The ancestors of the Iberian horse (a title given to a number of horse breeds native to the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal) date back about 25,000 years and are depicted in early cave paintings found in the area ‒ making it one of the oldest horse breeds. The Andalusian and Lusitano are among the breeds which descended from the Iberian horse, which in turn became influential to the Lippizaner, Hackney, Friesian, Thoroughbred, Connemara, and Percheron, among others.
Over the centuries, Iberian horses were used for everything from racing, riding, driving and farm work to bull fighting and eventually classical dressage. When modern breeders of dressage and show jumping horses were looking for a horse with soundness, sensitivity, the extreme collection required for upper-level dressage and the athleticism for jumping, they added Iberian blood to other sport horse breeds. The result was the Iberian Warmblood (or Iberian Sport Horse), which carries a minimum of 25% Andalusian and/or Lusitano bloodlines from one or both parents. To promote this breed, the Iberian Warmblood registry was formed in 1998.
The Iberian Warmblood is known for its beauty, grace, and willing work ethic. It should have a long, arching neck flexing nicely at the poll, long, sloping shoulder, well-muscled forearms and legs with short cannon bones and good bone density. Joints should flex actively and easily to create a natural elasticity and generous stride length.
Iberian Warmbloods should have a tractable demeanor and are extremely intelligent – but also very curious, which can get them into trouble such as learning to unlatch gates! Average height ranges from 15-16.2 hands, and any coat colour is acceptable.
The Iberian Warmblood can be used for light ranch work, and they make good companions for leisure and trail riding. Depending on the cross, offspring can be developed for eventing, dressage, and show jumping, as well as hunter classes.
For more information, visit:
Iberian Warmblood Registry International