Lusitano photo
Photograph by Hortensejoanne. License: GNU.


The Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed, quite similar in appearance to the Andalusian and other Spanish horse breeds. The head is medium sized with a Roman profile and small, alert ears. The neck is short, thick and muscular, the shoulders powerful and the back short and flat. Lusitanos have broad chests, rounded and muscular hindquarters and long, fine legs. The mane and tail are often wavy.

15.2 to 15.3 hands

The most common color is gray. Other common colors include bay, chestnut and dun, although they may come in any solid color.

The Lusitano is a kind and generous horse. It is friendly, noble and known to keep a cool head in difficult situations. These horses are also intelligent, quick learners, loyal and brave.

Suitable for
In Portugal, the Lusitano is a very popular breed and is used as the mount of bullfighters. It also does well in sports and is often used in dressage and other Olympic sports. Lusitanos are also used in driving, farms and perform light draft work. They are also very popular as riding horses. In the past Lusitanos were used in the military and gained quite a reputation due to their performance as war horses.

Lusitanos are very energetic horses. As a result, they require regular feeding. Their coat, mane and tail require frequent grooming in order to look clean and healthy. As many Lusitanos compete in sports and have an athletic nature, they require a lot of exercise, so frequent access to a large outdoors space is a must if you own a Lusitano.

The breed is of Portuguese origin (Lusitania means Portugal in Latin). It has a long history as it is believed that it evolved around 25,000 BC from the Sorraia horse breed. In the beginning, the Lusitano shared many common characteristics with the Andalusian breed. The two breeds started developing different traits around the 17th century, when the Lusitano was increasingly used for pleasure riding, among other uses. Over the centuries, the Lusitano was traditionally used as a war horse. The reputation it gained paved the way for it to get into the bullfighting arenas where, up to this day, it serves as a mount for bullfighters. The first official Lusitano registry was formed in 1966.

They are generally healthy horses. They have an average lifespan of 25-30 years.