Europe - Portugal

Majodero R, photo supplied by of Massey Farms ©

One of the early ancestors of the Lusitano is the Sorraian pony, which was crossed with large numbers of Barb and Arabian horses taken to the Iberian peninsular by Muslim invaders in 711. The Lusitano is closely related to the Spanish Andalusian. The best Iberian horses have been bred along the border of Spain and Portugal where they were in great demand and held in high esteem as war horses serving in the endless battles between the two countries. Until the beginning of the 20th century the Lusitano and the Andalusian were regarded as the same breed. When they established their own stud books the Portuguese put great effort into improving and monitoring the Lusitano in order to preserve their admired qualities of courage and strength. The inherited power of acceleration and manoeuvrability made the Lusitano the favourite horse for the demanding sport of bullfighting as it is considered a disgrace if a horse gets injured during a bull fight. The Lusitano is easy to train, possesses good natural balance and elevated paces giving an exceptionally smooth, comfortable ride. Their gentle, affectionate and enthusiastic nature helps to develop a great understanding between horse and rider.

powerful, noble
Head: long, noble, well proportioned head; convex profile; pronounced jaws; large, lively, almond shaped eyes; small ears, cured inward at the tip; finely curved nose
Neck: powerful, arched, deep at the base, set at slightly wide angle to the shoulders
Shoulders: powerful, muscular, sloping, well defined withers
Body: short coupled body; broad, deep chest; deep rib cage; broad, powerful loins; round, gently sloping croup
Mane and Tail: silky, abundant; tail fairly low set
Legs: fine, clean limbs; good bone density; long, muscled forearm and thigh
Feet: strong, solid hooves
Color: predominantly grey and bay; also any true color including chestnut and dun
Height: 15.1 to 15.5hh, occasionally over 16hh
Temperament: gentle, intelligent, affectionate, enthusiastic, calm, does not panic easily
Qualities: easy to train, hard working, willing, courage, good natural balance, agile, elevated paces

Lusitanos excel at high school work and are starting to make a name for themselves in show jumping and carriage driving. They are well suited for the demanding sport of bull fighting. Their elevated paces make the Lusitano very comfortable for pleasure riding.