Adopting a dressage horse requires building an intimate connection. These gentle creatures possess both intelligence and emotion – the kind needed for optimal performance in dressage riding. Quick learners, they quickly grasp set chores while remaining patient throughout.
The center strives to improve horse treatment in Spain by aiding with cruelty cases and horse rescue/rehabilitation operations.
Considered the crown jewels of horse breeds, Andalusians have long been revered for their beauty, intelligence and athleticism. Riding these noble horses was once restricted to only royalty or warriors – even bullfighters! For centuries these gentle animals have been popular among kings, warriors and bullfighters; thanks to their calm temperaments they make great riding mounts but are equally well suited to dressage training.
Andalusians make an ideal first horse choice, being relatively straightforward and straightforward to train. Their intelligent personalities and spirit ensure they remain calm under pressure – be it an angry bull or screaming crowd at an equestrian event – thanks to generations of training them for challenging environments.
Like all horses, Andalusians can suffer from health issues like reduced small intestinal blood flow and laminitis, inguinal hernias and melanomas (benign but common masses), although these conditions tend to respond well when kept at an ideal weight with proper diet and care. Furthermore, their high sensitivity to pain renders them particularly susceptible to physical injuries than many other breeds of horse.
Galician horses are short, sturdy mountain breeds found living semi-wild on the slopes of northwest Spain. These sturdy mountain breeds have proven useful both as work horses and riders on mountainous terrain, thanks to their sure footedness. Belonging to an extended family that ranges from the Atlantic coast of Scotland down through Portugal as far as Portugal itself; sharing an ancestry with Portuguese Garrano horses, Spanish Asturcons, Bardigiano Ponies from Italy as well as Dartmoor Exmoor Welsh Mountain Fell ponies from Great Britain among many other breeds.
Annually, Galician residents gather their wild horses into a village located high in the mountains for branding, cutting their manes short and deworming; often selling off tails and manes to be used in mattresses or shoulder pads.
Though these ranchers acknowledge concerns over animal welfare, they remain determined to preserve their traditions. According to them, animal activists misunderstand their goal, while strict government regulations do little to protect animals. Furthermore, they dispute allegations of mistreatment toward their animals, asserting instead that they provide them with the best care available – their meat being amongst the healthiest available anywhere on Earth.
The Hispano-Arabe was developed as a hybrid breed in 18th century Andalusia. Combining agility, strength and endurance of an Andalusian with endurance and speed of an Arabian horse makes this breed perfect for herding cattle on Spanish ranches and working doma vaquera in mountains or countryside environments.
Hispano-Arabe horses feature an attractive, harmonious appearance. Highly trainable and rideable horses, Hispano-Arabe horses excel at most equestrian disciplines such as show jumping, dressage, cross country racing, endurance riding and TREC competitions. Furthermore, these versatile animals can also serve herding, doma vaquera work as well as trekking or group sports activities.
Hispano-Arabes in the UK must be registered both with BAPSH Ltd and UEGHa, the national Hispano-Arab Studbook in Spain, for compliance reasons. All UK born foals must first be entered into an official UK Stud Book before entering one for European registration.
Although not among Spain’s more well-known horse breeds, Losino remains an uncommon and valuable equine. Characterized by a sturdy build, docile temperament, strong lungs and the ability to endure heavy workloads while remaining semi-feral environments, Losinos make ideal candidates for herding or farming work.
The Losino is closely related to other Castilian breeds and has roamed Spain’s mountainous and rocky landscape for millennia, so their physical characteristics have developed naturally over time. These dogs are known for their strength and sure-footedness.
Losino horses have seen their numbers dramatically diminish since the 1980s due to farming mechanization and crossbreeding with large donkey stallions, leading them to be classified as endangered species in nature. Today, Losino horses remain rare and beautiful breeds listed as threatened or endangered species in nature.
Menorquin horses hailing from Mallorca are known for their intelligence, sure-footedness, and calm temperament – qualities which make them popular with dressage riders as well as show jumpers and eventers.
Mallorquin horses are medium-height breeds characterized by thick bodies and refined bone structures, often sporting black coats with small white facial markings and no white leg markings. Although beautiful and strong horses, only about 200 remain today.
The Marismeno is an endangered Spanish breed renowned for its primitive characteristics such as work ethic, intelligence, courage and hardiness. These horses often inhabit feral herds but can also be domesticated for riding and meat production – typically standing 14-15 hands in height with sleek yet sporty builds.