Canadian Society for the Andalusian Horse

Andalusians take a very long time to reach full physical maturity - often as long as up to age 7 or 8 years. Because of this, it is unwise to do any heavy riding before age 5 or 6.  Light riding at 4 is acceptable but anything before that may risk the longevity of your horse’s soundness.  Before 4 years of age, many of your horse’s growth plates will not have fused.  Below is a table of estimated growth plate fusion times in years compiled by the authority on conformation, Dr. Deb Bennett (http://www.equinestudies.org):

Training the Andalusian Horse

The mind and conformation of an Andalusian horse are quite different than most other breeds.  Andalusian horses have very active minds, a natural talent for collection, and are willing to please their riders so much so that they might offer you more than you are asking them for which can be hard on them mentally if they are not rewarded correctly and quickly for doing as you asked the first time.  It is also very easy to take them farther than age appropriate training because they are such willing, sensitive, and intelligent horses. However, taking them further than they are ready for is not recommended and a sure way to sour your horse at some point.

The importance of finding a good trainer for your horse can not be overstated.  Every horse is different when it comes to training and certain things work for some horses and not for others. Generally speaking, too much repetition and too much long and low work are not suitable for Andalusian horses.  Try to find trainers that are very light, extremely observant (one that can spot even a ‘try’ from the horse and reward them), and can move as fast or as slow in training as the horse requires. Andalusians are quick to learn and sensitive to your queues. Overtopping it all, a gentle approach is highly recommended.

Below are three articles to help you get started.  

BALANCE & RHYTHM IN THE YOUNG HORSE BY MANOLO MENDEZ

TRAINING THE IBERIAN FOR COMPETITIVE DRESSAGE BY TINA VEDER

THE SIX GOLDEN PRINCIPLES OF HORSE TRAINING BY FREDERIC PIGNON & MAGALI DELGADO

VederTrainingArt.pdf The+Six+Golden+Principles+of+Horse+Training.pdf

THOUGHTS ON WORKING IN HAND BY MANOLO MENDEZ

FEEL, TECHNIQUE, & COMPROMISE BY MANOLO MENDEZ

BALANCE IS CONFIDENCE BY MANOLO MENDEZ

Lots more great Manolo Mendez articles here: Manolo Mendez



SEND US THE LINK TO YOUR FAVOURITE TRAINING ARTICLES!