Do Andalusians Have Ugly Heads?

One fellow said to me, “those Andalusians sure have long ugly heads.” At first I confess, I thought so too. But over the years I’ve come to love those heads. It’s like Shorty Freeman once said “Some of the best cutting horses can eat out of a 55 gallon drum and still look over the rim!”

In fact the convex, “rams head” profile can also be said to confer “cow sense”, such as I’ve seen in quite a number of really scorpion cutting and working cow horses. But if you really want to see the acid test of the “old Iberian” head, tune in to YouTube and watch Pablo Hermoso ride Cagancho in a “Rejoneo”. The Andalusian (Spanish or Portuguese) horse has a conformation that grew out of millennia of use as a stock horse, chasing wild fighting cattle, then also hundreds of years as a war horse, and more recently a long history as a dancing horse in the royal schools of Europe, now called schools of equestrian art. Their ability to collect, to shift weight on to the hindquarters, and to lift themselves clear of Mother Earth comes from that placement and body proportion unique to this breed. The square rather than rectangular side view of the body, the high neck-set, the short, wide, muscular loins, the round croup, and the legs set more under the body enable the Andalusian horse to be an upper level dressage horse, a bullfighter, and a riding horse with a light rein extraordinaire!

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