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The Luistano | A Powerful But Elegant Horse


The Lusitano horse is from Portugal, and is closely related to the Spanish Andalusian horse

Both breeds are often known as Iberian horses, as both come from the Iberian peninsula, and until the 1960s they were regarded as one breed, under the Andalusian name

Horses were known to be present on the Iberian Peninsula as far back as 20,000 BC, and by 800 BC the region was famous for its war horses

The Muslims invaded Iberia in 711 AD, and they took Barb horses with them that were bred with the native horses, creating a horse that was useful for war, dressage and bull fighting

In 1966, the Portuguese and Spanish stud books split, and the Portuguese strain of the Iberian horse was named the Lusitano, after the word Lusitania, the ancient Roman name for Portugal

There are three main breed lineages within the breed today, and characteristics differ slightly between each line but all share the wonderful reputation that the Lusitano horse has earnt, particularly in the sport of dressage as they are powerful but elegant , brave and intelligent with a striking presence

Originally bred for war, dressage and bullfighting, Lusitanos are still used today in the latter two. They have competed in several Olympics and World Equestrian Games as part of the Portuguese and Spanish dressage teams

The Portuguese do not breed the Lusitano specifically as a competition horse. As the breed’s original purpose was as a warhorse and later for bullfighting, performance in the bullring is one of the most important factors in the breeding and selection process of the Lusitano, so the characteristics of the breed have been preserved

The horses are noble, brave, powerful and quick, with compact conformation. They have a well set on head and neck, strong loins and a well developed second thigh, all attributes sought in the modern sports horse

Lusitanos range from the larger, heavier Spanish looking ones, to the more traditional, finer, agile, and “hotter” Veiga type. Breeders often keep their stock pure for a particular discipline, such as Veiga horses for bullfighting

Lusitanos can be any solid color, although they are normally grey, bay or chestnut


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This Article About The Luistano Horse Was Written By Lucy Train
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6 Responses

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  1. beautiful horses – the Luistano.

  2. are there any lovely lusitano owners/riders out there? we would love to see your horse's photo in our new showcase….next showcase is Welsh breeds 🙂

  3. we are working on an option for website visitors to upload their own pics..coming soon will be the main feature – Welsh Native Breeds 🙂

  4. any lusitano owners out there that would like to comment?

  5. any lusitano owners out there that would like to comment?

  6. any lusitano owners out there?

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