Beginnings

 

Beginning

The Iberian horse had a rocky beginning.

 
Lusitano-063History shows us that the Iberian horse had a rocky beginning.   The first time the invading Roman armies laid eyes on these fearless, elegant animals they fell in love with them.   They realized that cavalry troops mounted on them would be invincible.   Their speed, their strength and the ease which with they moved changing directions at high speed made them the perfect weapon in the battlefield.
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Lusitano-005In 711AD the Umayyad Muslims crossed the Strait of Gibraltar taking over the Iberian Peninsula.   The invaders brought their mounts, Barb horses from Syria, Libya, and Egypt.   The Barbs were animals bred for the desert with long, elegant bodies, large nostrils and well-defined wide chests which gave them a lot of room to take air and cool the blood flowing into their brains.   Horses bred to resist and excel the harsh desert climate and the long distances in it.   These were the horses the Spaniards brought to America.
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Lusitano-007Through careful breeding the Barbs combined the best qualities of the Barb and Iberian horses and the end result was superior to either one of the breeds.   In fact, Xenon wrote about them in 400 BC.   He said, “On horses such as these even gods and heroes will appear and men who know how to work well with them will look magnificent.”   And later on, in the Iliad Homer said, “Fast as the wind and sons of Podargo, the harpy that was impregnated by the wind Zephyr while grazing at the borders of the River Oceanus”.   Cordeiro wrote a book about them called “Sons of the wind”.
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