Sale of Andalusian Horses - Spanish PRE Horse Exports - since 2001

Some Advice for the New PRE Horse Owner

Here are some important tips for general use for new PRE horse owners. This advice is not specifically meant for any horse or client. And yes, the contents might make you smile :

  • Spanish Pure Bred  horses mature late, towards their sixth year – so if you have purchased a young horse (three or four years old), remember it should not be worked hard or this could seriously affect the joints ( fetlocks – hocks ). PRE Horses have very active minds, a natural talent for collection and are willing to please their riders, so they might offer you more intensive and advanced movements than you are asking for, and thus harass their health.
  • Generally speaking, horses in Spain are not worked hard, so make sure the horse’s work scheme is increased gradually after arrival .
  • If your horse has feet with  high heels, do not lower them. Andalusian horses have a different shape of foot than warmbloods or thoroughbreds. Not respecting the natural shape could affect the horse’s movement in a negative way.  If the feet are narrow then ask your farrier to put wider shoes on – inviting the foot to broaden.
  • PRE horses are more laminitis prone than warmbloods. So don’t overfeed on protein without the horse getting sufficient work. This does not mean that you have to keep them on a diet. In Spain we like the horses to be round and fairly fat – lean Andalusians look a bit strange to us. Spanish horses are used to eating a considerable amount of cereals. Not feeding enough hard feed might result in severe behavioural problems at work and in the stable.
  • Some horses tend to get stressed due to the journey, and will be a bit wild on arrival. Don’t worry – it is unlikely you have purchased a tiger. Just make the horse comfortable and make much of him, show him the new environment and he should settle in a few days. Do not ride the horse until it has settled in the  new surroundings . Give him time to get used to  the a change of  nutrition ( gradually introduced of course ),  language, climate, and stable routine . . A bit of lungeing before you ride him first time is also a good idea.
  • If you are picking up a horse  after a flight , make sure you are using professional means of transport and experienced  handlers. Horses can be very upset after a flight.  If  the final destination is a long journey away , then make sure  the horse  has no travel fever and no signs of colic before you continue on your trip.
  • Make sure that stable doors are high enough to prevent a stallion from jumping out!
  • Don’t turn the horse loose in a field right away. In Spain most stallions have not been turned out since they were youngsters, and they might panic in such a big strange environment. Only turn the horse loose when he has gotten used to his new handlers and responds to them. Make sure his legs are well protected with tendon and overreach boots.  Spanish horses do not enjoy being out for many hours in any type of weather. They love their comfortable and clean stables so adapt turn out to their latin background…
  • Grass intake should be introduced very slowly in order to avoid laminitis or digestive disorder.  Most Spanish horses have never or hardly ever  eaten grass before.
  • Enquire what the horse has been fed on in Spain . Our nutritionist in Spain will be pleased to advice you on how to change the horse over to locally available feedstuffs.
  • Spanish Pure Breed stallions  do jump, so make sure they can not jump out of the field. You will need to provide special stallion fencing.
  • Once the horse has settled, worm him even if he has been wormed in Spain. For flu vaccinations check with the former owners. Check with your veterinarian if any specific vaccinations are required in your country (West Nile Virus for example).
  • In Spain we cherish the long mane of the PRE horses. It is important to plait ( braid ) the mane for riding , otherwise the reins will rub and break them and it will also be hard for the rider to see the neck and head of the horse .  Do not brush the mane a lot – it will get thinner  if you do so – but untangle with your fingers and with the help of hair softener . Keeping the mane in long braids / plaits in the stable ,  fastened by tape or loose bands at the end , will make it grow longer  . Do not braid tightly if you do not intend to undo them after riding.  Yo can keep those plaits while riding , and only undo them every second or third day.
  • Do realize that the conformation and mind of a Pure Bred Spanish horse are  different compared to a warmblood. Try to educate yourself on different schooling techniques – for example  too much long and low work is not suitable for PRE horses. Miriam Frenk is  always available to give  advice, if you need some guidance with the training of your new purchase.