Talk to me about Andalusian

So been doing some pondering…I have always had a dream about owning an Andalusian, you know, someday…
Well, it occurs to me that someday is now, if I don’t do it soon it won’t happen.
An acquaintance has an Andy half TB 2yr old. Reg stud, reg mom, don’t know anything more about them. As a baby and yearling this colt was stand offish, super reactive and didn’t seem to take to any traIning. Things I observed, would spook at the drop of a hat, when spooked would run to the far side, not just jump a bit, when being handled generally had his ears back, tense, as a 2yr he has improved but he is still tense, wary. Although it does seem like he retains what he has learned he is still quite reactive. Some could be handling but the owner is fairly experienced and her other horses are calm and affectionate.
So, wondering is this a fair representative of the breed? Do they tend to be reactive rather than solid?
With training does the spookiness go away? Is the apparent crankiness more personality than breed? I am generally a practical person and realize as I get older a more steady mount will be more enjoyable.
Thanks for your ideas.

No, reactivity is not a breed characteristic. Remember you also have a thoroughbred in there…

Just like an all breeds, there are different lines that carry more distinct characteristics. Some lines are hotter, and Harken more back to the bullfighting lineage. Some are much quieter, and are the kinds of horses that the aristocracy would ride in parades.

Start doing your homework. I have two Andalusian mares in my barn right now. One is seven years old and her 13-year-old owner can take her out for hours of riding in the orchards around my farm. Alone, or with another horse. Bareback or not. I have not seen this mare spook at anything. She is very sensitive, but she is absolutely not reactive.

The other one is an 18-year-old girl who is all business. She’s extremely sensitive to ride and has a huge motor, requires the rider to organize her for dressage, or she will have more motor than balance. Her motor could intimidate an experienced writer, but is utterly delightful for someone with some skills. . She is also not spooky, but her owner is not as confident about taking her on trail rides. She is a bit more reactive.

I have a Lusitano gelding who started out being super reactive as a young boy, but has come around beautifully and while often very alert, is not what I would call a spooky horse at all.

Andalusians are sensitive. They’re supposed to be sensitive. You will need to do specific research about the specific bloodlines that you’re interested in. And get tons and tons of information about whatever horse it is you’re looking out.


very good advice, applicable to any breed. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone else who has offspring from this particular stallion.
How would you 'research"? I mean if you ask the stallion owner they are going to tell you a wonderful story, do you try to get names of offspring and cold call them?

Start by stalking them online. You can research the dam lines and the sire lines. If you want to hedge your bets and get the kind of temperament you want, you don’t buy from a tiny breeder who has some mare in the backyard that they bred to some stallion. You find a horse who has been produced intentionally by knowledgeable people. Yes you will pay more for this. Or you find someone who has a backyard horse who comes from one of those breeding programs. Those are out there too, But you need to know when you find them.

I would also suggest that you expand your search to Aztecas. There are some really nice quarter horse crosses. They may carry the type of temperament that you want more readily. I would absolutely avoid thoroughbred crosses.

The Texas mare we found had been used by her previous owner in all kinds of competitive trail riding events, there were hours an hours of videos of her doing all sorts of things. I had a very good feeling that this girl was exactly as represented and she was. But I also have a lot of experience parsing through sales horses.


I second the suggestion to look at Aztecas. Mine was produced when his breeder crossed his “very nice Andalusian stallion” with his “super laid-back paint mare.” He’s stunning to look at, not afraid of anything, and very sensitive.


I’ve always felt like an Andalusian TB cross could go really mental or wrong. I know someone who has one and the horse is hot, but manageable, I think moreso now that the horse is a bit older.

My last Andalusian was spooky and overall just a weird horse, but also my best horse. He was totally skittish as a 4 year old, it took weeks to get on him successfully without him scurrying away in a panic at the thought of someone or something on his back. No one could be behind him, no one could touch him, no one could catch him (I could with a little patience and appropriate mannerisms). He lived is life with his hoof hovering over the panic button, but my God that sensitivity could be amazing at times
Everything was so subtle with him and if you were his person he was tuned in. He wasn’t the type to just give you his trust or respect, and he wasn’t rude, it was just that he needed faith in his leader. This was very important to him.

You couldn’t be rough with him, or strong, but still had to be firm. He was very reactive and it takes a very certain type of person to be able to correctly handle and train a reactive Andalusian the right way. With mine the spookiness faded with time, training, and experience, but not all of it. It was just him.

