Andalusian Culture and Traditions – Horses

Horse riding at Mazagon beach at sunset

05/05/2020

Horses have played an important role in Andalusia for centuries, with horses from the region being highly appreciated at the Roman circus. Since then, all the cultures that inhabited or called Andalusia home were aware of the exceptional characteristics of the Andalusian horse.

The Andalusian horse, also known officially as the Pure Spanish Horse or Pura Raza Española, has been recognised as a breed since the 15th century. Some of its distinctive features include its intelligence, docility, its elegance, its long and broad neck, as well as clean legs. Gray or bay colours are the most common for this breed.

In Andalusia, there are several institutions whose aim is to safeguard the interests of the Andalusian horse.

 

Royal Stables of Cordoba

The Royal Stables of Cordoba were founded in 1570, by King Philip II of Spain, and are located next to the Alcazar of Cordoba. The Royal Stables housed the best stallions and mares, with the sole purpose of breeding the Pure Spanish Horse.

The building has had several uses over the years, including its use as the Police stables. Nowadays, it is possible to visit the Royal Stables, and also see an unforgettable show, where horses dance to flamenco music. A must-see if you are in Cordoba.

 

Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez

The School is an institution dedicated to the preservation of the equestrian arts, devoted to maintaining the classical tradition of the Andalusian horse.

The School is located in Jerez de la Frontera, a city known for its wine, flamenco and horses. They offer guided visits where you can discover the history of equestrian art in Andalusia, visit the saddlery, the exercise rings, the riding school and the stables. You can also attend their superb show, where you can admire the classical dressage, the reining, the carousel and carriage driving.

 

Sanlúcar de Barrameda Horse Races

Over 180 years ago, horses were used as primary transportation to deliver goods (mainly fish) from coastal villages to inland towns and cities. This was the origin of famous horse races on the beach.

Since 1845, when the Horse Racing Society of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, was founded, there have been yearly races at the beach of this seaside town, located less than half an hour from Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz.

Every month of August, during 6 days, races take place at the beach, right before the sunset and once the tide goes out. Over 80 horses participate every year, with visitors from all over the world witnessing the races from Sanlúcar wide beaches.

 

Saca de las Yeguas

Every June, since 1504, the wild horses that live in Doñana National Park are taken to the nearby town of Almonte to fix their mane, nail horseshoes and prepare them for the trade.

A few days later, the horses are taken back to the National Park, via El Rocío, a small town that gathers more than a million pilgrims every year to visit the hermitage and the virgin of El Rocío. This pilgrimage was first done in 1653 and it’s one of the most important religious destinations of the Catholic faith.

 

Mijas

Besides the above-mentioned venues and traditions, horses can be included as part of your incentive trip or corporate group in Andalusia – we can suggest horseback riding in the countryside or by the beach. The experience is unforgettable and the bond between horses and humans is highly beneficial.

Another idea is to do a sightseeing tour of one of our splendid cities on a horse-drawn carriage – we also suggest visiting Mijas, which is one of Andalusia’s Pueblos Blancos, located at the Costa del Sol, and world-famous for its donkey – taxis. Donkeys have been used by the local population for centuries as a workforce and it is possible to do a tour of this beautiful town on a donkey.

 

Meridional Events is your DMC for all corporate and MICE events in Andalusia and the South of Spain.  These horse-centred events are a fantastic option for special interest groups and horse lovers, including riding clubs and those interested in equestrian activities. As well, we are experts in organising corporate events, incentives, and team building activities in Malaga, Seville, Marbella, Granada and the Costa del Sol.

Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

The team at Meridional Events
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