1) Speaking of history that can be traced back hundreds of years, how does 20,000 BC sound? 2) Andalusian's are versatile: These horses excel in dressage, but they also are great for trail riding or light ranch work.
3) This breed was given as a royal gift: In a tradition that I believe should still be happening to this day, kings in Europe would gift one another with Andalusian horses to secure good relations with other countries. 5) This breed is known as a movie star: Andalusian's have made appearances in hundreds of movies, including the live action remake of Cinderella, starring Lily James.
Jennifer D purchased the horse after flying from San Antonio, TX to California in late 2010 to see him based on sales pictures that took her breath away. When she got him back to Texas she began working with him to develop relaxation, his previous riding had been rather opposite of the supportive classical foundation she was providing Amigo.
Amigo seemed sore in his rear end, he would twist in his hocks rather than moving solidly. He had very unbalanced shoulders with one much larger and higher than the other, this made saddle fit very challenging.
Amigo was in steel shoes and was being maintained by very well respected farriers, but he had a lingering high/low issue in the front hooves. To Jennifer D’s credit she was very open and persistent about getting to the root of Amigo’s his physical problems.
When she contacted me, she said that her gut instinct was that he would be better off like their other Andalusian, Pay who is sound barefoot. The first time I saw them, we met for a consult at the local soundness wiz-vet for a full workup.
He also blocked the Of (low) leg and confirmed that he had joint pain in his fetlocked. Jennifer treated the suspected central infection effectively with cattle mastitis medication.
Andalusian horses are typically “easy keepers” and can not tolerate high starch diets. Jennifer D changed his diet to a very low starch ration balancer that would compensate for what was lacking in coastal Bermuda hay.
We wanted to keep him sound for work and help him develop a stronger digital cushion, so he could comfortably land heel first and flat in a correct manner. Easy boot Gloves would be prescribed to help him to stay comfortable as needed during this process.
Easy boot Gloves are a suitable hoof boot for dressage training. That was not a lasting solution, so I took over care of the rear hooves and the farrier maintained the fronts.
For a time, we met frequently to tweak the back hooves as needed. With keeping the hoof balanced, Amigo started to become much more comfortable in his movement and the twisting hock began to resolve.
His back hooves had the steel shoes pulled a month prior and naturally trimmed in preparation for going fully barefoot. I gave Amigo a conservative set-up trim, focusing on bringing the toes back so the rest of the hoof could grow in more correctly attached, rather than forward.
We fit him in Easy care Glove hoof boots and I encouraged Jennifer to use them anytime that she was going to ride outside the well groomed indoor arena. I also suggested that she consider riding him in the indoor for a time with boots to offer him additional comfort and support, so he would use the back of his hoof correctly.
We tested the boots at all gaits with Amigo at liberty in the lovely indoor arena. He put on a show that proclaimed he felt great with gorgeous Spanish movement, playing in the indoor.
No more hock twisting unsoundness issues were noted in the rear end at this checkup! His high/low syndrome is no longer problematic as each hoof has grown in toward it’s potential, although they will never be a perfect match.
Amigo is progressing beautifully in his classical dressage work, and he is a pleasure for Jennifer D to own. I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them and I give credit to Glove boots for being a tool to help Amigo’s successful transition from steel shoes.
It is a courage that made them beloved of Spanish cowboys working their lonely ranges, and cavalry soldiers throughout history. Their brave spirit was prized by many warriors, when they were cavalry horses of the Greeks, the Romans, William the Conqueror of England, and the Conquistadors who overran the New World.
Much of that comes from their history, as a horse would survive and fight much better when they are intelligent enough to understand their training and use it to keep themselves and their riders alive even in the perils of battle. It was their intellect as well as their courage that made them so beloved of noble riders throughout history, and caused Napoleon to attempt to take them all during his conquests of Europe.
So just think, when your Andalusian does a really cool move in dressage, your horse ’s hundred time great-grandfather’s same brave spirit was doing the same thing while the Spartans were fighting the Athenians. However, they are often spoken of with respect for their amazingly calm demeanor even in the face of a dangerous bull or the shouting, excited crowds of an equestrian competition.
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