How to Tell a Really Bad Andalusian Horse from a Good One


picture of grey horseI recently got an email with this header “ thanks for a great website”. The reader said “Wanted to thank you for the most informative and candid website out there! Wish I'd found it before buying an Andalusian!"   

This isn’t the first time I’ve received such complements. I got the idea for this type of website many years ago after visiting I was impressed with their candidacy regarding the feathered Gypsy horses from the UK. I found out that thick, heavy feathers are very indicative of good breeding in a Gypsy horse and that horses with thin feathers on their front legs were often “half breds” or crosses not considered as valuable. Well, I visited some websites with "purebred" Gypsy horses for sale and saw an awful lot without good feathering. Hmmm.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to guide you as to the “goodness” of an Andalusian horse. This article, however, will try to point out some red flags.

If you are looking for a good quality breeding animal that will produce a valuable foal and can also be ridden … here a few signs you are on the right path.

Good Signs

Which Horse Will You Choose?

picture of grey horse  picture of grey horse  picture of grey horse

picture of grey horse  picture of grey horse  picture of grey horse

Here are a few signs you might be on the wrong path.

Bad Signs

So let's say you've avoided the major pitfalls and seem to be on the right path. You may be ready to buy from a small known breeder, or a large known breeder, or from your friend down the street who has been to Spain a billion times. But no matter who you purchase from, no one can guarantee that you are picking the right horse. You still need to know conformation. Without it you are lost - just a person with a few extra bucks playing a betting game.

picture of grey horse  picture of grey horse

Here are a few tips to help stack the odds in your favor.

Signs of a Really Bad Andalusian

And, in case you forgot what an Arabian looks like, here's one

picture of arabian

You move on, let’s hope you run. Unless, of course, you ARE shopping for an Arabian.

Here is another table to help you tell the difference between a bad, average, and good or spectacular animal. 

Andalusian Comparison Table

Body Part

Bad to Average

Just Plain Average

Really Good



Dished face with large eyes or small eyes

Straight face with medium eyes

“Spanish head” w/ triangular eyes

You can’t afford it anyways, so why bother


Set on low, thick, or ewed

Set on medium, straight without arch

Set on high, arched, ties in nicely, long and fluid


Long and narrow, hips strung out behind

Slightly long

Short and broad, ties into neck perfectly


Wings like a mother, thin cannon bones

Medium cannon bones, some dishing

Large cannon bones, moves straight but with action


Narrow and toed out, toed in, or clubby

Medium with decent angle

Medium to long with angle matching shoulder


Narrow and short, bony

Broad and match forequarters

Nicely rounded and tied in well


Wings big time or hocky/flashy but not going anywhere or flat as a quarter horse. Cantering leaves hindquarters in another county.

Moves with fluidity, covering ground, canter is connected and not out behind

Moves with suspension plus overstride plus action plus… now you’re getting into spectacular.


What over-stride?

Nice at walk, trot also

Large at walk, trot also


Anything goes

Always noble

Always noble and has the “look”


Skyhorse Ranch - Andalusian horse breeder in Texas with Andalusian horses for sale. Breeders of PRE Pura Raza Espanola horses with cartas from Spain. Selling black, grey, and bay Andalusians. Recommend Andalusian stallions at stud. Pictures, history, facts, and info. Spanish Andalusian horse farm. Bloodlines from Spain in the USA.


Templates in Time