Sometimes people think these horses are cranky or that their ears are back but it’s more of their concentration face. You can even see it in Spanish horses at the upper levels of dressage. They’re very focused and want to understand what you’re saying. Their ears often face backwards. I think it’s often misinterpreted as grumpy.

If you are confusing an Andalusian in some way, or being too rough, unsure, or aren’t good with your body language or control, it might put them off, or make them grumpy with frustration.

Some are more reactive than others, but IMO they’re all reactive to some extent and are sensitive. The spookiness can go away in some, but always sort of linger in others. It depends on their personality and training. While there are common characteristics within the breed, they’re all individuals. I’ve known many that were quite quirky but settled a bit with age and the right person.

They can be a steady mount, but it really takes the right person for this, and the right horse. I love their sensitivity, but they aren’t for everyone. I always encourage people to ride and be around a few before committing to the breed.

I think an Azteca would he a good suggestion as well. Perhaps start there.


I owned a half TB half Andy for ever (finally put her down in her late 20’s because she couldn’t handle the heat with her heaves any more, which she didn’t start showing signs of having until her early to mid 20’s). She was the soundest horse I have ever owned. She was a HOT mare! I don’t know if it was something about that cross or if it was the poor handling that she had. I knew of this handling and it was part of the reason I ended up with her. I would not have ever called her reactive. She was my rock. When other horses were freaking out she wouldn’t bat an eye. Now with that being said, if she got into one of her moods she would spook at anything just to spook. She really knew how to push a rider’s buttons. She could do anything and was an amazing ride once you understood her and knew how she wanted to be ridden. You couldn’t hang on her face at all, she would put you on the ground if you did. But she wasn’t mean just what I call untrusting. Again I’m not sure if that was just her or leftover from her prior life. In the end she was the hardest I have ever had to let go and I still struggle with it 2 years later. We had a great bond and partnership but it literally took YEARS! I have always said with the experience I had with her I would never have another TB/Andy cross but I like Andys and have worked with many. I would also rather cross them with a QH if I was going to cross one. though.


I do want to add that if you have a good partnership with your Andalusian it’s like no other. They’ll walk through fire for their person (the right person!) but they might spook at a piece of hay on their way there!


I rode an Andalusian mare for a number of years and I can honestly say she was my heart horse. I find myself comparing all horses to her.
She was sensitive, but never spooky. She would try to pull “Spanish sass” on her rider if she felt that she could. There was a ponytude deep in there hahaha. Once her and I established that her ponytude didn’t work on me it became a bit of a hilarious game.
She evented to training level, and was schooling 2nd level dressage before her heaves forced retirement. Despite her potential for ponytude she was sane and safe for bareback hacking alone or with friends. I miss that mare every day.


This actually sounds a lot like the colt in question.

If anyone is interested in shopping on clearance racks for off brands, there are some Andalusian crosses in the Bowie kill pen right now.

I happened upon that thread and it has completely ruined me. :laughing: I look all the damn it time, but don’t have room…yet.

Anyone into bargains and taking chances might want to take a gander, some look more Andalusian than others.

Google Bowie Texas livestock and you will find it if so inclined. There are a couple I would gamble on if I could, but my oldies are running away from rainbow bridge at this point, so it’s not time. Yet. :laughing:

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A lifetime ago I worked for a gentleman in Middleburg and he bred Terry line, Carthusian Andulusians. We also had a handful of TB mares and bred a few while I was there.

He had a small herd of mares as well as two stallions, and his two driving teams and a second team in training on the way. I rode them all, laid their foundation in training, drove them all single, pairs and 4’s; played with /handled the babies, (we bred about a dozen a year) and I had no problems leading the stallions with a simple lead.

Most when spooked, would just stand there figure out the “thing” in question would not kill or eat them and carry on.

The teams we had in regular work (coaching) I would trust with my life.

They are people pleasers and try their best to read you and do what you want before you ask. They love to learn and are really fun to work with.


Really cute grey Andalusian cross mare in the Bowie kill pen right now. She might be in foal to an Andalusian stallion…she’s only 8…if she were any other color I would grab her up.

There is also a little grey crossbred gelding and some mares reportedly exposed to a Andalusian stallion.

I am on that website multiple times daily :laughing:, I just know that what I am looking for is going to make it’s way to their alley eventually. And the good ones go quickly.