As in most domestic animals, the horse also has different breeds with unique characteristics and traits.
Horses are one of the closest animal companions to humans, having long been used for work and transportation. Thanks to this relationship, equines began to diversify and several horse breeds were created, which change depending on the country where they are found.
You may also be interested in Spanish Horse Breeds
The equine breed in Spain dates back to ancient times. It has always been highly valued, although Andalusia stands out from the rest due to its characteristics. And that is where the Purebred Spanish appears, which has given rise to many others. Next, we will see what the current Spanish horse breeds are.
Main breed: Pure Spanish Breed
Also called the Andalusian horse, it is one of the oldest breeds in the world. It is the quintessential Spanish animal and has served to originate other breeds in Europe and America.
During the Umayyad Caliphate, around the year 700, the preservation of equine quality was taken into account and the Cordovan court stud farm was created. This meant that the existence of quality horses in the region was maintained.
Given this circumstance, in subsequent reigns, especially in that of Felipe II, the stables of Córdoba originated. Thus, genetic projects were evolved to give life to this new breed.
In this way, the best stallions and mares were grouped to give rise to what is now known as the Andalusian horse or PRE ( Pure Spanish Breed), one of the main Spanish horse breeds.
Although it is a fairly old breed, different crosses were made with other breeds that gave it new characteristics. Some of them are the following:
- Intelligent horse, elegant and gifted for jumping and dressage.
- Height at the withers: 155–165 centimeters.
- Medium head.
- Arched and strong neck with long mane.
- Broad chest and medium head.
- Of balanced proportions.
Walk and tame
Its docility and characteristics make it ideal as a ride and dressage horse. It is bred throughout the Spanish territory and its crossing has made it possible to form other different breeds.
Also called the Asturian pony, it is considered easy to ride, as it is a small rustic breed, with an average height of 120 centimeters. The coat is usually black or brown, while its physical constitution remains strong and slender.
Since ancient times, this specimen has inhabited the mountainous areas from the Cantabrian Mountains to the Western Pyrenees.
It is a cross between the Andalusian horse and the French Breton breed, which was widely used for agricultural work. Currently, it is an animal with many uses, as it is even used for fire control. It is characterized by having a muscular, strong, and robust body. It measures between 140 and 150 centimeters at the withers and reaches 660 kilograms in weight.
As its name indicates, it is the result of the crossing of the Thoroughbred Spanish horse with the Arabian. Thanks to this, a race originated that maintained the resistance of the Arab race, with the intelligence of the Spanish. It has a slim, elegant, and balanced silhouette. It measures a maximum of 160 centimeters in height at the withers and weighs 450 kilograms on average.
This is one of the most preserved Spanish horse breeds throughout history, as well as being characteristic of Menorca. A black coat has an obedient and noble character, which is why it is used for horse riding, agricultural work, and dressage.
The Losino horse is a native Castilian breed that comes from Burgos, from the Losa Valley. It is used for children and youth riding, and horseback riding in rural and mountainous areas.
It is one of the oldest breeds in Europe, considered one of the three types of horse indigenous to the Peninsula. It is a small, rustic and at the same time elegant equine that is considered in danger of extinction.
Recognized as the only native Galician breed, it lives in areas of mountains and mountains with great vegetation and is concentrated in Pontevedra and Lugo. Morphologically it is classified as a small equine or pony since it has a height at the withers of 120 and 140 cm.
Known as a domestic horse, it has a docile temperament and is suitable for competitions, equestrian routes, or equine therapies.
The Jaca Navarra horse is a pure breed native to this region, of which there are barely 400 copies left and about which Spanish Television tells you more through this report on the program Here the Earth.
Despite having a reduced height (140 centimeters at the withers), the breed is quite stocky. They have adapted very well to the mountains and mountains, so they enjoy living in freedom as if they were wild horses.
Horse originating from the eastern Cantabrian mountains. It is a breed in the wild or semi-wild state that is raised in freedom and extensive livestock farming. They exhibit beautiful black or dark brown coat that makes them look impressive. The only problem is that their temperament is hard to deal with and they can’t always be kept well in captivity.
A pony that has inhabited the Cantabrian Mountains since ancient times and that moves in herds in the Basque mountainous areas. At the head of the hierarchy are the mare and the stallion. They measure about 120 centimeters at the withers with an average weight of 200 kilograms.
The coat color is black and it is characterized by being resistant, docile and fast; which makes it suitable for walks, hunting, jumping, and riding. In addition, it has great resistance and they are not at all selective with their food.
Breed from Mallorca, it is used for field work and horse riding. It has black fur, a short neck, and a calm temperament. In addition, it sports a beautiful slender and resistant body that adapts very well to any habitat.
This is a native breed from Doñana (Andalusia), a domesticated wild horse that is in danger of extinction. They have good physical stamina and travel long distances with ease. They measure around 145 centimeters at the withers, although their body is muscular and makes them look imposing.
This breed of horse is characterized by being stocky, energetic, and with an elegant bearing. It has a height of almost 150 centimeters at the withers and weighs around 700 kilograms on average. Usually, it is chosen to raise it in freedom so that it can exercise without limits and develop its muscles well.
Mountain horse from the Basque Country
As its name refers, this horse comes from the Basque Country and stands out for its small size and stocky body. Due to their origin, they have adapted very well to the mountains and can live peacefully in freedom.
Catalan Pyrenean horse
This breed of horse is suitable for heavy work, as it has a robust body and calm character that makes it easy to handle. The origin of the Catalan Pyrenean caval seems to be in the abandoned semi-domesticated horses, which reproduced and returned to a wild state.
It is not until the 20th century that attempts are made to recover this horse and improve it through crosses with French and Spanish breeds. This caused a great change in the traits of the Catalan Pyrenean caval, which is now noticeable in its wide variety of characteristics.
We have referred to the main characteristics of the Spanish breeds. Whether native, pure, or the result of crosses, they are animals that, in many cases, have inhabited our territory since ancient times.