Video: Lusitanian Horse (Lusitano)
The Lusitanian horse, or Lusitano (Pure blood lusitano), was bred in Portugal and is considered one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. The name of the breed comes from the old Latin name of Portugal - Lusitano. Lusitanos are very similar in exterior to the Andalusian horses of Spain. However, these two breeds also have some differences in the exterior.
So, for example, the Lusitanian horse has a very pronounced hump-nosed profile and a wide forehead, and the Andalusian horse has an oriental type head with a smoother profile. By 800 BC An alliance of the Celtiberians was formed by the Iberians and Celts, and from that point on, the horses bred in the area were known as fighting horses. Xenophon, writing about 370 BC, admired the advanced riding and dressage techniques used by the Iberian horsemen in war, made possible by their agile horses. After the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in AD 711, the horses they brought (Sorraya and Berberian) mixed with the local horse population.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, horses moved constantly between Spain and Portugal, and horses from the stud farms of Andalusia were used to improve the Portuguese cavalry. Until recently, horses bred in the Iberian Peninsula were considered one breed. In 1967, both countries decided to have two independent stud books. Several times the Lusitanian breed was on the verge of extinction, its number sometimes reached several heads in one stable.
In the Lusitanian breed, six lines are distinguished, based on five stallions and one mare. Although each line meets breed standards, they still differ from each other in individual characteristics.
- Agareno, stallion born in 1931;
- Primorosa, stallion born in 1927;
- Destinado, stallion born in 1930;
- Marialva II (Marialva), stallion born in 1930;
- Regedor, alter real stallion born in 1923;
- Hucharia, mare born in 1943
Since the establishment of their own studbook, Portuguese breeders have made tangible progress in improving the breeding program. Particular attention was paid to such qualities as strength and courage. These qualities made the Lusitania a popular war horse.
These same qualities make the Lusitanian horse ideal for participating in national bullfights. In Portugal, it is considered a shame if a horse is injured by a bull. That is why horses participating in bullfights are perfectly trained, calm and use their innate skills to maneuver in the arena.
Lusitanian horses have excellent learning ability, they are intelligent, reliable and sensitive, confident and happy to work. They have innate balance and agile high travel, which provides a comfortable ride for the rider. The Lusitania's elegant body and lively temperament make it the perfect horse for dressage, jumping and harness racing. People working with this breed speak of great rapport quickly developing between horse and man.
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The height at the withers is from 155 to 160 cm. Some stallions reach 163 cm. The color is often gray or bay, but all solid colors are found, including red and cream. Piebald color is not allowed.
The Lusitano has a long noble head with a convex profile; large almond-shaped eyes; high set powerful neck, arched; short, wide back with powerful shoulders; deep chest; broad, slightly sloping muscular croup; rather low tail; strong, long legs. The Lusitanian horse has agile movements and a smooth ride.
Now Lusitanian horses are used in Europe and America for therapeutic riding (hippotherapy), dressage, various shows and circus performances, while in Portugal they can be seen working in the field, in light harness, in a horse bullfight.
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The Lusitanian horse is not as numerous as the Andalusian horse: there are only about 2,000 queens worldwide, with only half of this herd being in Portugal. A significant part of Lusitanian horses are concentrated in Brazil (600 queens) and France (200 queens).