top of page

The Purebred Spanish Horse

History of the Spanish Purebred:

Very ancient origins ...

The PRE horse has been present in the Iberian Peninsula since -1000 BC to see more. It is not derived, as is often believed, from the Arabian Thoroughbred. It is also very different by its physical and mental characteristics. On the other hand, he is probably related to the Beard breed.

The model of the Iberian horse has not suffered too much from the vicissitudes of history and has remained practically intact.
















Its extreme mobility made it in the 17th and 18th centuries the favorite horse for war and prestige as well as for Haute-Ecole. It then reaches its peak. All the greats of this world praise his qualities and are represented on this horse.
Exported everywhere, it influences the world equine population and contributes to the birth of several breeds. Certain lines were so famous that they took the name of their founder:

  • The Guzmanes (renamed Valenzuelas) a horse caste from Cordoba from the mid-18th century.

  • The Zamoranos founded in 1770 whose line would have been ceded to the Cartuja at the end of the 18th century.

The famous Cartujanos (Carthusians) unique caste of horses from Jerez with very pure blood, a true sub-breed with specific characteristics. It is the most admired. Cartujanos horses were bred by the Carthusian monks of the Cartujas of Andalusia. Today, the word Cartujanos mainly designates the descendants of the horses of the Cartuja de Jerez.

























The Cartujanos (by Jose Manuel Gomez)

A great influence on horse riding ...

The Spanish horse has greatly influenced classical horse riding in the French tradition. He greatly contributed to the fame of the school of Versailles. The greatest masters such as Pluvinel, La Broue, La Noue, Saunier, La Guérinière, ... have all praised his qualities and recognize him as the 1st for the merry-go-round.






A loss of popularity ...

In the XIXth century and the beginning of the XXth century, the Spanish breeding is restructured. The development of mechanization and especially the enthusiasm for new disciplines such as show jumping or speed will lead to the abandonment of the breed. The breeders are then content to cross it to other breeds to obtain sport horses.


Hélio II, Rozière breeding, 1st in the Master Pro de Saumur 2011, under the saddle of Arnaud Serre

A rebirth ...
Fortunately, a few die-hards did not follow suit, which led to a revival of the PRE much later, in the 1970s.
Lovers of this breed then came together in various regional associations spread across the whole of Spain.
The combined efforts of the Jefatura de Cria Caballar (JCC) and all these associations have led to a tremendous expansion of the PRE. The PRE championship and the breeding competitions have also contributed to the promotion of the breed.
Around the world, we are witnessing a spectacular renaissance.
In France, the creation of the AECE in 1986 made it possible to develop the PRE in just a few years.




Morphology and Character

Morphological characteristics of PRE


The head
The official definition describes it as proportional, of medium length and the profile between the front and the nostrils from right to sub-convex; medium ears, very mobile, set well and parallel; slightly rounded forehead, lively, triangular eyes with an expressive and alert gaze.
Of medium size and length, slightly arched and muscular (less for mares). Well inserted into the head and trunk. Abundant and silky mane.
Proportionate and robust. Withers little marked. Consistent and muscular back. The zone of the loins broad, short, muscular and a little arched, well united to the back and the croup.
The back
Located between the kidneys and the withers, it is he who transmits the impulse created by the back hand to the front hand.
It must be flexible, rather short and sufficiently wide in proportion to the body structure of the animal and must have a slight and soft concavity.
The Croup
Medium length and width, rounded and declining slightly. The tail should be born low and be stuck between the buttocks. Tail profuse, long and often wavy.
They are formed by the six lumbar vertebrae and the muscle mass that covers them between the back and the rump. The lumbar region of PRE is short, rather wide and very tender to touch.
Strong arms with good inclination. Powerful forearms, of medium length. Knees well formed and dry.
Muscular thigh, slightly arched and muscular buttocks and long legs. Strong, ample and clean hock.
Skillful, elevated, extended, harmonious and rhythmic. Special predisposition to collect it and turns on the rear train.
As a complement to all these morphological characteristics, the most striking feature of our horse is its versatility, as a result of the union of the following factors: psychic balance, harmony of shapes, intelligence and will to work.

The character of PRE
The PRE is a balanced and resistant horse. Courageous and energetic, noble and docile with facilities for adapting to various uses and situations. It responds easily to rider aids and has a pleasant mouth. These horses are obedient. The PRE understands its rider very quickly and is also extraordinarily comfortable.


bottom of page