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Archaeological evidence in the Iberian Peninsula, modern day Spain and Portugal, indicates that the origins of the Iberian Horse date back to at least 25,000 B.C. in the form of its primitive ancestor, the Sorraia. Cave paintings in the Iberian Peninsula dated from around 20,000 BC depict portraits of horses and activities related to a horse culture.

The Sorraia horse remained isolated for several millennia in the southern part of Iberia, the Alentejo and Andalusian regions of modern Portugal and Spain. Portuguese historian Ruy d'Andrade suggested that by the Neolithic period (4000 B.C.) the native tribes of the area may have used horses in war.

They were soon to be followed by Phoenician traders and Celts from northern and eastern Europe, who were largely responsible for a two-way exchange of horses which brought an influx of oriental breeds from Libya, Egypt and Syria to the Iberian peninsula. By the time of the first trading expeditions of the Greeks, around 900 B.C., a mixed Celtiberian culture dominated all of Spain apart from the south coast, which remained Iberian. According to Lady Sylvia Loch, "It was the horses of the Celtiberian that were to become famous throughout the civilized world."

The Spanish horses were known for their use as cavalry mounts by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

The Anglo-Saxons never developed cavalry in warfare. Fine Spanish horses were brought into Britain after the Norman Conquest, however. In 1188 the chronicler Giraldus Cambrensis noted in Powys

most excellent studs put apart for breeding, and deriving their origin from some fine Spanish horses, which Robert de Belesme, earl of Shrewsbury, brought into this country: on which account the horses sent from hence are remarkable for their majestic proportion and astonishing fleetness. [1].
Later, the use of heavy plate armor required stronger breeds. In the 15th century, the invention of firearms called for a lighter, and more agile cavalry horse, and the Andalusian's popularity rose again.

From this period onward, we find many references to the Iberian or Celtiberian horses and riders of the peninsula by Greek and Roman chroniclers. Homer refers to them in the Iliad around 1,100 B.C. and the celebrated Greek cavalry officer Xenophon had nothing but praise for the gifted Iberian horses and horsemen. Xenophon, in one of his books written about 370 B.C., admiringly describes the equestrian war techniques of Iberian mercenaries who were influential in the victory of Sparta against Athens in the Peloponnesian wars. This type of warfare consisted of individual horse charges with fast starts, stops and pirouettes followed by retreats and renewed attacks. A form of riding that was made possible by the use of incredibly agile horses and curb bits.

Looking further back into the evolution of the horse, we find that the most ancient ancestor of the horse was a small, herbivorous mammal of the genus Hyracotherium from the Eocene Epoch, having four-toed front feet and three-toed hind feet, which existed fifty million years ago in an area that is now the western United States. Hyracotherium eventually evolved into what we know as the horse. These horses then migrated from America through the land bridge connecting Alaska and Siberia and entered Asia where they established themselves and from where they disseminated to Europe and Africa. When the Spaniards arrived in the New World however, the horse had been extinct on the American continent for about 8000 years.

During the Renaissance, the great Classical Riding Academies took an interest in the breed. Because of the Andalusian's agilty and natural balance, it excelled in the High School Dressage performed in many courts of the day. The Andalusian went on to develop many other breeds suitable for High School Dressage, including the Lipizzaner, Alter Real, Lusitano, Kladruber, and many European warmbloods of today.

During the 19th century, the use of the Andalusian declined. However, Carthusian monks continued to breed the horse, and preserved the purity. Today, the Spanish government promotes the Andalusian, and the breed is gaining in popularity for High School Dressage demonstrations. They are also popular for bullfighting, and have recently been used for dressage, show jumping, driving and endurance, although Thoroughbred blood is often added to give the breed more scope.

