The Andalusian/Lusitano breed originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is one of the oldest breeds of horse. The Andalusian was bred principally by Carthusian Monks in the late Middle Ages. Every purebred Andalusian/Lusitano today can trace its lineage directly to the Stud Books of Spain and Portugal.
This regimented and selective breeding program kept the Andalusian exclusively in the Iberian Peninsula region, with no horses being exported until 1962. Even today these majestic horses— perhaps most recognized as the animated, elegant and graceful horses ridden by mounted bull fighters (rejoneadors) in Spain and Portugal— number less than 60,000 worldwide with only approximately 16,000 of those being in this country, making the Andalusian/Lusitano horse one of the rarest breeds of horse in the United States.
The typical Andalusian stands between 15.2 and 16.2 hands with a very powerful yet elegant build. Grey or white is the predominant breed color, but it is not unusual to see a bay, black, chestnut or even a palomino or dun colored Andalusian. Because of its trainability, lightness, and athleticism, the Andalusian excels in all disciplines of riding and driving, including an array of classes in halter, driving, hunt seat, saddle seat, dressage, Western pleasure, equitation, showmanship and working equitation. This majestic and rare “Horse of Kings,” is enjoying increasing recognition and acclaim in international dressage competition, and the Andalusian breed continues to grow and increase in popularity here in the United States.