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2greyhorses
Mar. 4, 2010, 10:33 AM
Hi, I am a new member. I was enjoying the thread about best breed for adult amateur dressage riders (I am one of those), and noticed a few people had some very enthusiastic things to say about Andalusians. I am getting my first Andy next month, a 4 year old gelding, and would love to hear more about your experiences with this breed (unless all has already been said on the other thread).

I also have a young SE Arab mare who I adore, I have been riding her in my dressage lessons to date. I have heard from Andy owners that the 2 ancient breeds, Andalusians and Arabs, have many strong traits in common, such as being really intelligent, sensitive, fiery and loyal to their person... Andys are said to be a bit more level-headed, not as spooky and reactive as Arabs can be. I realize that in the end it all comes down to the individual, nevertheless, would love to hear your experiences and impressions of Andalusians.

Do any of you own and/or ride Andalusians regularly? Please tell me everything about them!

kealea31
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:37 PM
Congrats on getting your first Andalusian!! They are wonderful horses. I have worked with them since I was a teenager, and I have a half arab/andalusian now - the best of both worlds:)

They are everything you mentioned above - and also they can be sensitive, emotional, and dramatic. As long as you take your time with the training (don't expect collection and good canter work until he is probably atleast 8 years old), you will have a super cool horse. They are amazing performers, have an almost theatrical flair, and are huge attention getters and crowd gatherers at shows.

Some other benefits - they usually can get fat off air, so you can save money on feed:), they are very smart, but most aren't as hot as the arabs (that does depend a little on the bloodline though). Would love to see pictures.

Elegante E
Mar. 4, 2010, 01:54 PM
Great horses, wonderful personalities. What I like is that they don't tend to lose their brains. They can spook but then get back to work more easily than some breeds. I think there's more going on upstairs.

Be careful as they tend to be light in front - going up is more easy though they tend to be balanced when they do it, not the straight up threatening to flip over kind of up. This comes from them having super strong hind ends but also from them being light in the mouth (my mares more so than my gelding). They just don't take up the heavy contact of say WBs. This can mean that getting them truly on the bit and through takes knowledge. Keep an eye on the tail, when it's clamped to the butt, they are tight in the back. When they carry the tail away from the body, they are using their backs.

I'd say the biggest thing is that your balance is there balance, even more so than many horses. So if you are having problems, check yourself first always. And get outside as often as possible. Hill work and trails will condition him and will probably give you your best moments of collection till you advance in your training.

Lastly, watch out where you keep your treats. Mine all are treat mongers and will try to pick pockets if they think treats are stashed there. Ok, and beware of your new guy getting into things. Mine all love to explore the barn, tack box. Everything goes in the mouth for sampling.

Have a blast!

oldbag
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:07 PM
Some are so laid back they are boring.

Some are so hot they drive you nuts.

Some are just right. But many are bad movers ie dishing and choppy.

2greyhorses
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:14 PM
Wow great advice so far! Thanks!! I have to cram all that into the brain so I don't forget!

I will post pics but not until he arrives, all's I have now is his Dreamhorse pic! My guy will be trained straight away with my really excellent dressage trainer who has a very gentle, natural (no contraptions) approach. He is another greenie but sometimes that can be OK esp. if you start them out with a skilled trainer you can really trust, you don't have to wonder why they have issues and how they got there. Thanks guys.

PS
Re: everything goes in the mouth for sampling, I noticed that right away! This guy was trying to steal my flashlight with his mouth when I was first meeting him. It was at night in El Nino weather, while he was in a strange environment (for him) with that scary sounding wind and rain pounding the barn. He was obviously on edge from all that but was still wanting to play with the flashlight in my hands which I found endearing! Very wanting to explore and touch me too, but not in a rude way. Very interactive little guy.

Just because I don't have pics to share yet doesn't mean you guys can't post some!

