Known for their beauty, intelligence, sensitivity and athleticism, Andalusians are the perfect partner for the rider. They are strong, compact horses with long, thick manes and tails that come in a range of colors, from gray to chestnut, ebony or white. Their heads are distinctively arched and their movements elegant and lofty. Throughout history they have been used in military service, as bullfighting mounts and as stock horses, but they are today mainly bred for classical dressage, equestrian sports and other equestrian activities.
They have a lot of natural talent and are eager to please their riders. However, if they are not properly trained and conditioned they can suffer from a variety of health issues, including fetlock injuries and hock problems. This is particularly true for young horses, who are not yet mature enough to perform demanding exercises, such as advanced collection and turns on the haunches. In addition, Andalusian horses tend to be a bit hot-blooded and have a tendency to become overexcited in new situations. These factors should be taken into account when planning a training program for your PRE horse.
One of the most popular ways to see and learn more about these magnificent creatures is to visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, which is situated in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The school is renowned for its equestrian shows, which are not only beautiful and entertaining but also help preserve traditional Spanish baroque horsemanship and promote Andalusian heritage and culture.
The school has been in existence for over 100 years and is dedicated to preserving the ancestral abilities of the Andalusian, training Haute Ecole riders and maintaining classical traditions of Spanish baroque horsemanship. The school is also well-known for its impressive dressage performances, which feature Andalusian horses dancing to traditional music and 18th century costumes.
Another popular way to get a closer look at these horses is to visit their breeding facilities. Located around the country, these farms are home to many Andalusian mares and stallions. They are also responsible for the training of these horses and preparing them for competitions. Some of the best studs are available for breeding purposes, and they can be purchased by private individuals as well as equestrian schools and organizations.
In the past, Andalusians were bred on stud farms at several Roman Catholic charterhouses (Carthusian monasteries) in Andalusia. The stallion population was carefully managed to ensure the quality of the breed and to prevent extinction. These days, Andalusians are bred on a more diversified basis and in many different locations.
While the purebred Andalusian is distinct from the broader group of Spanish horses, it has been a powerful influence on other breeds. Many European warmbloods have Andalusian ancestry, as do some Western hemisphere breeds. In addition, Andalusian bloodlines have been used in the development of other breeds in North America and Australia. The breed is closely related to the Lusitano of Portugal.