Breed Report: Andalucian

The Andalucian was, for centuries, known as the Spanish horse.  He was a much admired and coveted animal, taken as a spoil of war and used in many countries to improve the native stock.  Spanish Horses were the foundation stock for many American breeds, having been taken to the Americas by the conquistadores in the 16th century.


ORIGIN:  Spain

ENVIRONMENT:  Desert, semi-desert, and open habitat including grassland, moor and heath

USES:  Riding, sports, carriage work and ranch work

HEIGHT:  15.0 to 15.2 hh (60 to 62 in)

COLORS:  Gray or bay



The Andalucian originated in southern Spain and most likely evolved through crossing North African Barbs with native pony stock (possibly Sorraia Ponies).  Before the last Ice Age, there was a land bridge (now the Straits of Gibraltar) between North Africa and Spain, which would have made this possible.  During many turbulent periods of war, the Andalucian owed its survival to the monasteries.  The Carthusian monks of Jerez were particularly conscientious about maintaining the best bloodlines.



The Andalucian is a handsome, proud breed, which, although not overly tall, is compact and muscular.  They have great spirit and courage, but are also gentle and exceptionally trainable.  The big, lofty paces and the powerful hindquarters with particularly flexible hocks make the breed adept at High School work.  They are also used for bullfighting.

If I had a horse like this I would name her Treasure.



Gray is the predominant color of the breed, and the horses always have a particularly luxuriant, and often wavy, mane and tail.

Debby Sly: Encyclopedia of Horses.  Bath, UK 2008, p. 180


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