The Iberian Experience

May 7, 2010

The History

Filed under: Uncategorized — iberianexperience @ 6:32 pm

The Horse of Kings

I feel that now is as good of time as any to fill you in on the prominent history that contributes to the genetic makeup of my Filly.  As I have said before, she is an Iberian Sport Horse. A breed name that is completely derived from the original location of her century old ancestors.  And it’s a story that begins in Spain.

Like most of Western Europe, before Spain became the joined country that it is today, it was predominately composed of regional kingdoms.  Among those kingdoms was the Iberian Peninsula.  I imagine that the Kingdom of the Iberian Peninsula was similar to the others, however; these residents had something special…a certain type of horse.

Long story short, the Andalusian is thought to have been around since the 13th or 14th century, or at least some form of the breed was around at this time. Official records documenting the Andalusian as indeed a definite and distinct breed appear in the early portion of the 15th century.

I know what you’re thinking… Andalusian? I thought she was Iberian… Well she is and she is Iberian because her Sire (the horse daddy) is Andalusian.  You see the Andalusian is considered a PRE (Pura Raza Española) Translated: Pure Spanish Horse and the Iberian is not.

The reason DoubleShot is Iberian and not Andalusian is because her Dam (the horse mommy) is not an Andalusian, she is a Warmblood. However, because of the strong Spanish roots of her sire, DoubleShot fits the requirements to be registered as an Iberian Sport Horse. Essentially, the Spanish characteristics and qualities of the Andalusian are so dominant that even half-Andalusian are given their own distinct breed and registration.

And, the Iberian is only one of many breeds that benefited from the blood lines of the Andalusian. Originally know as the “Horse of Kings” it is clear how highly regarded these animals were to the Spanish.  Undoubtedly they recognized the phenomenal qualities of the breed, namely their cool sensibility, intelligence and relational personalities, and therefore sought to instill these characteristics in other horses ultimately “bettering” other breeds.

Their results produced some of the world’s most recognizable breeds such as the famous Lipizzaner, Frisians, Lusitanos and others. It’s no question that among the centuries when wars were common and horses were the essential ingredient for success, the demand for a superior horse was astronomical and consequently the trade industry for such animals was explosive.

We tend to think upon Spain’s military history as a sea-faring one with terms such as “the Spanish Armada” stuck in our heads since the fifth grade. But I believe that perhaps they were more of a cavalry country then we tend to think. After all, it was the Spanish themselves who brought the first horse to the American continent some centuries ago.  

Yet there had to have been a turning point somewhere along the line.  Eventually the Spanish took to diligently guarding their precious breed as opposed to sharing it.  Perhaps they felt they had benefited the world enough and that they deserved some quality down time with their horse.  During these several hundred years, the Andalusian continued to flourish within the borders of Spain, but this was precisely the only place they could. Strict legislation mandated that the exportation of an Andalusian was illegal. 

And this rule was sustained right up until the very recent year of 1960. Today, the majority of Andalusians and Iberians still remain in Spain, but the world did not hesitate to once again tap into this extraordinary horse.  Fortunately, the breed has not been compromised or exploited throughout this expansion period and to date there are still fewer than 20,000 Andalusians in existence worldwide.  The United States claims 4,500 are in residence within our borders… and DoubleShot is one of them.



  1. Wow, I always learn so much from you! Loved the piece you wrote, and you know I love history!!

    Comment by Becky Sanford — May 8, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

  2. Nice to find your blog as well. I look forward to following you and our sister on this journey.

    Comment by annablakeblog — May 18, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

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