Andalusian as a Western
Hi i'm from Alberta and am just starting to get into western sports, cutting, cattle penning, etc and wanted to know if an Andalusian would make a good western horse. I wouldn't get an Andalusian without having many more years of horse experience, but I just wanted to know if they can be used as a western horse?
Any breed can be used for any style of riding. It just takes the training to get them there.
I don't compete in western, but most horses can actually do western. The Andulucian horse is a horse originally used in spain for "farm work" i.e gathering cattle, etc. Their build is not completely unlike the Quarter horse so I cannot see any reason why they can't. But since you say you're not in a hurry you have loads of time to figure it out.
Almost any horse can do almost anything to a degree, but why not buy a horse suited to the disciplines you want to pursue? A team of Arabs could no doubt pull the Budweiser wagon, and a Clydesdale can no doubt manage to run around a race track, but they aren't really well suited for it.
Buy a horse suited for the disciplines you like. You will be happier with your horse and more likely to give it a permanent home. An Andy is not really a good choice of horse for cutting and penning...
I'm with Kim and Sheepdog. Although you're less likely to find an Andie that can seriously compete in the upper divisions of those disciplines than say a QH, there's no reason why a breed would be incapable. The point that Sheepdog made about Andies being formerly bred for farm/ranch work would lead me to believe that certain individuals from the breed might even excel at it.
A bit of a side note-I don't know much about them either yet, but there are two Andalusian stallions that moved into our barn recently and they're both gorgeous with good temperaments. One of them isn't suitable for breeding for one reason or another, but I overheard someone say something about it being rare to geld them? Sounds strange to me but again, what do I know? lol
In the Californio style horsemanship circles, the Andalusian Quarter crosses are getting popular, along with a Lustiano or Morgan Quarter cross. This is kind of old school breeding, Morgans and Morgan crosses used to be very popular as ranch horses just a few decades ago and the Spanish horses were the original cow horses.
If you had your heart set on an Andalusian, you could get a cross bred for ranch/ cow work.
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There are people reining on full blooded andalusians, so why not cut, etc, IMO. Heres a link to the "reining andalusian" Ichibon DMF "Petri" - The Reining Andalusian | Facebook facebook page
I do see limitations, like others have stated, if you were planning on showing against open/non pro caliber horses, but if you stay in the lower classes, I bet you'd do fine if you could find one that liked the work! I'd say you are going to have more trouble finding one that would suit, I don't think they are trained for the sport, so you'd probably have to invest from the ground up, training-wise.
I'd say go for it if you were just particularly interested in that breed. If you are just kind of looking around, feeling a couple breeds out, i'd go for a well bred stock type like an appaloosa/paint/quarter that is built for that type of work.
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