13 Interesting Facts About The Lusitano Horse

The Lusitano Horse is said to be the world’s best-kept secret in the horse breeds division. They are powerful and graceful and are renowned for their noble character and willingness to please. They are also enthusiastic and kind and work well with any level of rider or trainer. Plus, they possess a higher than average intelligence, that’s why they are considered a symbol of status for their owners.

Let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts about these majestic horses:

1. They Are Popularly Called The PSL

Ever heard someone call a horse a PSL or PBL – and wonder what they meant? PBL is an acronym for Pure Blood Lusitano, and PSL means the same in Portuguese, Puro Sangue Lusitano. Lusitanos are popularly called the PSL.

Their close neighbors from Spain, the Andalusian are also popularly called the PRE. PRE is an acronym for Pura Raza Espanola – or simply Pure Spanish Horse.

2. The Lusitano Is A Famous Movie Star

The Lusitano has been used over and over in movies – they are marvelous and are the perfect majestic horses. The internet sources list over 100 horses that starred in movies, and we are pretty sure these are not all.

3. They Are A Centuries-Old Breed

As the original Iberian horse from Spain and Portugal, the Lusitano is thought to be one of the oldest horse breeds in the world. Their origin dates back to 1700BC, evidenced by archaeological cave paintings in the Escoural Caves of Alentejo.

Spanish colonists brought the Lusitano together with the Andalusian and other Iberian breeds to the Americas, and therefore the Lusitano can claim to be a founding father of many American breeds including Mustangs, Rocky Mountain Horse, etc.

4. For Years, The Lusitano Shared Its Registration With The Andalusian

Until the 1960s, the Lusitano horse was considered the same as the Andalusian breed, and even today in some parts of the world, they belong to the same breed society.

In Portugal and Spain, however, they are now recognized as different breeds and the Lusitano is slowly creeping out of the shadows of its more famous neighbor.

Today, the Andalusian has a straighter head profile and carriage leaning towards beauty and elegance for dressage purposes while the Lusitano has a rounder head and body, coupled with lightning quickness and athleticism and is mainly used in the bullring.

Here we tried to summarize all the differences between the Lusitano and Andalusian.

5. They Are Mostly Used In The Bullring

The Lusitano is mostly used in the bullring in Portugal and other bullfighting countries. The bulls are fought from the horses back and they are not killed in the ring. They are challenged by both the horse and the bullfighter.

Only the best Lusitano horses can take participate in bullfights, this is because they need to have the skill and agility to dodge the horns of the bull during the fight.

6. The First Lusitano To Win An Olympic Medal Was Guizo

Ridden by Spain’s Juan Antonio, Guizo was the first Lusitano to win an Olympic medal. Rubi, on the other hand, was the first Lusitano to qualify for an Olympic kur after being ridden by Goncalo Carvalho.

Recently, all four members of the 2016 Rio Olympics Brazilian dressage team rode Lusitanos.

7. The Lusitano Possesses The Art Of ’La Gineta’’

lusitano horse breed
Source: Lusitanohorsefinder.com

Lusitanos have what is known as a sub-convex profile or a Roman nose. This is a trait that is genetically transferred and allows the horse to have the ability and skill to be a mounted single combat horse.

8. Famous Portugal Families Have Bred The Lusitano For Years

Two particularly famous families, the Viega and Andrade have been breeding the Lusitano for years.

9. Lusitanos Are Calm, Gentle And Docile

It is common for Portuguese children to learn to ride on Lusitanos. This is because they as much as they are spirited, they are sane and would never buck or try to get a rider off their back.

10. Lusitanos Tend To Mature A Little Late

A Lusitano wouldn’t be expected to reach the height of its training until it is 12, and most of them continue to perform well into their 20s.

11. Lusitanos Can Be Any Solid Color

Most Lusitanos are bay and grey- in fact, 80 percent of the Lusitanos are grey. However, their registry allows all solid colours including palomino, chestnut, black and dun. In the past, some Lusitanos were even spotted, but these are rare today.

