The Lusitano and the Andalusian are one the same breed, except they sprang from different bloodlines, and the Lusitano originates in Portugal, not Spain. In the time when the Andalusian/Lusitano breed was created, Portugal was under Spanish rule. This had an effect on the horses in Portugal. When Iberian horses and Barbs were bred together, the resulting breed also made its way to Portugal. From there, the Andalusian and Lusitano's history differ.
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However, just when things began looking up for the Lusitano, a series of disasterous events nearly destroyed it. After the French Revolution in 1789, royal things such as the popularity of Baroque horses dimished, and horse racing and fox hunting became more popular than classical dressage. Then, Napoleon invaded Spain, wreaking havoc on the horses in the area. Things worsened when, at the turn of the twentieth century, the royal family was kicked out of their position, and the government took over the royal stables. The government bred the Lusitanos indiscriminately, and the quality of the breed declined rapidly.
By the 1940s, those truly interested in the breed decided to do something. They searched for the best horses with Altèr-Real blood and rebuild the bloodlines. In the 1960s, they opened the Lusitano studbook.
Breed Description and Uses
The Lusitano is a strong, elegant breed with powerful hindquarters and an extremely convex profile. Lusitanos are energetic and athletic, and can turn quickly and run speedily in short bursts. They canter well and excel at dressage, though they are traditionally used for bullfighting, a dangerous short that requires a fast horses. On average, Lusitanos stand 15.2 to 16.2 hands. Commonly, they are grey, bay, black, chestnut, palomino, and cremello.