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Standards of Excellence

Pure Spanish Andalusian


All horses in this Studbook must trace back in an unbroken line to horses registered in the Stud Book of Spain. As of 2003, all horses must be microchipped, DNA tested and Parent Validated to enter this Studbook. All horses exhibited at AHAA National or State Championships and at Agricultural Shows throughout Australia must be registered in the Pure Spanish Stud Book of the AHAA.


Horses dual registered in the Stud Book of Spain are commonly referred to as PRE (Pura Raza Espanola). The AHAA makes no distinction between these horses and those carrying registration in the AHAA Stud Book. They are all recognised in Australia as Pure Spanish Horses.



The Spanish horse embodies beauty, elegance and a harmony that is not restricted by age. The Spanish Horse, when viewed in profile, should present a series of curves, with no harsh or acute angles, exhibiting both strength and substance, while at no time becoming coarse. The body is of balanced conformation, well-proportioned with a straight or sub-convex outline. Handsome rather than pretty is the adjective that should be used.


Averaging in height between 15.2 hands and 16.2 hands. The height, when measured at 3 years old, should be a minimum of 15 hands for stallions and 14.3 hands for mares. Potential breeders should bear in mind that the mating of two horses of minimum height can and will produce horses of less than 14.3 hands.


Movement should be fluid and elastic with considerable elevation and extension, present is the natural ability to facilitate collection.


The coat should be fine, the mane and tail thick and silky, with clean legs and no feathering. Horses of grey, bay, back, chestnut, dilute (eg. Palomino) and double dilute (eg cremello) colouring are accepted. Broken colour characteristics are an undesirable trait for the Pure Spanish Andalusian. The breeding of horses displaying white patches on the body, socks that extend to invade the knee and/or hock, white on the face that invades the eye socket and/or covers the majority of the head and the presence of blue eyes that are not a characteristic of the coat colour, ie double-dilutes, is discouraged.


The Spanish horse should have great presence, but a calm and controlled disposition. Trainable nature and great versatility, this horse’s temperament makes them ideal for all levels of riders and/or handlers. The Pure Spanish horse has a great gift for learning a variety of competition styles, with a special talent for collection and for turning on the haunches. It responds easily to commands and exhibits a rapid and intense understanding of the rider. Their principle function is as a riding horse, with great aptitude for High School performance, but they are excellent light harness horses, have a natural ability as stock horses, and a potential for show jumping where agility and a good leap are needed on tight courses.


Of medium length, the head should be lean and rectangular, with a straight or sub-convex profile. The ears are of medium size, lively and flexible. The length of the ears has direct correlation to the length and convex nature of the head, however too large, too small, or lop ears are undesirable.

The forehead is of medium width and when in profile should be rounded or flat. The eyes are triangular or almond shaped, with a subtle orbital arch which should not protrude in front of the forehead when in profile. The nose is smoothly curved outward & down to a tapered muzzle, with nostrils that are long, comma shaped and not prominent. The cheeks are of medium size, lean, not fleshy or coarse, with the back edge being straight rather than rounded.











Where example B is correct and examples C and F are Marginal:

A. Incorrect – A sub concave profile where the forehead and nose are seen to be slightly rounded.

B. Correct – A straight or convex profile (convex profile beyond the displayed is acceptable) tapering to the muzzle.

C. Marginal – An acceptable profile and tapered muzzle, however the orbital arch protrudes beyond the forehead (undesirable).

D. Incorrect – A concave profile, large rounded nostrils, square muzzle and rounded cheek.

E. Incorrect – An acceptable straight profile, however the noes does not taper, the cheek is rounded and the muzzle is both small and square in shape (undesirable).

F. Marginal – An acceptable convex profile, however the jawline is course, mouth small and the muzzle is overly large and fleshy


The neck of the Spanish horse is of medium length with a continuous curve on the top line, the apex of that curve should occur in the middle of the neck. The lower edge of the neck should be either concave or straight, but never convex. The throat should be long, curving into the jaw rather than narrow and short, making an abrupt join with the head. The top line of the neck should be of greater length than the lower, and the neck must blend smoothly into the wither with no depression, known as hatchet stroke. The lower edge of the neck should not be set too low, it must come out of the chest at a clearly defined angle. The withers are wide, muscular and well defined, blending into a back that is well muscled, straight and uninterrupted. A sway back is a serious fault. The shoulders, as with any good riding horse, should be long and sloping (the angle can be determined, when viewed from the side, by drawing an imaginary line from the center point of the wither to the point of the shoulder).


