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Top Five Dressage Breeds


andalusian horse1. Andalusian
Height: 15.2 - 16.2 Hands
This Spanish horse has captured the hearts of millions world over. They were bred by crossing native mares with Moorish Barb stallions and selectively bred by the Carthusian monks in the 15th Century. There was no Arab or other foreign blood used in the creation and development of the Andalusian breed. They are, however, quite rare. Napoleon killed the vast majority when he invaded Spain, leaving only one pure herd left. This breed comes in grey, black, white or bay, and are born darker and lighten with age. They are currently used in dressage and show jumping as well as in the bull ring.

2. Hanoverian
Height: 15.2 - 17.1 Hands
This is a warmblooded breed that was created to excel in jumping, dressage, eventing and driving. They originated in Germany in 1735 when Thoroughbred stallions were crossed with domestic mares to improve the quality for cavalry and farming. It is one of the most prominent riding horses in the world and currently found on all continents. It is a sport horse type with powerful action, long stride and excellent jumping. Hanovarians are well known for being bold, sensible and intelligent.

3. Oldenburg
Height: 16.0 - 17.2 Hands
Likely a small and plain horse until the 17th century, the Oldenburg was used to work the soil of the Frisian coast. They grabbed the attention of Count Johann XVI who began breeding them with other horses. They began a career in war as carriage horses, artillery horses and farm horses, but were replaced by mechanized alternatives in the 1940's and 50's. In order to be of a proper speed and quality for eventing, they must be sired through a Thoroughbred. They have become quite successful in dressage and mature early giving them the reputation of a kind but bold breed.

4. Danish Warmblood
Height: 15 - 17 Hands
Ideal for sports, the Danish Warmblood was established in the 20th century by crossing stallions with Danish mares. Though it is a relatively new breed it has risen to the top of the sporting world as it is calm and peaceful and not hasty. It is bred for it's performance. It is a noble looking breed with a strong body and long legs; usually seen in black, bay, brown or chestnut though they can be any solid color. It is a naturally balanced horse and used extensively for dressage as well as cross country running, showing and show jumping.

5. Lusitano
Height: 15.2 - 16 Hands
Lusitano's hail from Portugese and are closely related to the Spanish Andalusian. Both are sometimes called Iberian horses as they both developed on the Iberian peninsula and were considered one breed until recently- the Andalusian. They date back as far as 20,000 BC and by 800 BC these horses were viewed as exemplary war horses. Lusitano's are commonly seen in grey, bay or chestnut but can come in any solid color. Originally bred for war, dressage and bullfighting, you can still see them today in the bull rings and dressage shows as well as driving competitions.


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