Andalusians have a distinctive look. Their necks are heavy and arched; their manes and tails are long and wavy. With a regalness about them that’s hard to equal, even a relatively untrained eye can easily spot this breed.
Andalusians are spirited horses used for showing and pleasure riding. The majority of individual Andalusians in the United States are located in California, although a number of other states have small populations of this beautiful horse. Flip to the color section to see a photo of an Andalusian.
Friesians usually stand around 15 to 16 hands in height, although their proud carriage gives the impression that they are taller. Their manes and tails are long and flowing, and they have heavy feathering on their fetlocks. The high-stepping movement of the Friesian is a sight to behold.
During the last several years, the Friesian’s numbers have grown in the United States, where the breed now sports around 8,000 individuals. Friesians are being used successfully in dressage and in carriage work.
Kiger MustangThe U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been rounding up wild horses since 1971 and placing them up for adoption. In 1977, during one of these round-ups in remote Beatty's Butte, Oregon, a BLM official noticed that a number of horses were very similar in color and conformation. The horses were separated from the herd and determined to be of Colonial Spanish origin.
In an effort to preserve these horses, Herd Management Areas were set up in southeastern Oregon, where the horses were re-released. This was the beginning of the Kiger Mustang breed. Today, most Kigers are bred in captivity.
Kigers are used for a variety of purposes, with trail riding being most common. They are often seen in dun colorations, although all horse colors are possible in the breed. They typically stand between 13.2 and 15.2 hands.
Lipizzaners originated in Austria as war horses and are now seen mostly in Europe. A handful of Lipizzaners exist in the United States where they are shown and used for exhibitions.
Lipizzaner foals are born dark brown or black and mature to a light gray (nearly white). Adult Lipizzaners typically have thick, wavy manes and tails and heavy, arched necks.
Although Andalusians typically are seen in a grey coloration, Lusitanos often come in palomino, buckskin, dun, bay, chestnut, and other colors. Lusitanos have a rounder head and body than the Andalusian and are more compact and agile.
Lusitanos are seen in shows and exhibitions and are used for dressage and pleasure riding.
Spanish Mustangs once roamed wild in the American West and have come to be exceptionally hardy and intelligent. They tend to be on the small side, measuring around 14 to 15 hands. Known for their endurance, Spanish Mustangs make great trail horses and companions.
Despite official protection, wild horses still are at the center of political controversy. Ranchers who use public lands to graze livestock want wild-horse herds kept to a minimum to allow more cattle to be graze there, but many horse lovers believe the wild horse has first rights to the land. Ranching interests usually win out of late, and the Bureau of Land Management regularly reduces the number of horses present on the land by rounding them up and putting them up for public adoption. Anyone who can prove they have access to proper horsekeeping facilities can pay a small fee to adopt a wild horse.
Although young wild horses can be trained in much the same way as domestically born horses, adult wild horses need special handling to adapt to captivity. For that reason, full-grown wild horses that are fresh off the range are not recommended for beginning equestrians.