Terra Salva - Import Lusitano

Before history was written, a herd of wild mares inhabited the banks of the river Tagus. According to legend they were impregnated by the wind, which gave their offspring phenomenal speed. The Lusitano was born. Ever since, these beautiful animals are known as the 'Sons of the Wind'.

It is often thought that the Lusitano is descended from the Arabian horse, but this is not true. Archeological finds have proven that both breeds developed independently, each with its own magnificent characteristics.

The Lusitano has a long history. In Antiquity it was used in the Peloponnesian wars and according to Xenophon they were crucial to the victory of the Spartans over Athens. The Romans used these fast and limber horses in their Hippodromes. In the eighteenth century they were ridden by kings on the battlefield. Classical exercises like the Levade and the Courbette were developed in this era when wars were still conducted on horseback. Due to economical circumstances in Portugal the Lusitano was 'banished' to the circus in the nineteenth century. This is one of the reasons why the Lusitano is less well-known than other Northern European horses.

The Lusitano is a noble horse with an enormous zest for work. They have great endurance, intelligence, courage, limberness and are suitable for many disciplines. Because of their innate nimbleness and elegance they are excellently suited to dressage and easily perform high school dressage. Polo players love them for their speed and maneuverability. The Lusitano is also suitable for jumping: John Whitaker won countless trophies with the stallion Novilheiro, the most successful Lusitano ever.

Brief characteristics of the Lusitano:

  • short, high, powerful neck
  • well-muscled shoulders
  • large, friendly almond-shaped eyes
  • stocky, compact body
  • round, well-muscled rump
  • average height mare: 1.55 m
  • average height stallion: 1.60 m