Where examples A and B are correct and example D is marginal:

A. Correct – Good top line blending smoothly into the wither with the lower edge concave and curving into the throat.

B. Correct – in line with A but with a straight lower edge.

C. Incorrect – Swan/ewe neck with a convex lower edge and a large curve before the wither.

D. Marginal – Straight/pyramid shape with a short abrupt junction from the lower edge of the neck into the throat.

E. Incorrect – Top line displays a hatchet stroke before the wither with a convex lower edge and a short abrupt junction from the lower edge into the throat.


Substantial and robust, the chest, when viewed from the front, should be broad with a decent width between the forelegs; the ribs well sprung and just visible on either side of the shoulders. The forelegs should be well developed with good bone, with all joints being clean and lean, not bulging or fleshy. The pastern should be of medium length and have an angle of approx. 47 degrees. The hooves, dense, strong, with a slightly deeper heel than many other breeds, they should never be broad and flat with weak heels. When viewed from the front, an imaginary line dropped from the point of the shoulder to the ground should dissect the leg into two equal halves. Similarly, when viewed from the side, a line should be dropped from the middle of the foreleg to the middle of the fetlock touching the ground just behind the heel.


Where C is correct:

A. Incorrect – Narrow chest in conjunction with a flat ribcage.

B. Incorrect – Chest is overly wide with barrel ribs.

C. Correct – The chest, ribcage and legs are ideal

D. Incorrect – An acceptable chest width, however the legs are bowed and pigeon toed.

E. Incorrect – An acceptable chest width, however the legs are knock kneed and toed out.

F. Incorrect – An acceptable chest width, however the cannon bones are offset.

Where G is correct:

G. Correct – Knee, cannon and fetlock are in line

H. Incorrect – Back at the knee/calf kneed

I. Incorrect – Over at the knee


The hindquarter of the Spanish horse is probably the most important aspect of this breed. Coming out of a straight back the loin should be short, wide and well muscled, either horizontal or slightly arched and join in a smooth curved line to the croup. The croup is of moderate size, long and wide, but slightly longer than it is wide. The whole progression from back to tail should be of a continuous smooth line, with no projections, lumps or bumps. The tail begins about midway on the slope of the croup (commencing at the same height as the hip bone) and remains close to the body, sloping with the angle of the croup. The hip is set quite low in regard to the spine, and it is this that is the secret of the horses ability to lower his quarters and lift his forehand with the ease he does. The impression given from all angles should be a series of uninterrupted curves.

Where A is correct:

A. Correct – Low set hip in line with the tail set, a smooth uninterrupted line from back to tail.

B. Incorrect – Tail set is too high which reduces the horses ability to lower into the hindquarter.

C. Incorrect – Tail set is too low in conjunction with an overly sloped croup, this may result in a restriction of movement.

D. Incorrect – The hip and tail set is correct, however the length of flank is too short compromising power and ability to lower into the hindquarter.

E. Incorrect – The hip and tail are set on the same line, however that setting is far too high resulting in a flat croup, a serious defect.


When viewed from behind the hindquarters should be a continuous curve with no bumps or angular lines. Concave lines from backbone to hipbone denote weakness, the relationship of the low set hip and tail to spine is clear. A split croup is another defect, because whilst giving the impression of a low set hip from the side (because of the mound of flesh sitting above it) it can be seen quite clearly as a high set hip and tail in relation to the spine. The deeper the split in the croup, the greater the defect.


Where B is correct:

A. Incorrect – Weak hindquarter denoted by concave lines from the spine to the hip.

B. Correct – Hip and tail set low and in line with a continuous rounded line from hip to spine.

C. Incorrect – Hip and tail set too high in conjunction with a split croup, not a Spanish characteristic.

D. Incorrect – Hip and tail set too high resulting in an interrupted curve from hip to spine.


Both C and D could be seen to be acceptable in other horse breeds however they do not concur with the Spanish standards of excellence.


