are the product of years of careful breeding. This horse is also known as the 'Spanish Horse' and for his distinguished appearance. The Andalusian horse is feisty, energetic, and obedient. Horse lovers interested in this specific equine must do research and reach out to a horse club for details.

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Andalusian Horse Profile: A Brilliant & Influential Breed