With its elegant trot and gentle gallop, Andalusian is a horse with a bright coat. The most common color is gray, but also the bay, the morello and the roan appear. Its origins date back to the fifteenth century. Bred by monks from the monasteries of Seville and Jerez, the breed was then influenced by crosses with the horses of the invading armies during Muslim rule.
The Andalusian horse has always held a prestigious position. For centuries it has been appreciated for its physical perfection. Nowadays in Spain the best specimens of this breed are used in bullfights. It is an excellent war horse because it is agile and powerful. It is nicknamed “the horse of the kings” because it is perfect for parades and for shooting real carriages. The modern Andalusian horse descends from the Frisian, discovered by the Romans when the empire pushed himself to the northern Atlantic coast of Europe. The Frisian was used for heavy work and his build was ungainly and heavy. At the time of the Crusades, it was then refined and lightened with Arab and Andalusian blood.
The Andalusian horse remained unknown to most for many years. He had almost risked extinction. For this reason the Spanish government, in 1964, withdrew the ban on exporting the Andalusian horse.
The Andalusian horse is rare. There are less than 20,000 of them all over the world. The peculiarities of this animal are strength and elegance. The neck is powerful and arched, the body robust and resistant. The character is similar to that of other war horses.
You should know that between 1500 and 1600 due to erroneous crossings the breed risked to disappear; only the specimens of the monasteries were saved.
Andalusian was widely used for military purposes, especially in the cavalry, and was soon introduced in the riding schools of the European courts.
Today it is used in bullfights and on the occasion of Spanish local holidays. He is very skilled in taming and jumping.
His athletic ability is spectacular and his versatility is unparalleled.
The head is perfectly sculpted, has a straight profile. The eyes are lively and deep and the look is gentle. The neck is elegant and arched, with a well-developed ridge of abundant length. It is usually presented with wavy hair and tail.
The back is strong and robust. Large legs and flexible joints. Gray predominates and black is very rare. Other colors include chestnut tones.
Data to remember
As for the origins of the Andalusian horse, it must be said that it is one of the oldest breeds. In the Andalusia region there are cave paintings dating back to 2500 years ago that portray this animal. Even if you are not totally sure about the origin of the breed, experts believe that it is the result of the cross between native breeds and others coming from Africa and brought by the Arabs.
Objects and archaeological remains of Romanesque art, 206 BC, have also been discovered, depicting the Andalusian horse in all its glory.
The conquistadors brought the Andalusian horse to the Americas. Later, during the Middle Ages, the monks took care of raising this valuable breed.
The French aristocrats were fascinated by these horses. There are portraits of Francesco I or Luigi XVi that depict the monarchs in the company of Andalusian horses. Even the English nobles yielded to the charm of this breed. Henry VIII was often portrayed with an example of an Andalusian horse. As we have said before, Andalusian is the “horse of kings”.
We talked about the virtues of the Andalusian horse, but do you know that thanks to his athletic skills he is also conquering other countries? Especially the United States. In this country the Andalusian participates in taming, jumping and training competitions.
We talked about the virtues of Andalusian as a war horse. Nowadays he shows his courage on the occasion of bullfights, when he is forced to fight against a bull.
In the United States, the Andalusian horse is very famous and loved for its learning skills. In fact it can be trained without particular difficulties.