Intelligent and sensitive, horses are an excellent company for all those animal lovers who have space and the necessary capacity to cover all their food, veterinary, care, etc. requirements.
On the other hand, many people simply love to know all kinds of information about these animals without the intention of sharing their lives, since total freedom is where these animals can be happiest. To delve deeper into the knowledge of these animals, in this Best Pets Lover article we are going to review the Spanish horse breeds, paying attention to their most important characteristics.
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Spanish purebred horse
We begin the review of the Spanish horse breeds with the pure Spanish breed, known in many places as the Andalusian horse. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food of the Government of Spain consider it the only autochthonous breed for promotion. The horses of this breed have elegant, proportionate lines and a proud pose. As for his personality, his intelligence, liveliness, nobility, and courage stand out.
They measure about 160-170 cm. They are horses with broad chests and shoulders. Their manes are long, wavy, and silky to the touch. The back is long and straight, while the group stands out for its rounded appearance and is very strong. The limbs are also strong. Adding up all his features, the general impression is that of a compact, well-proportioned, agile, and harmonious horse. He is a good jumper.
It is a breed of ancient origins and the result of crossings of different breeds. The mixture with Arabian horses is what modified the appearance of the ancestors of the breed, providing the elegant and proud bearing that we have indicated.
Linked to the purebred Spanish horse is the Carthusian. In the fifteenth century, it was the Carthusian monks who were in Jerez who began with the selection of this breed from the purebred Spanish horse. The result was specimens of a somewhat smaller size, although not excessively, but with the same characteristics. Currently, it is one of the Spanish horse breeds that are born only in Spain. They are considered a lineage within the pure Spanish breed.
Following the classification provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, we now review the breeds of Spanish horses considered autochthonous and in danger of extinction. Thus, the first race is the Asturcón. As their name allows us to guess, they are horses whose origin is in the Principality of Asturias, although it is currently extended to other provinces.
They are so old that there are references to them from the year 80 a. C. Regarding their morphology, they have a medium and well-defined head, with wide nostrils, long manes, and strong jaws. The chest is deep and the rump sloped. They are well proportioned in length and width. The hooves are small, black, and rounded. His coat is black, chestnut, or sorrel. They measure 130 cm at the withers and weigh between 250 and 275 kg. Their natural environment is the mountains and they are adapted to snow and cold. They are very resistant.
This breed of Spanish horses is the result of the cross between Jaca Navarra mares and French horses. They are in Navarre. They are rustic, with a lively temperament and a well-developed body. His coat can be chestnut or chestnut. They measure between 145 and 150 cm and weigh between 650 and 750 kg. They are usually raised in semi-freedom, in meadows or mountains, to which they are well adapted and can be moved to stables during the worst weather.
Mountain horse of the Basque Country
Logically, this breed of Spanish horses comes from the Basque Country. Its stocky and compact body and its rustic appearance stand out in them. They are medium-small in size. They live in the mountains and feed on the natural resources they find in them. During the warmer months, they go to mountainous areas, while in bad weather they move to meadows and riverbanks.
Galician purebred horse
Its name makes it clear that this breed of Spanish horses comes from Galicia, being found throughout the community, although in greater numbers in the province of Lugo and certain areas of Pontevedra. It is a breed of which references are already found in the fifteenth century.
They are horses with proportionate heads and quiff. Their ears are small and their eye sockets are well marked. The eyes are large and very expressive. The abdomen is rounded, the chest deep, and the tail long. The limbs are short and strong and the joints powerful. The hooves are small and rounded.
The coat can be black or brown. They measure 130 cm at the withers, are very rustic, and are capable of adapting to very adverse weather conditions. As for his character, his docility, nobility, and intelligence stand out.
Catalan Pyrenean horse
This breed of Spanish horses is located in the Pyrenees area. They are horses that are kept free without the need for human intervention, although sometimes, on especially cold days, they are offered straw. In any case, they remain outdoors and graze practically the whole year. They are very well adapted to their habitat, highlighting their great rusticity. As a curiosity, they are precocious in terms of sexual maturity and the maternal capacity of the mares stands out.
This breed of Spanish horses comes from the cross between Spanish mares and stallions of the Breton breed. These crossings took place in Cantabria, the Pyrenees, and certain areas of Castilla y León, where they are today.
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They are corpulent horses, with a straight profile, small ears, wide nostrils, thick lips, strong neck, rounded back, and wide croup. They measure between 145 and 149 cm at the withers and weigh between 656 and 661 kg. They do not live in stables, but in high mountain pastures in the warm and temperate months and, with the arrival of snow, they move to the meadows. They have an excellent fit with their surroundings.
