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Andalusian v Lusitano

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  • Andalusian v Lusitano


    New Zealand's Iberian horse community is growing -with the import of a Lusitano stallion. We have more Andalusian stallions in NZ than Lusitanos and I am curious to know the difference in temperament, movement, etc.

    I look forward to your comments

  • #2
    In general these horses are known to be docile, but sensitive and very smart. They are known to be very good at collection, because of their conformation, less good at extensions. That said,dressage oriented breeders may be focusing on that more.
    See info below cut and pasted from somewhere. My assessment is that the two are somewhat like the European warmbloods - lots of similarities, differences may be more individual than breed specific.

    There is a saying that goes..."With the PRE you go to church, with a PSL you go to work."

    Actually, the main difference is the countries... Andalusians (Spanish) and the Lusitanos (Portuguese) are different branches of the same breed.

    The short story is that before 1966 stud books were shared between Portugal and Spain and many of the Lusitano lines today are heavy with Spanish influence. After the stud books split the Spanish no longer allowed Portuguese horses into their stud book. Genetic tests have been done looking for common markers which has proven they are the same genetic animal. Differences in phenotype have developed from the use of the horses. For a period some Spanish bred a very high stepping, ‘prettier” animal to ride in ferias and put in front of carriages. Not all breeders followed this trend however, like the Military stud. The Portuguese tended to always breed for function in the bull ring with character and functionality that required. Now both countries are changing to produce animals for International levels of sport, mainly dressage.

    As for actual conformational differences....these horses are like any other breed. You will find breeders breeding for specific builds and ways of going. The fact is that the written standard for both horses is almost identical.

    In the United States the name Andalusian has stuck even though in Spain they are called Pura Raza Espanola (PRE). In Portugal the Puro Sangue Lusitano is the proper name (PSL). In the US, combining the lines of the PRE and PSL in accepted. In fact the combination very often gives a very exciting combination. (In the USA this blending is still considered, and registered as purebred "Andalusian") The best features and weaknesses of both the PRE and PSL can be different so the combination can make the best of both worlds.

    As for what you can do with them.....anything.
    These horses are ridden, driven, jumped, worked cattle, shown, trail ridden...what ever the horse is suitable for conformation, movement and attitude-wise!
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


    • #3
      I have PRE Andalusians so my knowledge of Lusitanos is limited, but my observations from attending the regional and national shows are that Lusitanos tend to be taller and less compact and baroque than Andalusians (PRE), often with bigger movement. The latter seem to be rather more sport-oriented, although as 2tempe mentioned, it seems that both breeds are being geared towards dressage more so than the previous fashion dictated by breed shows. It was very popular in Spain a few years ago (and consequently also in North America) for Andalusians to paddle (for whatever reason), and this movement was rewarded at the shows. I think this is becoming less "fashionable" however, with the increasing movement towards dressage breeding. I'm not sure if this was true for Lusitanos as well.

      I can appreciate the comment 2tempe makes about the Andalusians being bred to be "prettier": Lusitanos tend to have a more convex profile (Roman nose) than Andalusians who tend to have a straighter profile, so the latter tend to have more attractive heads.


      • #4
        In general the Lusitano is considered the "hotter" of the two. That's not saying they're hot, but they tend to be a bit more reactive than an Andie. Lines were geared more towards speed and agility without sacrificing movement and mind.

        The Lusitano is the original cow horse.

        Both are very seriously purpose bred...not for a single purpose only but with an ideal in mind and they're consistant in producing quality. The Andies geared more towards dressage and similar...the Lusitanos split more towards speed, and agility. Both for precision and fantastic minds/personalities.

        Lusitanos are traditionally the bull fighting horse. Check out Speed Equitation and Garrocha, et al, on youtube.

        And although many people tend to pigeon hole both breeds into "Dressage Horse" "Airs Above the Ground Horse" "Movie Horse" and "Fantasy Hair Horse"...both are extremely versatile and do very well in many disciplines. Both are also adept at jumping. (not as show hunters though)

        And both are used often in cross breeding...unfortunately not as carefully as they should be cross bred. More of a "fantasy hair horse crossed with whatever has a uterus for an affordable offpsring" type breeding. Kinda like what they do often with Friesians.
        But with good breeders, they do cross well with other breeds/types.
        You jump in the saddle,
        Hold onto the bridle!
        Jump in the line!


