Andalusian Breed Standard Introduction

Good conformation is the same for all types of horse breeds (i.e. crooked legs are crooked legs and a ewe neck is a ewe neck). There are some characteristics of the Spanish horse that do stand out as faults. One of these is winging.

The Peruvian Paso is known to wing from the shoulder and this contributes to their smooth ride. But the Spanish horse is not supposed to wing. However, it is a trait that is inherent in the breed and crops out here and there. The more winging, the worse, but sometimes the horse has so much action there is nowhere else for the leg to go. Winging is a trait that should be bred out if at all possible.

Another trait inherent in the breed is an accumulation of fatty tissue in the neck. When the neck is cresty, but firm, this is not a major fault. However, if the crested neck wobbles from side to side and looks like it will fall over, this is more serious.

A horse with a crest that has actually fallen over is removed from the Stud Book in Spain. Other traits will be covered in a future conformation page at this website. How you weigh each component of conformation depends on if you are choosing a riding horse or a breeding horse, or if you intend to follow the revision program.

As far as basic conformation standards, a Spanish horse should be short-coupled. A "one-seater" horse, he is supposed to be so round that you can visualize three circles--one at the chest, one at the barrel, and one at the haunches on his body.

The neck should be in proportion to the haunches. There should be no "straight lines" anywhere on the outline of his body. Anywhere there is a straight line that your eye is drawn to, you are probably seeing a fault (such as a flat croup).

The tail set should be low and the tail is not to be carried out high like an Arabian. The face should be straight or bulged out (convex) but never dished. The ears should be medium length, and not tipped in towards each other like an Arabian.

The eyes should be triangular and large, but not bulging.

The neck should be arched and tie in without a notch in front of the withers.

The bones must be large (at least 19 cm cannon bone).

The attitude should be kind, and the movement should be forward with some elevation and alot of ground covered. There should be an overstep (the hind leg tracks up in front of where the front leg left the ground).

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