Horse Jaca Navarre
The name of this breed of Spanish horse mixes one of its physical characteristics with its place of origin. Thus, “jaca” means “short horse”, as they measure less than 147 cm, the average being between 130 and 135. On the other hand, this breed has its origin in Navarra. They are mostly found in the northwestern area. They weigh between 425 and 500 kg.
They stand out for their vigor. They are strong, rustic, and well adapted to the mountains. His coat is chestnut in its different shades. Groups of these horses live in mountains, mountains, or meadows, feeding on what they find there, although sometimes they are offered a supplement during the harshest times of the year.
The name of this breed of Spanish horse is due to its place of origin, which is the Losa Valley, located in the province of Burgos. They are also known as Merindades horses. In addition to Burgos, its origin is marked on the Cantabrian coast. The most widespread hypothesis is that it arises from crosses between Celtic horses and those that lived on the peninsula. What is clear is its age.
His proportionate head and fine features stand out in them. The ears are small, the neck is strong, the chest is broad, the back is broad, and the extremities are thin. They have a black coat and abundant mane. They measure between 130 and 140 cm at the withers and weigh between 300 and 350 kg.
In terms of character, they are docile, noble, affectionate, lively animals with a great learning capacity. They live in mountains and scrubland, moving easily even in rough areas. Depending on the time of year, it is also found in forests, meadows, or fields. They are very resistant, not only to extreme conditions but also to diseases.
Its name makes clear the origin and place of residence of this breed of Spanish horses. It is a very old breed in which its slender silhouette stands out. At the same time, they are rustic, resistant, and adapt perfectly to their habitat. They have very good character. The coat is black and they may have a white spot on the face. They measure between 161 and 162 cm and weigh between 456 and 467 kg. As a curiosity, its reproductive capacity stands out.
The marshes of the Doñana National Park, in Huelva, are what give this breed of Spanish horses its name. They arise from the horses that inhabit the marshes of the Guadalquivir river, although they also present crosses with other breeds, especially from North Africa. Some of these specimens traveled to America with Christopher Columbus.
They are of robust complexion, but harmonious. The head appears large on a short neck. The dimensions of its belly and its fine limbs stand out. As for the character, they are balanced, calm, lively, and resistant animals. They are capable of traveling long distances to search for food since in their habitat they withstand very complicated weather conditions. His coat is usually gray, chestnut, or black. They measure between 140 and 148 cm.
This breed of Spanish horses comes from Menorca, although it has spread to different countries. They are slender horses with black coats. No other color is allowed, although white spots on the head and legs are allowed. They measure between 157 and 161 cm. They are used to being kept in a mixed regimen of housing and grazing. In any case, they are perfectly adapted to their environment.
The name of this breed of Spanish horses alludes to the “low-wood bush”. They receive this denomination for their great adaptation to the terrain in which they live, which is the mountain, even in the most rugged areas. They are the result of a mixture of horses from the north of the peninsula, English and Celtic ponies. They are found in Cantabria and areas of Burgos and Euskadi.
His coat can be black or chestnut. White spots are allowed. They measure 147 cm and weigh between 200 and 250 kg. They are extremely primitive and disease-resistant. On the other hand, their surly character makes it difficult to establish a relationship with them. For this reason, they are kept in the mountains and even the food that can be offered to them is left there.
Within the Spanish horse breeds, we also mention the pottoka ponies, a name that in Basque means “small horse”. Originally from Euskadi and Navarra, they measure 124 cm at the withers and weigh between 185 and 225 kg. Its origin dates back 30,000 years.
They are highly resistant animals, being able to feed, if necessary, even on thorny grasses. Very tame and rustic, they have great energy and versatility. His large and expressive eyes, his wide nostrils and a slightly hanging upper lip stand out. They have a short neck and abundant mane, a straight back, and a rounded croup. His thorax is broad, shoulders straight, and limbs thin. The helmets, on the other hand, are small and hard. The coat is very dark chestnut black.
Hispano-Arabian purebred horse
As its name indicates, this breed of Spanish horses arises from the cross between the pure Spanish breed and the pure Arab breed hundreds of years ago. With the Hispano-Arab horse, the aim was to combine the virtues of both. From the Arab its balance, its resistance, and its agility. Of the Spanish race intelligence and ease of learning. Its origin is located in Andalusia, although today there are copies throughout Spain.
They are horses with slender, elegant, and harmonic silhouettes. They measure between 158 and 160 cm and weigh between 400 and 450 kg. The head is pyramidal in shape, the ears are medium, the eyes and jaws are rounded, and the lips are thin. The trunk is strong and well-muscled. The croup is long and only slightly sloping. The chest is deep and the abdomen is tucked up.
His good character also stands out, being a very docile, manageable, and active horse, as well as resistant and capable. It can adapt to adverse circumstances and overcome illnesses.