Megaladon
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:27 PM
Andalusians are wonderful. Very people oriented, and sensitive, both on the ground and ridden. Intelligent as well. As like a poster above stated, they get fat quite easily, which I think adds to their charm :lol:

They are very inquisitive to the point of being nosy, "what's this" "who's that", they can be the jokesters of the barn, especially the geldings (you have been warned :lol: )

A perfect horse for you, enjoy him!!

ASBnTX
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:40 PM
I've always been drawn to Andalusians and now I know why...from the descriptions they sound exactly like a pudgy version of a Saddlebred :lol:
Congrats and can't wait to see pics when you get him home!

MistyBlue
Mar. 4, 2010, 02:44 PM
Never owned an Andy but have ridden and/or worked with a few.
I've noticed that every last one is *smart.* And have the little fun stuff that comes with a smarter than average horse; they like to get into trouble. Nothing dangerous...mostly the stuff that'll make you laugh and drive you a little bonkers. Like figuring out gate and stall latches. Or stealing stuff and playing Keep Away with it. They seem to like puzzling things through...you can almost see those wheels in the brain turning. :D

They also mature a tad slower than some other breeds.
They're pretty versatile, no need to stick to one discipline with them. Want to go chase cows one weekend? Go ahead. Feel like a hunter pace? Have fun, the horse sure will. They have a decent jump usually. Not a hunter jump...I wouldn't bother trying hunters with one. The flat movement isn't right either for hunters.
But jumpers and gaming...go for it.

And one last thing I noticed...they're kind of like a really big dog in personality. They seem to like people...they don't just tolerate them. They bond well with their person/people. However if you fall in a well, they're not going to go for help. They'll probably point and laugh. :lol:

And congrats on your new Andy! Can't wait to see photos!

2greyhorses
Mar. 4, 2010, 03:25 PM
Well you guys, not to bore you with too much raving about the new horse (like some people do about their kids, just shamelessly LOL), but his personality was what caused me to not be able to walk away from this horse. He really is like a big puppy dog. I saw him the next morning in his own digs after the storm had passed and he was much more relaxed, even more interactive than the previous night. I actually had a hard time looking at his profile to assess his conformation because he kept following me in little circles in his pasture! If you stroke his face, he closes his eyes and nuzzles his head into your chest. Keep in mind I am a complete stranger he does not even know. My arab mare is the most loving, loyal horse but she is so fussy about having her face stroked, if it is not exactly the right way in the right spot she gets all head-tossy, a real diva! Then the owner's husband was scratching his chest and he just craned his neck like a giraffe, eyes shut in ecstasy again, just like a big dog!

His owner says that if she is outside in the yard, he will wait by the pasture gate for hours mooning after her, hoping she will take him out and do something with him, while his herd mates are behind him grazing. Actually the thing that was the most striking about him was his gaze. When I was hanging out with him in his pasture the next morning, he had his eye glued to me the whole time. It really was not in my imagination. The other horses in the herd, some Andys, were also very sweet and curious and would look at me here and there, but this guy had me in an eye-lock. Eventually he came up to the fence where I was standing, for pets, and no matter how the other horses tried to move him around, he stuck as close as he could. Even as I was leaving he just stood there with the eyeballs lasered in on me. I took it as evidence that this horse is just DYING to bond and be with a person, which fits in with what his owner was saying. Her main riding horse and equine true love is his Dad, a lovely stallion, so she just does not have the time for him. I left the little barn for my trip back north, quite haunted by that horsie gaze! And you know, some andys have a little white showing in the corner of their eye all the time, like an Appy, so they can have a more human-looking eye. I knew I would never forgive myself if I passed him up!

Edit to add: And of course he has nice movement and conformation, a stellar pedigree and is cute to boot! And he did NOT cost a small fortune, I tell you they are out there if you look...

reefy!
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:19 PM
(and it's been 6 years) I still miss my andy so very much!

He was the biggest hearted, kindest horse I've ever known (and I'm not the only one who thought that).

There's a pic of him as my profile picture - we did H/J/Eq and had he lived, we would be doing dressage now.