The buttocks are of medium length, gradually following the roundness outlined by the croup. The thigh should be muscular, descending to a large gaskin, and then to a broad clean hock, set on at an angle of around 100 degrees. A straight hock is undesirable in the Spanish horse. The cannon bone, tendons and fetlock should be broad and clean and the pastern should have an angle of around 52 degrees. The hind hoof is less rounded and narrower than the front hoof. When viewed from behind an imaginary line is drawn from the point of the buttock dropping vertically to the ground. And then, from the side imagine a line continuing up from the back of the cannon bone towards the buttocks.


Where A and D are correct:

A. Correct – The line intersects the hock, cannon, fetlock and hoof.

B. Incorrect – Legs are bowed and toed in.

C. Incorrect – Legs are cow hocked.

D. Correct – The line clearly meets the point of the buttock.

E. Incorrect – Legs are sickle hocked, resulting in a lack of strength and possible limitations to extension work.

F. Incorrect – Camped out, resulting in difficulties for true collection to occur.


The movement of Spanish horse is very specific and for purposes here is being divided into front and hind, however when viewed as a whole they should never appear disconnected or disjointed. The horse should give the impression of moving uphill and forward.


The foreleg should rise with bent knee to an almost horizontal position, the lower part of the limb then swinging forward with good extension. As descending to the ground the limb should produce an arc, with the toe pointing downwards. The movement should be straight with no deviation either inwards or outwards.

Equal importance should be given to elevation, extension and straightness. A horse that moves with great elevation and extension should be very highly marked, but a horse that sweeps the leg through with little or no knee bend, even with good extension and straight action should be heavily penalised. A horse that has very high knee action but no extension, resulting in a choppy action, should also be penalised, as this flashy action quite often results in a stilted action in the canter.


Where B is correct and A is marginal:

A. Marginal – Elevation is desirable, however the position of the forelimb indicates that the descending of the limb will be vertical without the production of an arch.

B. Correct – Elevation and extension are both correct with the toe leading in the descending arch, ideal movement of the Spanish horse.

C. Incorrect – Little to no elevation of the knee with the hoof landing heel first in descending.


The hind leg is often said to have a good hock action, and this is a very misleading statement. The hock should actually stay quite low when the foot leaves the ground, the bend in the hock joint coming when the cannon bone lifts, and reaches forward under the body, again landing toe first, taking the weight of the body and moving it forward. What is quite often thought to be a good hock action is where the horse actually bends the stifle joint to lift the hock up and back. The stifle joint is a relatively fixed joint in that it has limited motion up or down, and can only be rotated in conjunction with the ilium, ischium and the femur, from which the fibula swings like a pendulum. A horse with this action will have to either bring the foot to ground at a point not much further forward than the stifle, with all the movement happening out the back; or physically raise his hindquarters to allow the leg to pass underneath his body, effectively moving on to the forehand. Neither result has any place in the movement of the Spanish Horse.

Where D is correct:

D. Correct – The hock conjunction with the lower limb swings forward under the body.

E. Diagram – Placement of the 1. Ilium, 2. Ischium, 3. Femur and 4. Fibula.

F. Incorrect – The hock swings up and out behind the horse.

Pure Spanish Andalusian
Australian Andalusian

Australian Andalusian


The Stud Book for the Australian Andalusian was set up by the founders of the Association during a time when the number of Pure Spanish Horses within Australasia was limited, with the intention to produce a horse genetically akin to the Pure Spanish Horse.


Originally males were required to be 4th cross and females 3rd cross back to the Pure Spanish Horse. The AHAA membership later voted that Australian Andalusians should remain their own entity and males and females should be 3rd cross or higher to enter this Stud Book.


The Australian Andalusian is an example of a beautiful, well balanced and athletic animal with great presence, a substantial horse with ample bone and muscle. The horse should be alert but calm, movements brisk and energetic but absolutely predictable. The gait is naturally stylish with good extension.

A noble, intelligent, energetic animal, endowed with considerable stamina and with a marked predisposition to being completely and perfectly trained. The kind calm temperament is one of the horses outstanding characteristics.


This combination of the strength, disposition and action of this animal ideally suits it as a saddle horse for all levels of handlers/riders and for producing performance horses in all the fields of equitation.


