Photographs © Amandalusian Farm
History of the Andalusian & Lusitano
Andalusian and Lusitano horses are among the world’s most ancient horse breeds, with a history dating back more than 25,000 years. The breeds’ ancestors are the Iberian (Spanish) horse and the Barb horse, which was brought to Spain by invading Moors from Northern Africa.
Originating from the Iberian Peninsula (what is now Spain and Portugal), Andalusians and Lusitanos have been admired since early Roman times for their beauty, courage and athleticism. They proved their value as versatile war horses throughout the ages, and also gained popularity as treasured mounts for European nobility during times of peace.
In Spain the horses are known as Andalusians (or Pura Raza Espanola –PRE) and in Portugal as Lusitanos.
The Andalusian and Lusitano breeds are strong but elegant horses that often exhibit medium to high knee action. They are typically 15.2 to 16.2 hands, although some are shorter or taller. The head is of medium length, the profile is slightly convex or straight, and the eyes are almond shaped. The neck is reasonably long, broad, and elegant with a definite crest shape in stallions. The manes and tails are often very thick and luxurious. The withers are well defined, the back is short, and the quarters are broad and strong, with a rounded croup. The tail is set low and lies close against the body. About 80 percent of Andalusians and Lusitanos are gray or white, 15 percent are bay, and 5 percent are black, chestnut, palomino or buckskin.
Andalusians & Lusitanos Today
The same qualities that made Andalusians and Lusitanos superb war horses and favorites of the classical riding masters – impulsion, natural collection, agility and willing temperaments – are now valuable assets for riders of all disciplines and levels of experience. Still considered rare in the United States, these horses are renowned for their intelligence and lightness under saddle, and now compete successfully in many different equestrian disciplines with both amateur and professional riders. Andalusians and Lusitanos are very friendly and are also known for forming strong bonds with their humans, making them popular family and pleasure horses.
In the U.S. today, Andalusians and Lusitanos are used for dressage, jumping, English pleasure, driving, Western pleasure, trail, reining, working equitation and other disciplines.
The International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA) is the official breed registry for Andalusians and Lusitanos in the United States. It is recognized by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. All purebred horses registered with IALHA must be able to trace their lineage directly to Spain or Portugal or both.
For additional information contact:
International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association
22 Inverness Center Parkway #155
Birmingham, AL 35242