The Spanish Horse - Movements

Our horse was always a nimble type animal, precisely a great galloper and above all the fastest horse in Europe. Take a quick look at the past and we will observe the famous breed of Guzmanes horses, later on called Valenzuelas; their movements were delicate but especially extensive, essentially.

The horse's movements as species, have their "motor" in the back extremities which are those that drive forward the horses' movement and the withers is the absorbent bony whole of that impulse to move backs and in short to put the front extremities forward. We also have to take into account that in trot movement, in addition to impulse of back limbs and advance of front members, must be considered the time of "suspension" as one of the qualities for bearing in mind in the equine biomechanics.

From the prominent features in the Pure Spanish Breed horse, with reference to its movements, we can mainly take two. In the first place, tucking in of back limbs under mass, which allows carrying out turnings in a short space of ground; and on the other hand, specific movements of front extremities (for example "El Morgan"). But perhaps the specific qualification in this aspect of our horse is that accumulates the two of them in a natural way.

The horse's gaits, almost always (there is no rule without exception), are a direct consequence of its anatomy and shape (conformation).
At the beginning of this century, was in very fashion the Rococo horse. They were horses with excessively rounded shapes, necks were tremendously voluminous, breasts very broad and sunken, with ankles out and this is turns into bowlegged; backs generally long and saddled. All this provoked that this kind of horses in their removals lacked quickness and wideness, so the big quantity of mass that have, make them simply "invalid", lacking in quickness, grace and width of the Spanish horse. Subsequently, its shapes were stylising, necks improved in length, being its threading softer and less rustic; breast stopped being so wide and every time less sunken, allowing better verticalities, then it appears width and rhythm.

Nowadays exists a tendency in some stockbreeders to lessen importance to high movements, which that, in my opinion, would be negative. Furthermore, do not confuse raisings with lacking of tuck in of back limbs. For a Spanish horse is considered excellent, must advance, but it is essential that before raises, and all that surrounded by the beauty and grandeur that must create a good rhythm. These features are not incompatible; they are, of course, more difficult to get in the same horse.

About the Spanish Horse in Sports

At the moment, people are talking a lot about the excellences or our horse for classical dressage, perhaps due to the progress that is living our horse at these times. The classical breaking in specialists usually are in favour of improving impulsion, that is to say, the back extremities' push and the osseous whole of the hindquarter. This improvement of the impulsion will bring with it a decrease of raising, all that in order to reach more width in gait, favouring in that way the movements of our horse for this discipline. In short, as I said in the previous paragraph, I think that push and raisings are features, which must be got together.

Once this analysis about the movements of the Pure Spanish Breed Horse has been made, I think that now we can answer the question: "How must a Spanish horse move?"

It is not difficult to answer this question, there is nothing to invent, the rules of our breed talk about similar, raised, flexible, harmonic and measured movements. So therefore we have, raising, extension, and a third concept, very important, which is that set a score to music: cadence.

The three gaits are essential, no one can lack, and we were outside of our breed.

The combination of these three elements (raising, extension and cadence) joined to a great impulsion of the back limbs give us as a result obtaining a horse with an outstanding easiness for every type of abilities. Constitutionally joined and very suitable for raised gaits and higher horsemanship.