Anyone ride a PRE or Andalusian on trails?

And how are they? Spooky? Reactive? I’ve got a 2yr old gelding who can be emotional at times just on the ground as he is not under saddle yet. Since they’re a late maturing breed, it will be a while. Just wondering what other PRE owners’ experience has been?

I’ve ridden them on week long trail rides in Spain. The best 4x4xfar. They are really dainty over rough ground, sure footed and kind. That natural collection is such that working through one rocky spot the hoof print of all 4 feet was in the same patch of dust between the stones. I was seriously impressed. Quite happy for me to hang on a tail when scrabbling up very steep bits. They were of course, well trained for their job. But as bright, intelligent horses I doubt they would ever be as dead quiet as a QH can be.


Mine was primarily a dressage horse before retirement, but we went out once or twice a week. He’s very smart and aware, but never stupid. He’d startle often, but rarely did anything that could unseat an average rider.


Best ATV I have ever had.


I guess I’ll be the voice of dissent. My PRE is sensitive and emotional and the biggest trail rides we’ve ever been on is down the driveway or from the outdoor to the barn. His spin and bolt cannot be matched and I do not trust him on the trail. Maybe when he’s in his late 20s.

No worries as I am sure there are those out there too. Just hoping my young gelding won’t be that. I’ve been debating if he’s a keeper or not because at times he does make me wonder if I actually want to sit that!? :open_mouth: He is mostly good, but I am not young any more and too much shenanigans will get him a new home. Right now, it’s very much we’ll see.

A few years ago I got to ride a half Andalusian schoolmaster mare in her late 20s. She loved her arena routine. She could be fussy and spooky on trails near the barn. I took her horse camping on a 5 hour ride up and down hills and she was a fantastic trooper. No spook no fuss totally sound plenty of endurance. Great back country horse.

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What Scribbler mentioned can be true. My guy can be worse if things are disrupted in his usual routine but can handle things completely out of the ordinary in a more mature way. It has gotten better since I’ve had him (he’s learned to trust me a bit more and I have a no BS policy, ie you can be scared and you can tell me but bolting without warning is a big no-no). I have to set him up for success every time lest we have an emotional breakdown after being corrected or feeling insecure. He’s never going to be your usual amateur’s horse. IMO, your 2 yo will probably mature a bit with trust and age especially if clear boundaries are implemented, but his personality will not change significantly.

That’s what I am worried about because he definitely demonstrates some highly emotional, oh shit, I’m outta here moments. And I am way past wanting to deal with that. Whereas my yearling Clyde/Paint cross is hardly reactive at all and he isn’t a dead head. Just processes completely differently.

An Andusian and a Paint/Clyde cross are going to be at opposite ends of the spectrum on emotional and physical attributes. In part I think iberians cavort because they can.

If you’ve decided you’ve made a mistake, sell him on sooner rather than later to someone that is comfortable with the breed. No shame in that.

Yes, I am aware. I haven’t necessarily decided I’ve made a mistake as this gelding has not had the benefit of much early handling plus was left a stallion until he was 18 months which didn’t help matters. He has already improved a lot, so I want to give him adequate time to mature and see how much he will settle. He’s nice enough that I won’t lose my investment in him. Well, as long as he doesn’t hurt himself, but that’s just the nature of horses.

Like all breeds, it depends a lot on the individual horse.

Many years ago I attended a week at an equitation school in Portugal. All the horses were Andalusian stallions. They taught serious dressage, and also led trail rides where many of the riders were inexperienced. One day I went on a trail ride instead of having a dressage lesson. Because I was experienced they put me on one of the “hotter” stallions, who wanted to jig or trot when he was supposed to be walking, but no spooking or shying, or trying to take off. And the other stallions were calm and relaxed. My husband was a very beginner rider, and he rode one on the trail ride, and was fine.

I don’t think being gelded, or not, makes any difference.

If you say so but as to my colt, it’s like night and day. And frankly has been for every stallion who became a gelding that I’ve owned.

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You have exactly the same situation I did. Owner did not geld until 18 mths, then six months later decided the horse was too much for her. She also thought he had hock problems (but that’s another story). I bought him at 2. At 3.5 got him ground driving, backed him and took him out trail riding. He will go through, over, up or down anything under saddle, but can still be a bit of a butthead in hand (15 now).

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That’s really great to hear. Honestly this guy is not “too much to handle”. It’s been more of a question of, do I want to? And just wondering if he will mature out of a good bit of it, which I now suspect and hope he will. I get that he may always be snorty or looky, but as long as he’s not looking for any excuse to toss me or scuttling out from under me, I’m good. Thanks for responding.

I have a friend with several Andalusians and a few Friesians. She rides all of them on trails. Sends the youngsters out for training and trail rides them after she gets them back. She has 16 horses right now. Her horses do get the best training available and are exposed to trails at a young age. Not sure what bloodlines - I think it is highly dependent on the horse, as far as what reactivity level they have.

She did have one that preferred the airs above the ground during training. She said she liked to go up and up, rather then forward. Although that was several years ago now, and the filly turned out nicely.

This is interesting, as mine will be convinced to do anything on the ground as long as I go first. Under saddle it is every man for himself.

Currently I’m having to treat my guy for an irritated eye from gnats, and I must say he’s being an absolute peach about letting me put stuff in his eye. He is also wearing his first ever fly mask today and was completely sensible about my putting it on him this morning. So definite steps forward. :crossed_fingers:

I usually start my own horses from babies 'cos you can never know what happened before you got them.
Every other horse I owned had nice manners. I put it down to early experiences :slightly_smiling_face: