Arabian Influence on the Andalusian Horse

Anyone who attends an IALHA horse show for the first time will be struck by the similarities between some Andalusian trainers and Arabian trainers. In fact, many Andalusian horse trainers were at one time part of the Arabian horse business which has now fizzled. If you attend an IALHA show, there will be Arabian show halters everywhere, Andalusians clipped to the bone and oiled with grease around their eyes and muzzles, long shiny hooves will glitter, and tails sprout high during the trotting. You'll see saddleseat classes and shanking on the chin chain during halter. All an all, a very Americanized situation for the Spanish horse.

Another obvious fact is the selection of horses for dished faces and bulging eyes, small ears, and hooked necks.

The following points are summarized from the "Standards and Priorities of Judging the Spanish Horse" by Juan Llamas Perdigo.

  1. The relationships between the judge and the breed organization are completely different in Spain from the United States.

  2. In general, the Spanish horse in the United States usually has a magnificent neck, good front legs and a wonderful disposition. These qualities are not only to be credited to the breeders, but also the result of excellent training . . . On the other hand, generally speaking, The Spanish horse in the United States has a longer back, an insufficient coupling of the loin with the croup, shoulders that are too vertical and long tibias (gaskins) that place the hocks behind the desired point in line with the buttocks.

  3. In summary, a decaffeinated version of the Spanish horse is commonly seen and his presentation in the Arabian style adds to this appearance.

  4. Why is it that many Spanish horses in the United States seem to be looking toward Arabia? Could it be the fact that the American ideal of equine beauty is the Arabian horse? An idea that always rejects, without fail, the roman (sub-convex) nose ...

  5. Judging Spanish horses is very difficult. Remaining within the Spanish horse are many undesirable characteristics of other breeds, which are a product of past errors.

  6. The one who buys a Spanish horse, buys more than just a horse. He also buys an extremely long tradition of art and culture. The Spanish horse is like a living museum.

Templates in Time