The Original Dressage Horse
The story of the Andalusian and Lusitano starts as far back as the Ancient Greeks and Romans when the horses of the Iberian Peninsula had been sought after as premier riding horses.
Spanish and Portuguese kings have used the riding horse of the Peninsula, as a glorious symbol of their power. For centuries, the warriors, conquistadors and bullfighters of Spain and Portugal selected these horses for athleticism, maneuverability and docility.
During the Renaissance, in 1567, by imperial decree of Philip II, the Andalusian was further refined into the ultimate classical high school dressage horse at the Royal Stables of Cordoba. These horses enjoyed the reputation of being Europe’s “ideal horse for war and the manege” into the end of the 18th century.
“Equestrian authors have given unanimous preference to the Spanish horse, and have considered him to be the best for the ‘manege’ work because of his agility and the strength of his hind legs, combined with their elasticity. His natural cadence and pride make him the first choice for the pomp of the parade where he can display his grace and his nobility. His courage, combined with utmost docility is the foremost requirement for war on a day of battle.”
Out of his romantic past he comes. He has carried kings and conquered continents. He was painted by the greatest painters of all time. Poets have sung his name in a thousand voices. His handsom beauty is unmatched. His nobleness without compare. In all the world no horse has stepped with such pride. He was all of these things and more. And as if by some glorious miracle, today he comes to us unchanged.
He is the Andalusian horse.
“The Spanish horse is the noblest horse in the world, the most beautiful that can be… the lovingest and gentlest, and the fittest of all for a King on his day of triumph.”
“This most noble beast is the most beautiful the swiftest and of the highest courage of domesticated animals. His long mane and tail adorn and beautify him. He is of fiery temperament, but good tempered, obedient,
docile and well-mannered.”
“The ideal Iberian horse is noble in his demeanor, versatile in his ability and majestic in his appearance. Docile to the rider yet bold in all circumstances, he is energetic without ill-temperament, sensitive to the aids without hysteria, proud without arrogance and courageous without hostility. His body is both strong and flexible. Though refined and elegant, he is renowned as an easy keeper who has adapted to the toughest living conditions at the 4 corners of the Globe”.