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Breed All About It - The Spanish Horse
 By Artista   •   16th Jan 2011   •   3,124 views   •   5 comments
Andalusian stallionFor one reason or another, we all have a passion for horses. Whether it's the childhood days we hearken back to – simpler times with ponies and fields of sweet grass – or the dreams of representing our country in a game of Olympic champions, horses fill the void. They help so many people, from those suffering from crippling mental and physical illnesses, to troubled youth integrating to society by way of working with horses.

But do we ever take a moment to step back to the historical horse, and reexamine how today's top horses came to be? More often than not, it was a mixed pedigree of hardy mountain ponies, the prized and heated Arabian stallions of the desert, and strong, lean mares that were long-since the mounts of classical warriors. In short: the history of todays horse is largely courtesy of a little place called the Iberian Peninsula.

Horses have been recorded living on the Iberian Peninsula, via cave paintings and drawings, as early as 30,000BCE. By the 1300's, Spanish Horses were beginning to make headway as prominent warhorses, and by the 1500's, the best of the best in Spanish Studs were established. These horses were status symbols. They were crowd control. They were the center of diplomacy in the kingdoms of old, where wars were won on the backs of horses, and not by the power of computers. Writings and paintings featuring these ancient animals have perpetuated into todays “ideal horse” in pervasive ways.

When people picture the horse – they have this picture of majesty, and perfection. This image comes largely from the Spanish influence these horses had. Dark steel grey coats, and long flowing manes, with an imposing roman nasal bridge and proud, uphill movement. They were the quintessential warhorse, and today, are still the crowning jewel of breeding facilities around the world.

If you've got a little over $20,000.00 to shell out, you might have the option to own one of these animals in your lifetime. The well-mannered Andalusian stallion can fetch prices well above 6-digit quo, and horses that make the PRE (Pura Raza Espanol) studbook can often exceed this range manyfold.

Many of the horse breeds we admire today come in some form, from these magnificent animals. The Friesian horse being a bulked-up version with Andalusian blood centuries back, and the Warlander being a current cross of Friesian/Andalusian blood. The Lusitano is a descendant of Andalusian with only a few gaps in pedigree (which has since established it's own breed) and even the precious Hanoverian's and Oldenburg's that dominate todays Olympic games have Andalusian blood which shaped the face of the breed as we know it.

Almost every horse breed today has been influenced by the Andalusian, from the Quarter Horse to the Lipizzaner to the Alter Real and the Knabstrup (and back again!) So show them some love – you're staring at a piece of modern history, and a man-perfected treasure far greater than Super Nintendo will ever compare to.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Artista
Eire  
From the Andalusian the Mustang Into the Andalusian the Arabian.
  Jan 16, 2011  •  2,309 views
 
weezapony  
Love these horses! I've never had the opportunity to ride one, but they're gorgeous animals. :) I love how elegant they are, and their long, wavy manes.
  Jan 16, 2011  •  2,159 views
 
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Great article Artista. I learned a lot
  Feb 1, 2011  •  2,163 views
 
Spaztastic  
I love the last sentence :)
  Mar 3, 2011  •  2,165 views
 
Little Bitty Farm  
Great article!
  May 9, 2011  •  2,202 views
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