Ride Around the World Horse: The Andalusian of Spain
In the spirit of this year's Ridefest theme, "Ride Around the World," we're going to explore a horse breed from across the world each week.
Environment: Hot temperate
Origin: Pre-Ice Age
Colors: Bay, Gray
The modern Andalusian is the descendant of the Spanish Horse which, along with the Arabian and the Barb, has exerted the greatest influence on the world horse population. Until the 19th century, the Spanish Horse as the first horse of Europe, and the one on which the classical equitation of the Renaissance schools was based. The Spanish Riding School of Vienna was named after the Spanish horses used there, and the famous white Lipizzaners derive directly from horses exported from Spain to Lipica (in Slovenia) during the 16th century. The Spanish Horse was a major influence on almost every breed and is the foundation for most American stock.
Breeding: Andalusian breeding is centered on Jerez de la Frontera, Cordoba, and Seville, where it was preserved by the Carthusian monasteries. The Spanish Horse may have derived from a mix of the indigenous Sorraia stock, with its Tarpan connection, and the Barb horses of the Berber invaders from North Africa.
Characteristics: The Andalusian is a horse of great presence, and although not fast, it is agile and athletic. It has a noble head, with a characteristic hawklike profile, and the mane and tail are long, luxuriant, and frequently wavy.
Edwards, Elwyn Hartley; Langrish, Bob (PHT). “Andalusian.” Smithsonian Handbooks Horses, Dk Pub., pp. 166-167.