The Iberian Warmblood is
the most ancient riding horse known to man; the Spanish and Portuguese
horse originates from the Iberian Peninsula, hence the name "Iberian"
Warmblood. The Andalusians (Spanish) and the Lusitanos (Portuguese)
horses are different branches of the same breed. The University
of Kentucky's blood testing on the breeds proves that there is no
difference in genetic markers or variability. Iberian Warmbloods
can be registered with the Iberian Warmblood Registry of America
as long as they have at least 50% Andalusian or Lusitano blood in
What is considered as a
breed standard for the purebred Andalusian/Lusitano may not be suitable
for some competitors wishing to strive in open competition. Each
warmblood breed is a result of environmental factors, including
regional economics and culture. The influence of Iberian blood remains
in all the modern warmblood breeds known to man today. The development
of warmblood breeds was largely through a process of selective breeding
of the Iberian Warmblood, rather than from any other outside influence.
Some of the first, and
best, dressage show horses, were Iberian Warmbloods, and most of
the native breeds in the United States can trace its heritage to
Andalusians that crossed the ocean with the Conquistadors. These
horses include Quarter Horses, Paints, Mustangs, Appaloosas, and
the gaited breeds. Eighty percent of all modern breeds can be traced
back to the Iberian Warmblood. DNA testing has proved the fact that
the Andalusian is an ancestor of, in turn, the Percheron, Hackney,
Friesian, Cleveland Bay, Thoroughbred, Welsh, Connemara, and Lippizaner.
The Iberian has great ability
to flex their joints and come under the center of gravity for collection
and extension. They flex nicely through the poll despite the argument
that a heavy throatlatch is prohibiting.
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