Are Andalusians Good Trail Horses

Earl Hamilton
• Monday, 07 December, 2020
• 8 min read

In the Middle Ages, it carried knights into battle and later became that treasured mount of European nobles. Horsemen soon realized that the same qualities that made the Andalusian a versatile war horse could serve in times of peace as well.

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The horse soon became the favorite of the grand riding academies of Europe because of its impulsion, collection, forward motion, and agility. The Andalusian's physical appearance and flashy action make it one of the world's most desirable riding horses.

The head is of medium length, rectangular and lean and in profile is slightly convex or straight with well-placed ears, moderately narrow and without excess flesh. About 80% of Andalusian's are gray or white, 15% are bay and 5% are black, chestnut, palomino and buckskin or possibly dun.

Many Andalusian enthusiasts comment that they are first attracted to the breed by its beauty but become hooked by the horses eagerness to work and intelligence. It is one of the most ancient of horse breeds, living on the Iberian Peninsula (the region now carved into the two countries of Spain and Portugal) since prehistory and represented in cave paintings dating back 25,000 years.

Andalusian's were bred principally by Cartesian Monks in the late Middle Ages at monasteries in Jerez, Seville, and Call. The Andalusian's purity was threatened in the 1800s when Napoleon's army invaded Spain and stole many horses.

In the United States, all purebred Andalusian horses can be traced directly to the Stud Books of Spain and Portugal. Babies is the most famous Andalusian of ancient history and a horse of great legend.

horse andalusian excellent trail gelding bay
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Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar better known as El Cid Camped rode the magnificent white stallion Babies. He was a formidable warhorse, and he carried his master fearlessly into all of his battles for thirty years, each time to victory.

After being mortally wounded, he later died in camp and knowing that the Moors would attack with the news that the great one that they greatly feared was dead, El Cid's body was dressed in his armor and placed on the back of Babies, and one last time he and Babies led his men at full gallop towards the enemy's army and even in death won his last battle. On the day of this great stallions retirement the stadium was packed to overflowing and all rose to their feet as Opus, after his last fight, was unsaddled, unbridled and set free to take a victory lap around the arena.

Novlhiero and Opus were full brothers, their bloodlines are considered to the finest Portuguese lines of the whole Peninsula. Event ridden by Ignacio Ramble rose to International fame for his performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics representing Spain in Dressage.

To this day, Event still commands one of the three highest fees at the Military Stud in Jerez and is regarded as one of Spain's National treasures. His soft pace is extremely comfortable for the rider.

Our guide Nacho often chooses him as his lead horse. On our trail rides, he presents himself as both talented and fearless.

andalusian horse jumpers warmbloods horses fast
(Source: horseracingsense.com)

With his lovely gentle personality we can easily recommend him to everyone. Chanel lo Our young P.R.E gelding Chanel lo is not only a beauty with outstanding gaits, but is also uncomplicated to handle and an easy ride.

He is the perfect partner for an unforgettable trail ride! He feels most comfortable with a relaxed, experienced rider.

Chico This lively Andalusian gelding engages with his rider. Thanks to his endurance he is not only happy on the coastal trails, but also on the challenging mountain rides.

He just aims to please his rider, and he reacts immediately even to the gentlest movement. He is still young, but completely daring and very affectionate towards humans.

Experienced riders can look forward to a relaxed trail ride with him. With his relaxed nature, this gelding gives less confident riders a real sense of security.

andalusian horse es yo
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Dynamic This strikingly beautiful white horse is a thoroughbred P.R.E. Felix This French trotter gelding is always highly motivated and impressively enduring.

Period This shiny white Hispano Arab is a very experienced trail horse, who is full of energy. Fit This energetic trotter loves to demonstrate his endurance on the trails.

Francesco This bay Tree Sang res gelding is exceptionally tall and elegant. Especially on the coast, Francesco moves forward properly and joyfully.

Despite his young age, Paleo is perfectly calm and has a positive approach towards anything new. Manchuria This French trotter is sweet-tempered and also full of power.

Mufasa This bay Arabian gelding knows the trail routes very well. He always remains calm, and he is absolutely reliable and relaxed.

riding trail andalusian
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Rudolf This small gelding is a lively horse, and sometimes gets distracted. Taro This bay Andalusian gelding is sweet-tempered.

He is fantastic on the ground and under the saddle, and he efficiently overcomes every obstacle. He is very sensitive, with lots of unspent energy he is an extremely comfortable ride.

He is reliable in every situation, fearless and steps forward every time with willingness to perform. An experienced rider benefits from the power and commitment of this horse.

Recognizable thanks to its long, flowing mane and tail and animated, beautiful movement, the Andalusian is a horse that commands attention. This versatile breed isn’t just at home in the dressage ring, but is also a horse that you’ll find out on the trails, competing in pleasure classes, and even being driven.

It’s this combination of versatility and skill that makes the breed so popular today. The Andalusian descended from Spanish and Portuguese Iberian horses, and it originates from the province, Andalusia, where it gets its name.

horse arabian riding trail horses andalusian country basque
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Armies favored the Andalusian for its agility and speed, and those same traits made the breed a popular horse among European royalty. Andalusian's are strong, compact horses that average 15.1 hands high.

Bruce Quantum Bi / Getty Images The Andalusian is a highly versatile breed, making it a suitable mount for dressage, jumping, trail riding, Western pleasure, English pleasure, and even driving. Today, Andalusian's are most likely to be gray or bay, though minimal black, dun, chestnut, and palomino colors do occur.

The breed’s compact body and great flexion of the leg joints makes for an animated, forward-moving mount. Andalusian's tend to be easy keepers, and they’re often prone to developing metabolic issues.

Horses will benefit from a quality hay and may need supplementation with grain or with a ration balancer. Andalusian's require significant grooming, mainly because of their thick and flowing manes and tails.

Regular detailing, conditioning, and maintenance is necessary to keep these long manes and tails healthy. Some owners choose to braid manes daily to help minimize tangles, and tails may need to be tied up to keep them up off of the ground when horses aren’t being shown or displayed.

andalusian horse equine horses
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Like any breed, Andalusian's will benefit from regular grooming, especially currying, which can help to bring out the natural oils and shine of the horse’s coat. Be prepared for regular bathing or spot-treating if you own a horse with a lighter colored coat.

Babies, a white Andalusian stallion, was a prized mount of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar in medieval Spain. He was a favored war horse and, for 30 years, was instrumental in his owner’s victory in each battle.

Clint Eastwood rode them in many of his movies, and the breed has appeared in hits including Gladiator, Interview with the Vampire, Brave heart, and The Lord of the Rings films. The Andalusian is highly intelligent and often agreeable, but this breed is also known for its forward movement, so these horses are best suited to intermediate riders and above.

It’s a natural fit for sports like dressage and carriage driving, and its animated movement and striking appearance commands attention in the show ring or in parades. Because these horses carry higher price points, they may be impractical choices for riders working with smaller budgets.

It’s also possible to buy an Andalusian from a private seller, since these horses are popular and well-established within the United States. It’s a good idea to have a pre-purchase exam performed on any horse, whether you’re buying it or adopting it from a rescue.

andalusian spanish andalusion shakira horses horse horsezone dressage riding
(Source: horsezone.com.au)

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