12. They Got Their Name From Their Place Of Origin

The Lusitanos were named after Lusitanian; the name the Romans gave to the region of the Iberian Peninsula which roughly connects to the modern day Spain and Portugal.

13. Lusitanos Are Average In Height And Weight

Most Lusitanos stand at around 15 to 16 hands high and weigh between 700 to 1100 lbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Lusitanos Good Horses?

These horses are highly intelligent, but also willing to learn, honest and gentle. They have agile, elevated gaits which are generally very comfortable to ride – and they are beautiful to look at too! What’s not to love?

2. Are Lusitano Horses Good For Beginners?

Although they are often used in high level dressage and showing, Lusitanos are surprisingly very good with beginners. It is not unusual for Portuguese children to learn to ride on Lusitanos, as their gentle nature and honest demeanor makes them safe, and they generally will not go out of their way to unseat a rider.

3. What Is The Temperament Of A Lusitano Horse?

Lusitano horses are notably intelligent, which could make them difficult – but this intelligence is tempered by gentleness. They are inquisitive and quick to learn, and are also known to be calm under pressure, making them prefect for the bull ring. They are also warm and affectionate to people, especially when they find someone they trust.

4. Is A Lusitano A Warmblood?

Yes, the Lusitano is considered a warmblood. This does not mean they are “hot” under the saddle though!

5. What Is The Difference Between Lusitano And Andalusian?

There are a lot of similarities between these two breeds; sometimes it can be hard to tell them apart physically! Both are known to be bold and intelligent, though Lusitanos can be slightly more fiery and need more exercise to prevent them from becoming too much of a handful.

12 thoughts on “13 Interesting Facts About The Lusitano Horse”

  1. My husband and I are hoping to get a horse for our daughter, and the Lusitano seems like the best breed for her due to their grace, power, and personality. The movies, as you mentioned the breed often features, is where our daughter actually first learned about them, and the fact that there are over a hundred of them shown in movies by just one foundation is astounding. It’s good to know that they are, in fact, renowned for being calm and gentle, as you said, so we can be sure that our daughter’s horse will never try to buck her off.

  2. Lusitanos are **NOT** called PRE. PRE are Spanish Purebred. Lusitanos are PSL, i.e. Portuguese Purebred. Both are sometimes called Andalusians although it’s inaccurate because Lusitanos come from Portugal, not from the Spanish province of Andalucia.

  3. Lusitanos are, as Isobelle says, PSL which is the acronym for Puro Sangue Lusitano. And as regard Andalusians, the rest of the world drives Spanish breeders mad. Andalusion refers *only* to PRE born in Andalucia, nowhere else, not even other Spanish provinces.

    The Lusitano is Portuguese and not spanish!!! The breed is Puro Sangue Lusitano (PSL) not PRE. PRE stands for Pura Raza Espanola (all over spain). The andalusina is a horse born in Andalusia (a province of spain) and are generally refered to the PRE born in Andalusia.

    Puro Sangue means Pure Blood.


    • Apologies, Pedro, all fixed now. It wasn’t done on purpose, I swear! Just a poor research on our side. -Nicky

  5. I have a pure bred lusitano he is the most friendly intelligent horse I have ever had I was brought up with Arabs from the age of 6 but I love this horse he is loyal quick to learn and learns everything so quickly he has amazing paced and is stunning to look at

  6. Hi I’ve had the great fortune of owning one of these magnificent horses.

    He is everything they say the breed is. Intelligent, very athletic, willing. Strong work ethic.

    He is really friendly. Loves all people and other horses.

    Absolutely stunningly gorgeous. ❤️❤️❤️

    He has Viega bloodlines.

    He us 6 and is in training to advance his dressage skills.

    I will never own or ride another breed of horse. He is so much fun to ride. We go regularly on 6 mile trail rides. ❤️❤️❤️????????????


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