As we can deduce from their name, Andalusian horses come from Andalusia, where they originated thousands of years ago. This makes them one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. In Spain they are known as Spanish horses or Spanish thoroughbreds, but in the rest of the world they are known as “Andalusian horse”. It is the most emblematic horse breed in the country, despite the fact that there are other breeds originating in Spain. Do you want to know the Andalusian horse? We talk to you in detail about this famous equine breed.
Origin of the Andalusian equine breed
Andalusian horses are direct descendants of Iberian horses, endemic to the Spanish territory. They are horses with more than 20,000 years of history. They already existed at the end of the Neolithic Age, when they began to be domesticated and ridden by warriors and nomadic tribes.
During Roman times, these horses were highly valued, participating in Roman circuses and making numerous crosses with other equine breeds of which they are precursors. Some of these breeds are currently well known and recognized throughout the world. They include the Mustang, the Hispano-Arab or the Friesian horse. But to preserve the purity of the breed, from the 12th to the 19th century it was forbidden to cross Andalusian horses with other breeds of horses. The nobles who valued this breed of horse so highly wanted only the “purest” specimens.
During the 18th century, due to the popularity of horse racing, the breed suffered a slight decline. This was because lighter horses were preferred, and the Spanish thoroughbred horse was very robust. In 1912 the first organization where these thoroughbreds could be registered was opened. Finally, in 1972 the National Association of Spanish Horse Breeders (ANCEE) of Seville was established as an official body.
Physical characteristics of the Andalusian horse
Andalusian horses are medium-sized horses with a height between 155 and 175 cm and a weight of between 400 and 650 kg. These horses have a life expectancy of between 20 and 35 years. The body of these horses is muscular, elegant and proportionate. His chest is broad, his neck is solid, and his back is broad and relatively short. The legs are long and very muscular. Its tail is long and thick, like its elegant mane, and its bearing is relatively low.
The head is medium in size, proportional to the rest of the body. Their medium-sized triangular ears are particularly mobile, which makes them very expressive in terms of the horse’s body language. As for the coat, it can be presented in different colors, although the most common is to find them in dark tones.
Character and behavior of the Andalusian horse
Andalusian horses can be relatively impetuous horses with their own strong character. However, they are relatively easy to tame, as they are docile and obedient if you work with them. Of course, you should also have a lot of patience and respect when dealing with them. Additionally, this breed can be a great breed of dressage horse due to its great propensity for learning and sharp intelligence.
They are also very brave and daring horses. They are strong and resistant to the high temperatures present in Andalusian summers. It also highlights its ability to recover quickly after expending a lot of energy. A well-trained Andalusian horse has a very balanced character.