By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 6, 2009

The Lusitano is a horse breed that has many names, including the Lusitanian, Betico-Lusitano, and Peninsular. A common breed in Portugal, from which it originated, the Lusitano is mainly used for riding.


Physical Characteristics

The Lusitano sports several coat colors, including gray, bay, and chestnut. It has a medium-sized head, which is narrow and well-proportioned, and a well-pronounced jaw. The eyes are usually large and vigorous, and the ears are small and curved inward at the tip. Its chest, meanwhile, is broad and its shoulders are muscular.

Standing at between 15 and 16 hands high (60-64 inches, 152-163 centimeters), the Lusitano's legs are long yet solid and brawny. The withers of a Lusitano are also long, but its back is short, with a sloped, rounded croup.

Personality and Temperament


The Lusitano is notable for great intelligence. It is also a calm, brave, and stable horse, as evidenced by its ability to remain undaunted when faced by a raging bull. Though cool under pressure, the Lusitano is also a warm and affectionate horse.


History and Background


Sometimes referred to as Portugal's Andalusian, the Lusitano bears a marked resemblance to the ancient Spanish horse breed. Some experts even believe that its physical similarities are due to the fact that the both horse breeds may have come from the same foundation stock.


In Portugal, the Lusitano is mainly used as a riding horse, though it has also become very popular in the sport of bullfighting due to its agility and swift movements. 

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