Since the early 20th century, the Andalusian, or Spanish, horse has been considered a “pure blood Spanish breed” (pura raza española) . The name “Andalusian” refers to the geographic origin of the breed. However, since in the everyday language the term has also been used to describe not only purely bred horses from the region, it was essential to introduce a clearly defined name for pure blood Spanish horses. Therefore, pure blood Andalusians are most often named with the prefix “PRE”, which is an abbreviation of the Spanish term for pure Spanish breed (Pura Raza Espanola).
The breeding of Andalusians took place during the last centuries of the Middle Ages in a Carthusian monestry in South Spain. A famous noble man, Don Alvero Obertus de la Valeto in his will donated a territory of 40 km², also perfectly suitable for horse breeding to the monestry. Thus, in 1476 upon his death, the Carthusians took over the leadership and management of the breeding program. The three most important pure blood breeding programs were operated around Jerez de la Fontera, Sevilla and Casallo. Furthermore, some noble families also had significant Andalusian breeding stocks, such as the zamoranos, guzames and valenzuelas stocks. The Andalusian herds have been struck on several occasions, as the Napolean army preyed large numbers of horses. Fortunately, the monks were able to hide a good number of the animals. In 1832, when most of the Andalusian horses were no longer kept by the Carthusians, only a few horses survived a tragic epidemic. In order to save this precious breed, the Spanish government prohibited the export of these horses.
From the very beginning, the Andalusians have been primarily used for riding. This breed suits the needs of most riders, as it can be an excellent horse for children, for hobby riders, for horse races or even is carriages. When it comes to equestrian sports, Andalusians are best equipped for show jumping and dressage. We often meet them in various horse shows and circus productions. Andalusians are re-living the prime years with the current fashionable waves of the new Baroque style.
Many hobby riders prefer Andalusians for their simple temperament and natural elegance. Despite of the their vivid temperament, they are quite easy to train, discipline and can develop a deep connection with their rider. They are also relatively low maintenance. Nowadays, the Andalusians are one of the most popular breeds for riders: there are over 124 thousands Andalusian mares around the world. Inbreeding in prohibited, although due to the large number of Andalusians, it is hardly needed.