The Andalusian horse, also known as the Pure Spanish Horse
or, in Spain, the Pura Raza Española, is a breed of horse
developed in Spain. More specifically, the Andalusian was
first bred in the provinces of Cadiz, Seville, and Miedina
Sidonia in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain. The Andalusian
was the most famous horse breed in Europe until the creation
fo the thoroughbred breed, and remains a very popular breed
to this day.
Andalusian stallions and geldings stand at an average height
of about 15.1 1/2 hands at the withers, while mares' heights
average at about 15 1/2 hands. Stallions and geldings typically
weigh about 1,130 pounds, while mares are proportionately
lighter at an average weight of about 910 pounds. In Spain,
restrictions on the minimum height of a registered Andalusian
mandate that an Andalusian gelding or stallion be 15 hands
high and a mare be 14.3 hands high to be registered.
The Andalusian has a powerful yet elegant build. It has a
medium-length head, straight nose, and large, expressive eyes.
Its shoulders are muscular and low and rounded at the back,
and its legs are strong and of a moderate length. In color,
the majority of Andalusians are gray, but an Andalusian can
be any of a myriad of colors, including bay, black, chestnut,
palomino, or dun. The Andalusian's mane and tail have thick,
The Andalusian is gentle and intelligent, and can be high-spirited.
It is quite docile in nature and accustomed to working and
learning quickly, making it a fairly easy horse to handle.
About 12% of Andalusians belong to a sub-type known as Carthusian,
or, in Spanish, Cartujano. Carthusian horses, first developed
in the 18th century, centuries after the Andalusian, are held
to be the purest line of Andalusian horse, and have slight
physical differences from non-Carthusian Andalusians.
The Andalusian has historically been used both driving and
riding, and was well-known throughout history as an excellent
racing breed. Because of its athleticism and speed, the Andalusian
has also been used as a cavalry horse by Spain and Portugal.
Today, the Andalusian is a popular breed in horse shows and,
for aesthetic reasons, is widely used in film.