The many different horse breeds and types of horses recognized in the world today include giants weighing more than a ton, tiny animals less than a yard high, spotted horses, golden horses, those named after their outstanding walking gait, and streamlined racing machines capable of galloping the 35 m.p.h. requisite for the Derby Stakes.
Most of the older Continental horse breeds trace back in some degree to the Andalusian of the Middle Ages, since Spanish horses were considered to be of the highest quality and prized throughout Europe.
They originated from the crosses between local Spanish mares and the Barb stallions brought in by Moorish invaders of the eighth century, and were powerful, high-actioned horses with a very abundant mane and tail which they still retain to some extent, though they are now lighter and speedier animals than their ancestors of the Middle Ages.
The modern Andalusian is almost as well known as the Spanish Arab, and the mares were used for breeding all over Europe.