There are three horse breeds that I would and could watch all day every day. Arabians, Friesians and Andalusians. Arabs seem more like the playful, teasing children but in an instant they can grow up. Friesians are the magical night-horses, the ones you dream about. And Andalusians. They are not playful children, like Arabs. You can dream about them, but they are not dream horses. They are serious horses.

They're a Spanish horse, and their other name is the Pure Spanish-Bred. They have been used for most everything over history, from mounts for kings to cattle herding and bullfighting. Mostly, today, they are seen in competition as professional dressage horses, where they succeed most magnificently. They are very elegant in their movements, though perhaps their winnings are partly due to their extreme looks and dramatic beauty.

They tend to be between 15 and 16 hands, which is only an average height for a horse but they are very stocky in their build and seem much taller. Their heads are not overly long and can seem slightly convex from a profile view. Their necks tend to be long and crested, that is, they seem gigantic and muscular. This trait is doubly emphasized in stallions. They should, as a king's horse, be expected to be proud and maybe a little arrogant. However, like a handsome boy all they need is a little love and careful treatment and they'll eat out of your hand. They are also intelligent and learn new things very quickly.

If you think you've never seen an Andalusian before, think again. Two Andalusians make the character Shadowfax in The Lord of the Rings. Peter's unicorn in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was an Andalusian. Mel Gibson rode one in Braveheart. Andalusians are also used in circuses.

Traditionally their hair is not cut and if a white horse is ever seen with a long, flowing mane and tail it is generally safe to presume that they are an Andalusian. They are mostly "gray" horses, though of course they are seen physically as gray-white horses depending on age (horses pale with age, a white horse is an old horse). However, Andalusians are also accepted as bays, blacks and chestnuts. Palomino is not a color legally accepted in an Andalusian, as it is evidence of cross breeding.

Andalusians are fairly unlike Arabs. While Arabs appear small and delicate, Andalusians are awesome to behold. They are big, they are heavy, they are elegant, and they are beautiful. I have only ever seen one in the distance, warming up for a dressage test. It was like looking at a king. Not a celebrity. A king.

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