Contrary to the name, the Spanish Barb is a horse that originated in America. Suitable to the name, however, the horse is a cross between the finest Barbs and the Andalusian. These horses are known to be extremely resilient, good riders, and possess an immaculate "cow sense." The noble Andalusian has given the Spanish Barb good conformation and responsiveness making it an ideal show horse.
The Spanish Barb averages in the range of 13.3 to 15 hands high. It shows colorations of bay, dark bay, and black, with grays appearing because of Andalusian influence. The head is narrow and refined with a convex profile, the neck is arched and the withers pronounced. The thick body is indicative of its staying power, although its thin legs are not. The Spanish Barb is an elegant mix of the Andalusian and the Barb.
The Spanish Barb is esentially a combination of its two founding breeds, the Andalusian and the Barb. The horse has established itself as an excellent "cow horse" suitable to the harsh western environments. In recent years the International Association for the Preservation of the 16th Century Spanish Barb has been formed. Today, a herd is kept by the Association, although it is believed there are only about 250 horses in the United States.
Thanks to the efforts of Susan Field-Paulton the Spanish Barb continues to exist as a breed. Her interests in preserving the breed began in 1957 when the horses were virtually gone from the American landscape. With the use of one strong stallion, Scarface, the breed has been built up to the herd of around 250 that exists today.
1. Andalusian 2. Barb
For more information:
Spanish Barb Breeders Association
Listed as "Critical" by The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (2004)
Aug 28, 2010