Buying an Andalusian Horse

andalusian horse

Buying a new PRE horse can be very confusing, especially for a beginner.  These tips should help make the process a little bit easier for you.

 

Andalusian horses do not fully mature until around their 6th year, so you must keep that in mind when making your selection.  An immature andalusian horse should not be worked very hard or it could actually cause permanent damage to the animal.  They are highly affectionate horses, and constantly try to please their owner.  Because of this, an immature andalusian may try to push themselves too hard.

 

For the most part, andalusian horses from Spain are not accustomed to a lot of hard work, so it's important to slowly build up the amount of work they are given so you don't put too much strain on their developing muscles.

andalusian horse

Andalusian horses have a different foot shape than other breeds of horse.  Some have very high heels, and you do not want to lower them.  Some have very narrow feet, which can lead to injury - so you should get wider horse shoes - something any decent blacksmith can do for you.  This will actually help their feet to widen over time.

 

Andalusian horses are more likely to get laminities than thoroughbreds and warmbloods, so it's important to limit the amount of protein they are getting, unless you are working them hard.  In Spain, most andalusians are kept fairly fat, and are acccustomed to a diet high in cereals.  It is important to ensure they get enough hard feed, or it could lead to behavioral problems down the line.

 

Never feed your andalusian horse a feed designed for a different breed - the typical low starch, high oil feeds are not sufficient for a PRE horse.  In Spain, they generally get a diet closer to that of a race horse than that of a dressage horse.  They typically do not eat a lot of alfalfa or rich hay.

 

Most Spanish horses have never eaten grass, so slowly introduce that into their diet to avoid health problems.  If possible, find out what the horse was eating in Spain, and try to replicate that diet, at least when they first arrive.

 

Often times, horses become very stressed during travel.  That can make them seem wild when they first arrive.  Once they are settled in their new home, they should settle down within a few days.  If they are truly upset and are becoming a risk to themselves, you can administer an IV tranquilizer to gently sedate them.

 

ALWAYS use professional transport and experienced handlers when picking up a horse who has just flown.  They will most likely be upset and stressed out, and need to be handled by someone with a lot of experience.

 

Andalusian stallions are notoriously good jumpers, so you need to be absolutely certain the stable doors are high enough that they cannot jump over them.  This also goes for the fences around any field they have access to.

 

Do NOT let the horse run free in a large field upon first arrival.  Most andalusians are not given that freedom in Spain after the first few years, and they may actually panic and become more stressed out in such a large an unknown area.

 

Andalusian horses prefer the comfort of a nice clean stable and do not like to be outside for long periods of time.

 

Wait until they are completely comfortable with their new surroundings and with you before attempting to ride them. 

 

Give your new andalusian a de-wormer, even if he was already de-wormed in Spain.  Also check with the past owners to see which vaccines they have received.

 

This can all seem like a lot to take in, but these tips will make the process much easier for you.

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