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Lineage and History of the Andalusian Horses

The Andalusian Horse is an ancient horse breed. The Andalusian Horse has lived on the Iberian Peninsula since beginning of times and is represented in cave paintings dating back 25,000 years. All purebred Andalusian Horses can be traced back directly to the studbooks of Spain and Portugal. The Iberian horse evolved in hilly rugged areas of the Iberian Peninsula. Fighting for survival and grazing over this rough terrain led to the development of a strong arched neck, and a short-coupled and powerful body with hind legs positioned well underneath the body providing strong hock action and impulsion. These attributes made the Andalusian Horse
extremely agile as well as forward moving.

Some researchers believe that these Andalusian horses were being ridden as early as 4,000-3,000 BC. When the Phoenicians arrived in Iberia in 2,000 BC and the Greeks in 1,000 BC, the Iberian Calvary was already a formidable foe. Even at this early date, the horse was also well known for its trusting, kind and brave disposition. These attributes of strength, natural collection, agility, impulsion and kind temperament are still characteristics possessed by the Andalusian Horse. Today the Andalusian Horse is one of the rarest breeds in U.S. and Canada, with 5,682 horses registered with the IALHA between the United States and Canada.

Andalusian Horse Characteristics

The Andalusian Horse is strongly built, yet elegant to look at. Typical Andalusian horse stands 15.2 to 16.2 hands. The head is of medium length, rectangular and lean, and in profile, is slightly convex or straight with a broad forehead and well-placed ears. It have large kind eyes. The neck is quite long, broad, and well-crested in stallions. The mane is thick and abundant. Well-defined withers precede a short back; the quarters are broad and strong. The croup is rounded and of medium length.(view Andalusian pictures)

The tail is usually abundant, long, set low and lies tightly against the body. Approximately 80% of Andalusian horses are white or some shades of gray, 15% are bay and less than 5% are black, dun or palomino. In the early days of the breed all colors were found including spotted. The Andalusian horse possesses a proud but docile temperament. The Andalusian horse is sensitive and particularly intelligent, responsive and cooperative, learning quickly and easily when treated with respect and care.

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