The next big thing?
The Lusitano is making a name for itself in the world of dressage. And here's why
The Iberian horse is not actually a breed, but a collective name for 18 breeds of horse. The Lusitano, from Portugal, being one of them, as well as the Spanish Andalusian. They were given their name from the word “Lusitania”, the ancient Roman name for the region that modern Portugal roughly occupies, and are one of the oldest horse breeds in the world, dating back to 1,700BC.
Lusitanos tend to be smaller than Warmbloods, and are said to be more agile than the Andalusian with a more sloped croup, a lower-set tail, and a more convex head profile. They were originally bred for war, Dressage and bullfighting.
Our columnist Gemma Moss says, “They’re not hugely popular over here yet but they’re going to be. They’re going to get big. I said I didn’t like them but there was no logical explanation behind that. I had just been brought up ‘Warmbloods, Warmbloods’. But there’s
a huge place in this country for Lusitanos or Iberian horses and I just don’t think people know it yet. But if you speak to anyone who’s got one, they’ll say the same thing as me.”
Lusitanos look great on screen and their calm, willing personalities make them a hit with film directors. The breed has been used for movies including Braveheart and The Lord Of The Rings.
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, all members of the Brazilian dressage team rode Lusitanos.
80% of Lusitanos are grey and bay is common,
too. There are also solid colours of Lusitano, including palomino, chestnut, black and dun. Spotted varieties are very rare.
Discover more about Gemma at www.gemmamossequestrian.co.uk