1992 - A Breathe of Fresh Air - the early AAHA and IAHA prior to IALHA

This article quotes from the Horse Illustrated “The Magazine for Responsible Horse Owners” February 1992 issue.

Introduction to the Research

In my research of the Andalusian horse and its marketing by the International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association of the United States, (IALHA), I’ve come across article after article that claims the “sameness” of the Spanish Andalusian and the Portuguese Lusitano while at the same time “explaining” the reason why the Spanish-Portuguese (SP) crossbred is such a great horse deserving of attention. The IALHA is the only organization that I know of in the world that talks about the SP as a purebred and registers it thus. Both mother countries, Spain and Portugal, maintain separate registries for their respective breeds.

Marketing and Language Used in the U.S.

I’ve already written several articles that explain the origins of the SP in the United States. In this article, I will illustrate language used in marketing PRIOR to the marketing efforts of IALHA in favor the SP. It appears that the SP language may have become significant only AFTER the merger of the Andalusian Horse Association (AHA) with the American Andalusian Horse Association (AAHA). Notice that neither of these organizations used the word “Lusitano” in their title and Lusitanos were not registered under an Andalusian umbrella until recently. The word Lusitano was added later and only because Lusitano horses were in so few numbers. This rare breed from Portugal and Brazil needed an umbrella organization in the United States from which they could run their registry and show their horses. This umbrella organization was the IALHA. When SPs began to appear on the market (mainly due to a breeder in Mexico selling them as “purebred” Andalusians), they needed a place to show and register as well. This place also became the melting pot – the IALHA.

Note: AAHA was formed in 1977, AHA (later called IAHA, and then TIAHA) was formed in 1979. Both registries later combined and then the “L” was added.

The February 1992 issue of Horse Illustrated was written prior to the formation of the IALHA and adds some insight into the origins of the breed in the U.S.

How the Andalusian is Portrayed in the Article

The cover of this issue features a grey-speckled Andalusian horse peeking out a stall door. The inside cover shows a small photo of a horse in a Spanish bridle ridden against an ocean backdrop. The article is advertised as “The Alluring Andalusian” by Betsy Sikora Siino. “This attractive aristocrat shares an illustrious past with the likes of Julius Caesar, El Cid and Hannibal.”

Page 30 shows a color photo of a horse in medieval garb ridden by a woman in a knight’s costume.

The article starts out “In the 1830s, plague and famine hit Spain, a country that was no stranger to devastation. Although many Spaniards may not have realized it a the time as they struggled for their own survival, this particular disaster almost spelled the doom of a very important player in Spain’s culture; the Andalusian horse.”

Other interesting quotes are included below.

“Had it not been for the foresight of a group of monks . . . the breed might not exist today.”

“… the Carthusian monks in southern Spain collected purebred Andalusians and protected them within their monastery walls… the Andalusian survived, as did the Carthusian line, now considered the finest of the Spanish horses.”

“What made the horses of Spain so coveted throughout Europe was their strength, agility and athletic ability, as well as the majestic figures they cut on the battlefield.”

“The Andalusian is one of the world’s most beautiful horses.”

Quotes from IAHA and AAHA

Holly Vanborst, then executive director of the IAHA, gave her impression of the Andalusian as “… very sensitive, very sensible” and “They take care of you… fantastic minds … brave… quiet … gentle.”

Nancy Lindquist, then president of the AAHA, said, “they love people … incredible.”

This magazine is where I read the quote, which I often still quote these days when people ask me about the disposition of the Andalusian.

“Such character has been bred into this horse for hundreds of years. It may have officially begun when King Ferdinand of Spain issued an edict that gentlemen must ride only stallions. Needless to say, not all gentlemen possessed the equestrian skills to ride what can be a rather fiery, unpredictable steed, so breeders focused their efforts on breeding horses with gentle temperaments as well as beauty, high leg action and dynamic presence.” 

In other words, after the edict, all stallions were rideable by gentlemen!

The article has a lengthy explanation of the horse in history throughout Europe and how it was such a great horse in the formation of other breeds. It then turns to the “Modern Times”.

The Modern Breed

“Most of today’s Andalusian enthusiasts continue to cling to the traditions that made the Andalusian great. They include costume and Spanish heritage classes in their shows, the foster the horses’ versatility in a variety of disciplines, THEY BRING JUDGES IN FROM SPAIN AND PORTUGAL to the national shows, and they train their horses as the breed has always been trained; according to the tenets of classical horsemanship.”

Today, the IALHA brings in judges from Spain and Portugal amid a controversy that stems from the Spanish-Portuguese horse owners and those who decide not to follow revision (the inspection and quality control program of Spain). In years past, a foreign judge was part of the 3-judge panel. Today, they only judge a few “breed specific” classes at the show.

Nancy Lindquist of the AAHA said “We are trying very hard to keep the Andalusian breed as completely natural today and in the future…do not want to see the Andalusian fall victim to breeding ‘fads’ … do not want the beautiful natural action to be come exaggerated … do not want to start sweating their necks … do not want to try to make the Andalusian a ‘larger’ horse … the Andalusian is one breed we do not want to change into anything else.”

Vanborst said, “We only recognize purebred Andalusians”.

According to the article, IAHA is “currently consulting with experts in Spain and Portugal to establish official criteria for breeding and judging purebred Andalusians.”

Vanborst continued, “We concentrate on history and tradition … we’re concerned with purity and the classical arts.”

While the AAHA also concentrates on these aspects of the breed’s heritage, they also “maintain a registry for half-Andalusians.”

African Horse Fever

Side note on African Horse Fever. Andalusians have always been expensive to import. This article mentions the African Horse Fever epidemic in Spain that was killing horses there and preventing easy transport to the U.S. Apparently, horses could be imported, but only flown into Newburg, New York where they had to go through a 60 day quarantine.

“They’re having a lot of problems right now. We’re not getting a lot of imports.”

Future of the Breed

Vanborst sees the breed as growing and adds, “Our ally is education. The more people understand about the breed, its history and culture, the more I believe it will survive in the traditional sense.”

Old Registry Information

The article gives addresses as follows:

AAHA – allows registry of half-Andalusians, Nancy Lindquist president
AAHA 6990 Manning Rd, Economy, IN 47339
(Another address found is 6020 Emerald Lane, Sykesville, MD 21784)

IAHA – only registers purebred Andalusians, Holly Vanborst director, consulting w/ Spain/Portugal on breeding/judging criteria

IAHA 1201 S. Main, Ste D-7, Boerne, TX 78006

IAHA Advertisers

A two-page black and white advertisement for IAHA followed the article. The following breeders were listed:

Andalusians de la Parra
Caballos de los Cristiani
Canterberry Acres Andalusians
Canyon Andalusians
Camino Real Farm
Classic Dream Andalusians
Rainbow Farms
Entertainment Specialists, Inc.
Fairmont Farms
Ganaderia Ocho Estrellas
Garrison Ranch
Hamid Hill Farm, Ltd
Hardscrabble Farm
Inquieto Ranch
Jdon Farms
Larhaven Andalusians
Mariah Andalusians
Marro Farm
Meson Dna Marcaria
Morningside Farms
Mountain West Andalusians
Music City Andalusians
Rancho Campo Verde
Rancho Vistoso
Royal Farms
Shadowfax Farm
Spring Canyon Ranch
Sommer Ranch
Sterling Andalusians
Sweet Medicine Farm Andalusians
Takaro Farm
Waldron’s Andalusian Ranch 

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.

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