Horses of grey, bay, back, chestnut, dilute (eg. Palomino) and double dilute (eg cremello) colouring are accepted however horses exhibiting broken colour patterns (eg pinto) shall be excluded. A thick and silky mane and tail are desirable.


There are no restrictions placed on the height of the Australian Andalusian


The Australian Andalusian has a noble and attractive head. The size of the head should be in proportion with the rest of the horse, joining the neck cleanly through the gullet. Thick gullets are not desirable. The ears should be of medium size, mobile and well positioned.


The Neck should be slightly arched with good length of rein. The neck is well set and blends nicely with the shoulder. The presence of a too heavy or fallen crest is not acceptable. Withers should be well defined, wide and muscular, blending smoothly with the neck.

Refer to the Pure Spanish Andalusian Standards of Excellence for more details. 


The body should be well developed and robust, with a slightly arched rib cage; a broad muscular chest with plenty of depth and a sloping shoulder that is well-muscled and relatively large.


The back should be straight and strong merging imperceptibly into a wide flat muscular coupling, which itself merges beautifully with the croup. Flanks must be short and full. The Croup should be of medium breadth and length, rounded and slightly sloping with the base of the tail not set high.


The forelimb should be muscular and form a harmonious angle with the shoulders. Strong and well defined knee although they must not become coars. Oval cannons with neat well defined tendons, clean strong fetlocks and wide pasterns with a similar slope to that of the hoof, which should be neither too upright nor too sloping.


The rump and thighs should be muscular. The hindlimb should show similar characteristics to the forelimb. The hoofs must be strong and well proportioned.


Refer to the Pure Spanish Andalusian Standards of Excellence for more details. 

Purebred Iberian

Purebred Iberian


The Stud Book for the Purebred Iberian horse in Australasia is held jointly between the AHAA and The Lusitano Horse Association of Australasia (LHAA). The two Associations operate the studbook under a Memorandum of Agreement.


A Purebred Iberian Horse is one that has:

a) One parent in the Pure Spanish Stud Book and one parent in the Pure Lusitano Stud Book.

b) One Purebred Iberian parent and one Pure Spanish or Pure Lusitano parent.

c) Both parents are Purebred Iberian.


The body is of balanced confirmation, rounded and well proportioned, with a straight or sub convex profile. The horse should exhibit strength without becoming course.


Bright and energetic, the movement should be fluid and elastic with considerable elevation and extension and an acute facility for collection. The coat shall be smooth with the dominant, but not limited to, colours of grey, bay and chestnut. The presence of minor and limited white markings or spots is acceptable. The mane and tail should be strong and thick.


The height minimum for stallions is 15 hands and mares 14.3 hands.


The head on a stallion should be masculine. The head on a mare should appear feminine. The face should be slightly convex or straight, and in connection to the neck produce a flowing arch. The ideal neck should show a definite arch.


The shoulder should have a good angle and not be straight. The withers should be part of the same continuous line of neck and not have a dip between the two.

The back should be well muscled producing a straight uninterrupted line that joins smoothly with the wither and rump. The ribs shall produce a good depth of girth creating an oval appearance as opposed to round or flat. The chest should be wide.


The hindquarter should be strong with a short coupled loin and a rounded croup. The croup when viewed from behind should produce a clean arch from hip to spine with the tail set in line with the croup.


Refer to the Pure Spanish Andalusian Standards of Excellence for more details. 




The Stud Book for the Hispano-Arabe was set up by the AHAA in 2009.

To be registered in this Stud Book, a horse must be the result of the joining of a registered Purebred Spanish horse and a registered Purebred Arabian.


Currently, there are Registers for the Hispano-Arabe in Spain, North America and the UK.


The Andalusian and Arabian horse produce an identifiable commonality to the Hispano-Arabe. There is a meeting of characteristics that results in a horse of refined body type while maintaining a density of bone and strength of physique.


The Hispano-Árabe is a horse of good proportions and medium-size. The outline is graceful and displays an overall harmony with elegant movements. Mass should be in proportion to a slender figure, with elegant proportions. It should be noted that variability is expected as a result of the variability within the Arabian, this variation does not constitute a reason for disqualification or objection.