Complete List
Aegidienberger Akhal Teke Albanian Altai Alter Real
American Cream Draft American Creme and White American Paint Horse American Quarter Horse American Saddlebred
American Walking Pony Andalusian Andravida Anglo-Arabian Anglo-Kabarda
Appaloosa Appendix Araappaloosa Arabian Ardennes
Argentine Criollo Ariegeois Asturian Australian Brumby Australian Stock Horse
Avelignese Pony Azteca Balearic Bali Pony Baluchi
Banker Ban-ei Barb Bardigiano Pony Bashkir
Bashkir Curly Basotho Pony / Basuto Pony Basque Pony Batak Pony Belgian
Bhotia Pony Black Forest Boer Bosnian Pony Boulonnais
Brandenburg Breton Brumby Buckskin Budyonny
Burmese Pony Byelorussian Harness Camargue Campolina Canadian
Carpathian Pony Carthusian Caspian horse Cayuse Cheju
Chilean Corralero Chincoteague Pony Chinese Guoxia Cleveland Bay Clydesdale
Colorado Ranger Horse Connemara Pony Criollo (Uruguay) Crioulo Dales Pony
Danube Dartmoor Pony Deliboz Dole Trotter or Dole Gudbrandsdal Don, Russian Don
Dongola Dülmen Pony Dutch Draft Dutch Warmblood Egyptian
Eriskay Pony Estonian Native Exmoor Pony Falabella Fell Pony
Finnhorse Finnish Fjord horse Florida Cracker Frederiksborg
French Trotter Friesian Galician Pony Galiceno Garrano
Gelderlander Gidran Gotland Pony Groningen Gypsy Vanner horse
Hackney Hackney pony Haflinger Hanoverian Highland Pony
Hokkaido Holsteiner Hucul pony Iberian, encompassing the Andalusian, Alter Real, Lusitano and crosses Icelandic
Irish Draught Irish Horse Java Pony Jutland Kabardian or Kabardin
Karabair Karabakh Kathiawari Kazakh Pony Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
Kiger Mustang Kiso Kladruber Knabstrup Konik
Kustanair Landais Pony Latvian Harness Horse (Standard and Light Type) Lithuanian Heavy Draft Lipizzan / Lippizzaner
Lusitano Mangalarga / Mangalarga Marchador Manipuri Pony Marwari Maremmana
Misaki Missouri Fox Trotting Horse / Missouri Foxtrotter Miyako Mongolian Morab
Morgan Moyle Mule Mustang Murgese
National Show Horse New Forest Pony New Kirgiz Newfoundland Pony Noma
Noma pony Nonius Horse Nooitgedacht Pony Noriker Noric
Northlands Pony Norwegian Fjord Ob Oldenburg Orlov Trotter
Padang Pony Paint Paso Fino Percheron Peruvian Paso
Pindos Pony Pinia Pintabian Pinto Pleven
Poitevin Polish Konik Pony of the Americas Pottok Przewalski
Pyrenean Tarpan Quarab Quarter Horse Quarter Pony Racking Horse
Rocky Mountain Horse Russian Don Russian Heavy Draft Russian Trotter Sable Island Pony
Saddlebred Salerno Sandalwood Pony Sanhe Schleswiger Heavy Draft
Schwarzwälder Fuchs Selle Francais Shagya / Shagya Arabian Shetland Pony Shire
Single-Footing Horse Skyros Pony Somali Pony Sorraia Soviet Heavy Draft
Spanish Mustang Spanish-Barb Spanish-Norman Spiti Pony Spotted Saddle horse
Standardbred Sudan Country-Bred Suffolk / Suffolk Punch Sumba and Sumbawa Pony Swedish Ardennes
Swedish Warmblood Shagya Taishuh Tarpan Tawleed
Tennessee Walking Horse Tersky Thoroughbred Tiger Horse Timor Pony
Tokara Tori Trakehner Ukrainian Saddle Vladimir Heavy Draft
Viatka Vyatka Waler Walkaloosa Welara Pony
Welsh Pony and Cob Welsh mountain pony (Section A) Welsh Cob (Section D) Wielkopolski Xilingol
Yakut Yili Yonaguni Zebra Zemaituka (Zhumd)
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