        • #5
          PRE (andalusian) and Lusitano horses share the same origins, but there are now many differences between the two breeds.
          It is common that many people think they are the same, or think that the lusitano originated from the PRE which is a huge mistake.

          This two horses are known since the times of the romans, before Christ. In that times they were known as a single breed called Iberus, which was used as a war horse. The modern equivalent of Iberus is Sorraia, a breed that is almost extinct.
          The muslim conquest brought a lot of arabian blood to spain, while in Portugal there was a Barb horse influence.

          In Spain, the horses were bred to be "court" horses used by kings, which led to a beautiful, extravagant and heavy horse, with a lot of mane and high knee action.
          In Portugal the breeding focused on developing a working and agile horse, with cow sense used in rejoneo.

          This madre great differences between the breeds:

          - PRE horses have a more arab influenced straighter profile, while lusitanos conserve the classical baroque roman nose.
          - The back os the PRE tends to be more flat, while the lusitano is more rounded.
          - the PRE is a heavy horse, the lusitano is quicker.
          - movement in PRE horses is shorter and higher at the knee, lusitanos tend to move more forward.
          - Temperament: PRE horses are easy and docile, lusitanos are hotter, more intelligent, and very brave.
          - Functionality: PRE horses are only good as pleasure horses, haute ecole and more recently dressage. Lusitanos are better in sport and stand out in rejoneo, working equitation, dressage, haute ecole and even jumping.

          Once I saw an interview with famous spanish rejoneador Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza where he said that he was fond of the horses of his country (PRE) but that he would never use one in bullfighting and that he considered them only as trail pleasure horses. He only uses lusitano and lusitano crosses.

          In the international dressage scene we have seen impressive results with Fuego XII, but andalusian horses have a long way to go to improve functionality.
          There have been more lusitanos in dressage for more years, with horses such as Rubi, Relampago do Retiro, Luar, Guizo, Util, Sal, Galopin de la Font...

          So in conclusion we can say that this two breeds are like cousins that have been raised differently!


          • Original Poster

            Super, many thanks - much appreciated.

            I forgot to add that I had two full sisters (Andalusian sire, TB dam) so am familiar with the Andalusian attitude, temperament, movement, etc


            • #7

              Very interesting topic. Love the Lusitanos ever since I saw the youtube video of Merlin the Bullfighting Horse. Magnificent animal.

              After searching for info on North American 'Spanish' horses, I found or rather it was MHO that the quality did not appear as high as horses from the mother countries. I noticed the prices on sale horses from NA breeders are quite high. I think this may be due to scarcity of the breed at this time? Are they getting these prices? I would love to own one of the magnificent creatures. Even breed them. I'm wondering how a WB x Lusitano would be. The best of both worlds, however, this would take some generations to achieve.

              is_V, your input was quite interesting. I am drawn more to the Lusitano, however, if I were to breed these horses, I would like to give them more attractive heads. But then again, the baroque look can be attractive in its own way. I love the athleticism in these horses. They are absolutely amazing!! It's my dream to go to Portugal and see them in action.

              Does anyone know if the market for these horses is increasing in NA? What is being done to educate the market on the values of owning one of these horses. Here in BC, they have an Spanish horse exhibition once a year.

              Also, the paddle is something I don't like about the breed and yet this is likely what makes them quite comfortable to ride.

              The temperament as described here, sounds wonderful. Sensitive yet contained, not hot to ride?? Can anyone else comment on their experiences with temperaments on their Lusitanos?
              Dark Horse Farm


              • #8

                I read that Merlin (youtube Merlin) is 7/8 Lusitano and 1/8 Quarterhorse!
                Dark Horse Farm


                • #9
                  I've heard the same thing, Merlin having some QH in him.

                  yes, Lusitanos in NA are expensive. And actually many bred here are bred for size, color and all sorts of other stupidity rather than the breed standards.
                  Or they're bred for dressage only which does change them also.
                  The prices reflect the American love affair with Fairy Tale Hair Horses. Give it lots of excess hair and movie roles and watch the price skyrocket. Same goes for Andalusians, Friesians and Gypsy cobs.

                  Some of the nicest I've seen were actually in/from Brazil. They stick rigorously to the breed ideal/standard. What they consider "culls" there is usually what's considered breeding stock here. They have decent pricing, but then there's importing, quarantine on top of that. They breed them as sport horses, which is what they are supposed to be.

                  With some careful digging around, you can find well bred, nice Aztecas. (lusitano/qh) More affordable and a useful cross.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dbaygirl View Post
                    The temperament as described here, sounds wonderful. Sensitive yet contained, not hot to ride?? Can anyone else comment on their experiences with temperaments on their Lusitanos?
                    My family used to breed lusitanos here in Mexico (some wonderful lusitanos in the country from Portugal and Brazil) but we sold the broodmares and most of the foals and I only stayed with 2 approved stallions and some working horses. I have seen and worked with horses with many other breeders and I can only say that the lusitano overall is a pleasure to ride, but they are not super easy rides.

                    They tend to be spirited when young, but learn amazingly quickly. Very very smart. But they often try to test the rider to see who is smarter.
                    When they mature they have great ride ability and work ethic. Versatility and functionality are key in the breed.

                    One of my stallions is 20 years old and still has tons of character. He was owned by other breeders before and they had problems with his handling. We had a lot of patience and his attitude has improved a lot. I have to ride him with soft hands and kind leg, if not he stresses out.
                    He comes from a very ancient and baroque line and was approved as a stallion in Portugal, he then was imported to Mexico and has been champion of the breed and has several champion sons.

                    The other stallion is a stubborn horse, but has a kinder temperament and is easier to ride. Still very sensible in the hand. He has a more modern type (brother of olympic Relampago do Retiro) and has a cool attitude. He is very tall and comes from Brazil from Villa do Retiro stud, in my opinion, the best lusitano breeders out there.

                    In conclusion I can say the lusitano is an enthusiastic, intelligent and talented ride, but also with a kind temperament that makes for a perfect lifetime companion. With the correct training it can be a high competition horse in different disciplines.

                    If you are looking for a lusitano to bring to the USA, check out this breeder in Mexico, some of the best horses I have seen, and you don´t have to pay for expensive traveling costs from Brazil: http://lasmoreriascollection.com/


                    • #11
                      Opportunity to breed to MERLIN

                      Originally posted by dbaygirl View Post
                      I read that Merlin (youtube Merlin) is 7/8 Lusitano and 1/8 Quarterhorse!
                      For years I have been watching this video,,dreamt about have such a keen horse. Loves his working look. I tried to see if I could get a breeding,,but was never to find a link for him.
                      So I made mention to a friend. So she got back to me,,,that her contact can get us some semen..I am so excited.....


                      Here come the obsessive compulsive breeding disorder,,,it has struck me again!


                      • #12
                        That is awesome I saw the video very impressive.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ironwood View Post
                          That is awesome I saw the video very impressive.
                          I found the group on facebook that states this. Is it the same person you speak of? https://www.facebook.com/groups/526735174003246/


                          • #14
                            Merlin the bullfighting horse

                            Originally posted by ironwood View Post
                            I found the group on facebook that states this. Is it the same person you speak of? https://www.facebook.com/groups/526735174003246/
                            Now to find a proper mare,,,,,any ideas?


                            • #15
                              I'm wondering how a WB x Lusitano would be.
                              I sell Lusitano horses for all over the world. And a couple of years ago a breeder came to me and asked me to ride one of his horses in competition. It was an Hanoverian x Lusitano cross.

                              Had the best of both worlds! He was bigger than the average lusi, with more expressive movements but the same ability to collect and the same amazing temperament - a volcano could erupt right next to him and he woudn't even budge.