For the amateur rider, the Andalusian horse with its majestic looks and high stepping movements, traditional long manes and tails and above all their wonderful trustworthy temperament, needs little by way of an introduction. These riders are well aware of the outstanding qualities of this breed, guaranteed to provide a safe and comfortable ride.
Following the excellent results of the PRE (Pure Bred Spanish - Andalusian) horses at top international dressage shows, both amateur and professional riders from all over the world are keen to find their ideal Spanish horse to be trained up to the highest possible competition levels.
For centuries Pure Bred Spanish horses have been exported to many countries around the world. European royalty sought Spanish horses, renowned for their brilliance in high school movements, which were used for warfare and entertainment at the courts. Members of royal families and officers were trained in the art of classical equitation on Spanish horses and other European breeds were refined with the blood of these animals.
The Spanish conquerors took horses along on their journeys and these animals were to be the origin of most American breeds.
The classical Pure Bred Spanish (P.R.E: Pura Raza Espanola) is recognized by its dry boned, expressive head, low tail inset, and compact body. Its traditional high knee action has been now often altered into a more extended movement to suit the modern "functional" bloodlines, whose descendants are being used for dressage competitions up to Grand Prix even at Olympic level.
Pure Bred Spanish horses, do not fully mature until they are six years of age. They display a generous character allowing stallions, without being gelded, to participate in all equestrian activities.
When purchasing P.R.E. horses, for riding or breeding purposes, one must decide upon what type of animal is required ; the "classical" or the modern "functional" horse. This is a matter of taste and depends on what the horse is going to be used for by the new owner. If one relishes hacking around the countryside on a beautiful, comfortable and well-tempered horse which reminds one of the paintings of the great Spanish artists of the past, then choose a horse representing the classical bloodlines. If, however, you wish to reach the heights of success achieved by Olympic dressage horses EVENTO, INVASOR or FUEGO de CARDENAS, then look for an animal with more modern movements and conformation.
Breeding Pure Bred Spanish horses, both for personal pleasure or as a commercial enterprise, is a unique experience and demands a thorough study of the origins of the mares and stallions to be used, preferably elected with the help and advice of an on the spot expert.
The beauty of the Spanish Pure bred, its spectacular movement, even temperament, physical and psychological strength and amazing obedience also make it a popular driving horse even up to the level of international competitions.
Concerning the color of their coats, it can be observed that although these animals are traditionally grey (foals are born with a dark coat), nowadays there are many bays. Black horses although much more exclusive, are very popular among clients.
The Spanish Pure Breed horse is famous for its flowing mane and tail. However , it should be noted that brood-mares, colts and fillies have theirs traditionally clipped for hygienic reasons.
As from January 2007, the National Association for the Spanish Pure Breed Horse (ANCCE) is in charge of the Studbook for the Spanish Government. Outside Spain, the official local Associations for the Pure Breed Spanish horse are in charge of coordinating, the changes of ownership, the inscription of horses in the Stud Book, the implantation of micro-chips and the breeding approval revision.