Since ancient times, the Spanish horse breeds have been among the most appreciated and requested. The Iberian country has given birth too many equine varieties, often famous, as in the case of the Andalusian thorough breeds. But, still today, there are a number of very interesting horses that are worth knowing better. If you love horses and are interested in discovering the best breeds born in Spain, don’t miss this article.
Spanish horse breeds to discover
As we anticipated, the Andalusian horse is certainly one of the most popular breeds in the world. Of ancient origins, it is the Spanish animal par excellence. Over the centuries it has been used to create new races, both in Europe and in America.
During the Umayyad caliphate, around the year 700, the conservation of the equine quality was taken into consideration and the famous breeding of the Cordova court was created. This allowed us to develop this very high quality and characteristic variety of the region of Andalusia, in the south of Spain.
Given this circumstance, in subsequent kingdoms, especially under that of King Felipe II, the project was expanded and continued, further improving the Spanish race. Obviously, they also tried to develop new varieties and breeds, to meet the contingent needs of farmers, traders and the military.
However, the best stallions and the most prosperous mares were grouped to give rise to what is now known as the Andalusian horse or PRE (Pura Razza Spagnola), one of the main Spanish horse breeds.
Characteristics of Spanish Thoroughbred (PRE)
Let’s see briefly what are the qualities that distinguish this beloved animal all over the world …
- It is an intelligent and elegant horse.
- It is excellent for both jumping and dressage activities.
- It has a wither height of about 155-165 centimeters.
- It has a medium sized head.
- The neck is arched, robust and with a long mane.
- The chest is broad.
- The proportions are very balanced.
The obedience, its docility and its characteristics make it ideal as a riding horse, also with regard to dressage competitions. It grows and is bred throughout the Spanish territory and many of the races that tread our planet today, possess much of the genetic inheritance of this sumptuous horse.
Main breeds of Spanish horses
Also called Asturian pony, it is considered easy to assemble, since it is a small-sized rustic breed, with an average height of 120 centimeters. This specimen lives in the mountainous areas from the region of Cantabria up to the western Pyrenees. It is a very ancient breed.
It is a cross of the already mentioned Andalusian with Breton, a mighty French race. Originally used to perform agricultural work, today it is an animal used to perform various tasks, even in fire control operations.
As the name suggests, it is the result of the crossing of the Spanish thoroughbred horse with the Arab one. About 160 cm tall at the withers, it has a loyal and courageous character. It has a marked intelligence and is very similar to Andalusian. It is used with bulls and can be bay, gray and chestnut.
This breed of Spanish horse, preserved throughout history, is characteristic of Minorca. Black in color, it has an obedient and noble character, characteristics that make it perfect for riding activities. It can also be used in agricultural work and in dressage.
The horse of Losino is a native Castilian breed from Burgos, from the Valle de Losa. It is used to bring children closer to riding and for horseback riding in rural and mountain areas.
It is one of the oldest breeds in Europe, considered one of the three types of indigenous horses on the peninsula. It is a small horse, rustic and at the same time elegant, which is currently considered in danger of extinction.
Purebred of Galicia
Recognized as the only native Galician breed, it lives in green mountain areas and is concentrated between Pontevedra and Lugo. Morphologically it is classified as a small horse or pony, because it has a height at the withers of 120/140 cm.
Known as an excellent domestic horse, it has a docile temperament and is suitable for competitions, equestrian courses or for pet therapy with horses.
As the name suggests, it is a native horse in Navarre, in northern Spain. Currently, only 400 copies of this nice quadruped remain. It measures a maximum of 147 cm at the withers and was initially used as a light draft horse: today it is used for infant horse racing.
Horse originating from the eastern Cantabrian Mountain. It is a wild or semi-wild breed that grows freely and in a vast zootechnical regime.
It is said that, since ancient times, this animal has lived in the mountains of Cantabria, moving in herds to reach the highest areas of the Basque Country.
The color of the coat is black. This horse is characterized by being resistant, docile and fast. This makes it suitable for walking, hunting, jumping and mountain trails.
It is a breed from the Balearic Islands, in particular from Mallorca. It is used for work in the countryside and for horse riding. It has a black coat, a short neck and a calm temperament.
This is a native breed of Doñana, in Andalusia, and it is a domesticated wild horse which, however, is now in danger of extinction. Like most Spanish horses, it has rounded shapes, an arched neck and a lowered tail. It possesses great qualities of worker, adapts to any condition and is very resistant.
Now you know a little better about the characteristics of the best Spanish horse breeds. Whether they are native, pure or the result of crossbreeding, these horses are truly amazing animals and, above all, with a very ancient history behind them.