The Hispano-Arabe usually ranges between 15 and 16 hands in height.


These horses are to be extremely docile but with an agile and lively temperament that produces a quick response to aids. Hardy, steady and strong they are able cope with harsh conditions without great effort. This is a riding horse with a particular suitability for sport, especially for cross-country and jumping and also for the disciplines of dressage, doma vaquera, endurance and group sports.


A relatively small head that ends with a discrete widening at the muzzle, the nasal profile is straight or slightly undulating in a prolonged S shape. The face is straight or very discretely subconvex. The forehead is flat or slightly arched, and broad. The union of the cranial region with the facial region may show a sort of depression which forms the prolonged S shaped profile. The muzzle is wide and squared off, forming a clear angle to the face. The jawbone is extensive and has an angular edge.


The ears are medium sized and very mobile, discretely separated with the tips tending to point towards each other. The eyes are round, and quite large, level with the face and expressive, with marked orbital arches. The nostrils are open and project forwards and the lips are fine.


The facial features are influenced greatly by the Arabian parent.


A light neck with an elongated frame. It should be lightly arched along the topline and muscular contributed by the Andalusian. It is well connected to the head and to the body


The withers are pronounced and extend smoothly into the back which exhibits a slight curvature. The chest is deep and well-muscled with a good depth of girth, a contribution from the Andalusian. The ribcage is gently arched accompanied by an underline that is well tucked up.


The croup is rectangular in shape with a flat or slightly sloping line where the tail set follows the line of the croup. The tail becomes considerably elevated when the horse is in movement. The loins are well coupled and distinctly muscular.


The forelimbs should be clean with strength through the shoulder. The knee should be large and neat moving into a cannon which is of good length with well-defined tendons. The pasterns and hooves are proportional to the size of the body.


The hindlimbs are characterised by a large hock with great strength, they should be similar is characteristics to the forlimbs.


The Hispano-Árabe has a unique style of movement that is an intermediate between the PRE and the Arab. There is substantial elevation and ample extension without either being too pronounced.

Partbred Andalusian

Partbred Andalusian

The first Andalusian horses arrived in Australia in 1971. With their rarity at the time and the difficulties involved in buying and importing them, the obvious avenue for many people to realise their dream of owning one of these wonderful horses was to breed partbreds.


Some breeders embarked on a deliberate breeding program to produce superior eventers or showjumpers, others to introduce the wonderful temperament of the Andalusian to their existing line of breeding. Many of our present breeders started their early days with the Partbred and loved their qualities so much they moved on to the Purebred. Others chose to continue producing breeding Partbreds and, by 1975/76, Partbred Andalusians were starting to infiltrate the equestrian sporting scene. And they have continued to do so with great success. Superb quality can, and has been, attained.


The variety of Partbreds is large and there are no height, colour or breed restrictions. As such no defined guidelines on form and function can be set. However exceptional quality of conformation, movement and temperament should always be strived for.


The Andalusian has been crossed with large ponies to produce small superb horses for children. With Thoroughbreds, Anglo Arabs and Warmbloods to produce eventers, show jumpers, hack and dressage horses. With Quarter Horses, Arabians, Stock Horses to produce campdrafters, sporting horses and harness horses. The list is endless and the results have been spectacular.


Partbred Andalusians have won Hack classes at Royal Shows, gone to the highest levels in Dressage, been shortlisted for the Olympics in Eventing, won Campdrafts and have been successful Showjumpers. They have also carried their loving owners safely and calmly as pleasure horses.


Horses in this Stud Book are first or second cross Andalusians, ie having no less than 50% validated Andalusian blood. A first cross is the result of joining a Pure Spanish or an Australian Andalusian parent with a foundation parent (parent representing a breed other than Andalusian). A second cross is the result of joining a first cross individual with a Pure Spanish or Australian Andalusian.


Horses that are the result of the joining between a Purebred Iberian parent with a foundation parent (parent representing a breed other than Andalusian) are also eligible for registration with the Partbred Andalusian register.

Andalusian Derivative

Andalusian Derivative

This register contains horses with validated Andalusian blood being no less than 25%. One parent must be an AHAA registered Andalusian (excluding Andalusian Derivative registered horses).

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