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Lusitano Horse, Pride of Portugal for Beauty and Performance.
Talent and Spirit
Supple, Talented and Spectacular
Some years ago I was fortunate enough to visit Portugal for riding lessons with a Master of Equitation, Luis Valenca riding his purebred Lusitano horses. His stables are at Villa Franca de Xira just outside Lisbon. The stables were occupied by handsome Lusitano stallions. Not a single mare in sight. The horses ranged from fully trained horses used for exhibition riding to beginners just starting their lengthy learning process, There were also some quieter mounts for training the humans and used in the riding school An older steady mount that we named the pink pony was used to give lunge line lessons. This was when one was seated with no reins and the pony was driven in a circle on the end of a long line. I found the process a little unnerving as you had nothing to hang on to and the pink pony was not above giving the odd buck to show you who was in control. The whole process was definitely a little undignified.
Lusitano horses are midsized, a little over 15 hands, stocky with a roman nose and a low set tail. They are closely related to the Spanish or Andalusian breed, though they tend to be lighter in build. The lusitano excels in dressage and is used in bull fighting. The bull is not killed in Portugal so the horse needs to be agile and brave. The majority of the breed are grey but any solid color is allowed and palomino and grulla are highly prize.
The mares and foals are allowed to run free until the foals are weaned and the young colts are separated for training. Many Lusitano breeders both in Portugal and in Europe and the USA give regular riding displays. The Lusitano breed brings much pleasure to both riders and spectators It also has great jumping ability. altogether a versatile and much prized horse.