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With royal good looks and a commanding presence, the Andalusian horse breed is a steed like no other. Learn more Andalusian horse facts in this article. This pure Spanish horse will stun you with its graceful beauty.
The Andalusian is also known as the Pura Raza Española, which means "Pure Spanish Breed." Its actual origin is unknown; scholars believe it originated in the Iberian Peninsula. Drawings of this noble creature adorn Cro-Magnon cave walls, dating back thirty thousand years.
The Andalusian's story goes hand and hand with historic conquerors of empires in 710 A.D. The Moorish treasured it as a warhorse, as did Hannibal from the Roman Empire. As a descendant of the valued Spanish Horse, nobles considered it in the Renaissance, as a sign of status.
But did you know there's more?
Any owner will tell you that the allure of an Andalusian goes deeper than its breed's past. Indeed, there's more to this horse, like layered petals in blossom. Even with this breed's reputation, there may be some little-known details that you didn't know.
The Andalusian almost comes with its own mythos. Here are some interesting horse facts with hidden gems about this fabled breed.
Yes, Mr. 5-time Oscar winner himself. After all, his classic "spaghetti westerns" were filmed in Spain's deserts to recreate the romanticized Old West. When you think about it, it only makes sense.
It's fitting that tall, rugged, and brooding Clint would ride into town from over the horizon on an Andalusian. Spanish breeds, including the Andalusian, were common mounts at the time. In fact, they're responsible for much of the pioneering of the New World.
Eastwood rode an Andalusian in several movies, such as Pale Rider and High Plains Drifter. Although, it's a poetic irony that Eastwood happens to be allergic to horses.
Andalusians were warhorses in history, especially in Spain. They were first the result of selective breeding by breeders and cattle ranchers. But soon, the Andalusian's versatility and beauty caught the attention of cavalrymen.
They were impressed with its blend of intelligence with litheness, everything they looked for in a horse on the battlefield. Andalusians were prominent warhorses for the earliest empires.
They're suspected to be part of the ancient Spartan's success in the Peloponnesian War in Athens. The formidable Carthaginian forces found them indispensable. Moorish conquerors found them more ideal than their Arabian counterparts. Even Roman troops and the Crusaders of France used them.
Remember from earlier about the Andalusian's help in exploring the New World? That credit goes to Queen Isabella; for donating horses to Hernando Cortés' campaign to occupy Mexico.
Although little is known why, the exportation of Andalusians from Spain was Prohibido once. It's possible that the reason for this was an attempt to conserve the breed.
Because of their use in warfare during the 19th century, the population suffered a perilous decline. Most of which was due to disease and crossbreeding. But today, the Andalusian population stays steady, thanks to careful and responsible breeders.
There's a legend that comes with the Andalusian bloodline. It's said that during the days of the Andalusian's career in warfare, there's the story of the "
This gene is the supposed purest strain of the Andalusian. Wide varieties of the story suggest this sub-strain within the breed that was saved from being lost forever by
The story takes place in 15th-century Spain. The Spanish military decreed all people to crossbreed their pure-blooded Andalusians for the war effort. This was because they wanted horses strong enough to wear armor as well as carry troops.
The knight, Don Álvaro Obertos de Valeto, helped a small family of breeders to secret away their best horses to a monastery in Cartujana. For the next 400 years, the monks oversaw the continuation of the breed. It's said they even had thorough record keeping and kept the bloodline pure.
Though many versions of the story endure, there's no actual evidence of such a sub-strain existing.
Alas, the Andalusian, Shakespeare knew them well, Horatio. It's true; the Andalusian was a subject of fascination for poets and artists. During the Renaissance period, the Andalusian was enjoyed as a dressage horse.
But, it was also proved to be a remarkable hunting horse. With its intelligence coupled with its beauty and vitality, it gained the affection of famous writers. Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare loved this horse's natural prowess.
It's a common tradition among owners in Spain to give their horses ironic names. Andalusia owners especially enjoy this custom because the breed's reputation adds to the humor.
Horses that are more agile are thus named, Perezoso (Slowpoke), or if they're alert, Sonõliento (Sleepy). Andalusian owners tend to like this light-hearted practice, and it has started to become popular in the U.S.
Another charming myth connected to this breed is between breeders. It's believed the markings on its coat are signs of the horse's traits and personality. The best way to think of it is as an art of palm reading for horses.
Certain facial patterns on Andalusians are said to predict their temperament. A cowlick or whorl in a certain place can allude to good luck. Though there's no evidence of this being true, it's still a fun belief among owners.
The Andalusian horse originated in the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Spain. Historians believe the breed descended from Spanish Barb horses that were brought to Spain by the Moors during the 8th century. Over time, the Barb horses were bred with native Spanish horses, resulting in the modern Andalusian breed.
Andalusian horses were highly prized by nobility and used in wars, bullfighting, and dressage. In fact, they were so revered that the Spanish crown gave private owners and breeders special privileges. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Andalusian horses spread throughout Europe and strongly influenced other breeds.
Today, the Andalusian horse is known for its beauty, intelligence, and athleticism. Andalusians have a distinct appearance with their arched neck, muscular build, and flowing mane and tail.
Their coat is usually gray, bay, or black. They are versatile and excel in various disciplines like dressage, jumping, driving, and western riding.
If you're looking for an elegant yet hardy horse, the Andalusian may be the perfect breed for you. They have an illustrious history and the stamina and talent to participate in a wide range of activities.
However, Andalusians require experienced owners and constant attention. Simply reading some beginner-level horse training books may not be enough. But for many equestrians, the rewards of owning such a noble and willing animal make the effort worthwhile.
Want to show more of your love for this animal? Check out our awesome collection of cute horse clothes made especially for the equine fan!
No, the Andalusian horse is not gaited. They have a smooth trot, but they do not naturally perform ambling gaits like the Paso Fino. Andalusians are bred primarily for dressage, where a rhythmic, cadenced trot is preferred.
Andalusian horses are not cheap. Prices for Andalusians can range from $10,000 up to $100,000 or more for a top-quality, pedigreed horse. The specific price will depend on factors like:
Bloodlines and breeding. Horses from champion bloodlines with a strong dressage pedigree will command a higher price.
Training and experience. An Andalusian that has been professionally trained in dressage and has show experience will cost significantly more.
Age and gender. Young, breeding-age mares and geldings are often the most expensive.
While horse adoption is still a thing, there remain still the costs for their maintenance (which is nothing to sniff at either!).
Andalusian horses are classified as light horses but are on the larger end of the spectrum. The average height of a mature Andalusian is between 15 to 16.2 hands (60 to 66 inches) at the withers.
Some individuals may reach up to 17 hands. Andalusians are compact yet elegant horses with a proud carriage, arched neck, and flowing mane and tail. Their height gives them a commanding presence combined with athleticism.
The Andalusian horse is a magnificent breed with a long and storied history. Whether you're curious to learn more about these noble steeds or seriously interested in owning one, understanding their characteristics, qualities, and care requirements is important.