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5 Spanish Horse Breeds (with Pictures)
Spain is the epitome of everything you want in a country; fine weather, friendly people, and good wine. Additionally, this region is home to some of the world’s most spectacular horses. Spanish horses are especially renowned for their strength and endurance, which is why they are some of the most sought-after horse breeds in the world.
Are you interested in Spanish horses? Here are the top five Spanish horse breeds you should know about.
1. The Andalusian
The Andalusian is arguably the most famous Spanish horse in the world. Named after the Andalusian region, where it hails, this breed is a descendant of ancient horses that roamed the Iberian Peninsula. It is believed that the Andalusian came about from the breeding of native horses with those that explorers brought along with them in the 1400s.
This breed is mind-blowingly fast and agile. This is why it is a staple in European royalty stables. Measuring 15.1 hands tall and weighing between 900 and 1,100 pounds, the Andalusian packs tremendous strength and agility in a compact frame, making it a good option for disciplines such as driving, dressage, and jumping.
The typical Andalusian sports a gray coat with a long, flowing mane and tail. You can also tell an Andalusian just by how they move, as they have an animated, elevated, and elegant gait.
Thanks to their superior physical attributes, Andalusians are one of the most utilized breeds in the making of Thoroughbreds.
2. The Paso Fino
This breed owes its heritage to the numerous horse breeds Christopher Columbus used in the Dominican Republic, such as Andalusians, Barbs, and Spanish Jennets. The Paso Fino quickly became a favorite among landowners due to its smooth gait that allowed for comfortable long-distance travel.
Averaging a height of 14 hands and weighing up to 1,000 pounds, the Paso Fino is a compact, robust, and athletic horse that is best suited for shows and endurance riding.
3. The Peruvian
Despite its name, this breed originated from Spain before ending up in Peru during Spanish voyages to the New World. The Peruvian is a medium-sized horse that stands between 14 and 15 hands tall while weighing up to 1,100 pounds. It is believed that Peruvians resulted from crossing various Spanish and Panamanian breeds.
The Peruvian’s ambling gait is the reason behind its popularity, as it allows for pleasant and comfortable riding. It is especially popular among riders with back pain since they cannot endure rides from breeds that tend to trot.
Their pleasant temperament is another reason people love Peruvians, as they are easy to work with.
4. The Galician
Hailing from Galicia in Northwest Spain, this breed is a descendant of Celtic horses that came with immigrants around 500 B.C. The hardy nature and surefootedness of the Galician made it tremendously popular among locals, as it allowed them to traverse Galicia’s rugged terrain with ease.
Standing an average of 13 hands tall and weighing a maximum of 660 pounds, this breed is on the smaller side. However, it is an excellent option for trail and pleasure riding.
5. The Colonial Spanish
The Colonial Spanish is a product of breeding farms in Mexico and the Caribbean. Also known as the Spanish Mustang, this breed was developed for conquistadors to use in their expeditions. Nonetheless, due to poor management, many Colonial Spanish horses went feral, only to be captured and tamed by Native Americans.
The Colonial Spanish is renowned for its stamina and hardiness, making it one of the best breeds for endurance riding. This horse stands between 13 and 14 hands tall and weighs up to 800 pounds.
Spanish horse breeds are some of the finest horses you can encounter. However, looks and athletic talent aside, a horse’s temperament is arguably its most important quality. This is because it influences the animal’s trainability, as well as the bond you form with them. Fortunately, the breeds discussed in this article are incredibly well-mannered. Check them out and let us know what you think.
Featured Image: EvitaS, Pixabay
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.