Just a really neat horse, super brave and willing. :sadsmile:

2greyhorses
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:29 PM
Awww, I am sorry your boy is gone Reefy. I checked out your profile pic and he was a glorious fellow indeed!

reefy!
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:34 PM
Thanks - he was a special one and I know yours will be, too! Skippy was kind of big for an andy (right around 17H) but I tell you what, he was the easiest horse to jump - would go from way too close or way too far and made it all look good. It was only when I interfered that we had ugly fences but he always forgave me :lol:

I'll have another someday but right now a rather opinionated orange TB has my heart :)

Not sure how much he loves dressage but were trying!

I wish you all the best with your new boy (where's the green eyed jealous smiley when I need one) :D

2greyhorses
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:52 PM
Thanks - he was a special one and I know yours will be, too! Skippy was kind of big for an andy (right around 17H) but I tell you what, he was the easiest horse to jump - would go from way too close or way too far and made it all look good. It was only when I interfered that we had ugly fences but he always forgave me :lol:

I'll have another someday but right now a rather opinionated orange TB has my heart :)

Not sure how much he loves dressage but were trying!

I wish you all the best with your new boy (where's the green eyed jealous smiley when I need one) :D

He sounds wonderful, Reefy! Feel free to share Skippy stories anytime!

I am 'trying' at dressage too, with my little Arab mare, but I think she might enjoy endurancy trail-riding more, hence the gelding.

Just remember green smiley, yours truly didn't get to have horses growing up, I was one of those horse-insane, no, horse-PSYCHO little girls, and all's I got was a half a year of riding lessons! I finally get dream horse(s) when I am hitting middle age here :). Meanwhile you were frolicking around on Zippy and the like. Where's MY green smilie?? :D

PixelGraphixDesign
Mar. 4, 2010, 04:59 PM
(and it's been 6 years) I still miss my andy so very much!

He was the biggest hearted, kindest horse I've ever known (and I'm not the only one who thought that).

There's a pic of him as my profile picture - we did H/J/Eq and had he lived, we would be doing dressage now.

Just a really neat horse, super brave and willing. :sadsmile:

He has great form!

cute_lil_fancy_pants_pony
Mar. 5, 2010, 08:37 AM
Andalusians are the easiest horses in the world to ride and train, its almost not fair! I worked with a "problem" Andalusian which wasn't really a problem at all. The owner was very impressed by my "training" but all I did was just sit there and ride, never even broke a sweat riding that horse! Ha ha, easy money! Just give lots of praise and they will try to please you.

2greyhorses
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:02 AM
He has great form!

Yea, Skippy is really magnificent, his extra stature makes him even more so. Maybe Reefy will put up more pics for us! :winkgrin:

2greyhorses
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:07 AM
Andalusians are the easiest horses in the world to ride and train, its almost not fair! I worked with a "problem" Andalusian which wasn't really a problem at all. The owner was very impressed by my "training" but all I did was just sit there and ride, never even broke a sweat riding that horse! Ha ha, easy money! Just give lots of praise and they will try to please you.

That is great news, because this guy needs to be trained from scratch! Actually one of my 'virtual' Andy mentors who is a big deal breeder in Texas has told me the same, she also loves Arabs and has one. SHe said that it will take an Arab many repetitions to learn what the Andy does the first time around. And Arabs are smart, but maybe it is that desire to please that the Andy has, who knows.

reefy!
Mar. 5, 2010, 02:06 PM
I don't have a lot of pics on my computer but a few!

As if you must ask, ha, ha :)

2greyhorses
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:52 AM
Wow, he really is a beauty, reefy! Anyone's dream horse! He sure does look big in the pics, my goodness, you should have had a parachute for falls!! He seems the stretchier type too, like, my guy is a bit more round and short-backed (old style). As an artist there is nothing I would change about Skippy.
What was his breeding? I may or may not be able to make heads or tails of it, just barely learning the bloodlines in the breed. How long did he grace your life? Any special Skippy stories? (shameless begging)...