The Andalusian is a sight to behold, for sure. They are powerful and graceful, horses straight from our fantasies. Take a look at some of these interesting facts about these fairytale-like horses!
#1 – They are known as the PRE
Ever heard someone say they own a PRE and wonder that that was? The Andalusian is a PRE – Pura Raza Espanola – or Pure Spanish Horse. The Lusitano, a horse very closely related to the Andalusian, is also classified as a PRE
#2 – A centuries-old breed
The Andalusian has been recognized as a breed since the 16th century. King Felipe II of Spain is the one who formerly established the breed standard, which has remained almost unchanged since then.
#3 – Used by the Ancient Greeks & Romans as a war horse
Even before King Felipe II, Spanish horses where coveted as supreme war horses by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
#4 – It was King Felipe II who turned their use from war to dressage
When King Felipe II created the breed standard, he also changed the use of the horse from farm, bull fighting and war, to something more elegant. In 1567, he announced an imperial decree to refine the breed into a high school dressage horse at the Royal Stables of Cordoba. (www.ialha.org)
#5 – The Pure Spanish Horse has had two introductions to America
The first was when the Conquistadors came, beginning with Christopher Columbus’s second voyage in 1493. These are the horses that left their mark on our wild Mustangs, some of which still bare the Spanish look, such as the sought-after Kiger Mustang of Oregon. The second introduction wasn’t until the 1960s and because of expensive import fees, the population has grown slowly. According to the Foundation For The Pure Spanish Horse, only 5,000 of them are in America.
#6 – A very popular movie star
It’s no surprise that the Andalusian is used time and time again in movies – they are gorgeous and are the perfect “fairytale” horse. The Foundation For The Pure Spanish Horse lists over 140 movies, and they are sure they have missed some. If you want to check them out, the list is here. Most recently, Andalusians were used in the live-action Cinderella with Lily James, a beautiful movie all around.
#7 – Crosses are eligible to be registered as a Spanish Heritage Horse
These horses have one parent that is registered as a Pure Spanish Horse and one that is not. They actually have names for certain crosses – so for example if your horse is a cross between a PRE and a registered Quarter horse or Paint (APHA), it’s registered as an Azteca horse. An Arabian cross is a Spanish-Arab and a Friesian cross is a Warlander (love that one!). (an Azteca is pictured below)
#8 – While grey is most common, all coat colors are allowed
Most Andalusians are grey or bay – in fact, in the U.S., 80 percent of the Andalusians are grey. However the registry allows all colors including buckskin, pearl and cremello. In the past, there were even spotted Andalusians, though they are rare today.