The Modern Lusitano Model

Characteristics and uses of the Modern Lusitano

Historically, the Lusitano was originally used for Classical equitation, Carriage driving and
Bullfighting. Today, Lusitanos have been used in many other disciplines, in the Olympics, World Equestrian Games, and many other National and International Championships. In 2002, there was a Lusitano in the World Equestrian Games, winning a Bronze medal. In 2006, the entire Portuguese dressage team rode Lusitanos at the World Equestrian Games, as did one Spanish dressage competitor. A Belgian competitor won Gold, in the four-in-hand driving, at the 2006 World

Equestrian Games with a team of Lusitanos. At the 2012 Olympics, in London, a Portuguese team member with a Lusitano, finished very respectably.
Lusitanos are still used for bullfighting today, mostly in Portugal, where the bull is not killed and is considered disgraceful if the horse is injured. Horses bred for Bullfighting are agile and calm, remaining in the control of the rider even when confronted by a bull.
The following are the correct characteristics in accordance with the APSL (


Medium, to be measured at the withers a measuring stick at the age of 6 years. Average height – Females – 1,55m (nearest conversion 15.1hh); Males – 1,60 m (15.3hh).

The most frequent is grey and bay, but all solid colours are accepted, Black, Bay, Grey, Chestnut, Palomino, Cream (Isabel), Buckskin

Noble, generous and ardent, but always gentle and able to long suffering. They are sensitive and some can be hot but not stupid depending on bloodlines.

Agile, elevated, forward, smooth and providing a great comfort to the rider.

A natural ability for concentration, with a great disposition for High School Work and courage and enthusiasm for the Gineta exercises – combat, hunting, bullfighting, work with cattle, etc.

Well proportioned, of medium length, narrow and dry, with the lower jaw not too pronounced and the cheek tending to be long. Slightly sub-convex profile with the forehead in advance of the bones of the eyebrows: the eyes tend to be elliptical in shape (almond shape), big and and alive, expressive and confident. The ears are of medium length, fine, narrow and expressive.

Of medium length, arched with a narrow hairline: the junction between head and neck is narrow or fine: the neck is deep in the base and well inserted between the shoulders, rising up from the withers without any marked depression.

Well defined and long, with a smooth transition from the back to the neck. Always higher than the croup.

Of medium size, deep and muscular.

Well developed, long and deep with the ribs obliquely arched into the joint with the column which promotes a short and full flank.

Long, oblique and well muscled.

Well defined and tending towards the horizontal making a smooth union between the withers and loins.

Short, wide, muscular, slightly convex, well connected with the back and croup with which they form a continuous harmonious line.

Strong and rounded, well balanced, slightly oblique, the length and width should be of identical dimension, the profile convex and harmonious with the point of hip relatively unobtrusive, giving the croup a transverse section of elliptical shape. The tail emerges from the same line of the croup, being of long. Silky and abundant hair.

The forelegs are well muscled and harmoniously inclined. The upper arm straight and muscular. The cannons slightly long and muscular. The fetlocks are dry, relatively big and with very little hair. The pasterns are relatively long and sloping. The hooves are of good constitution, well defined and proportioned without being too open; the line of the coronet is not very evident. The buttock is short and convex. The thigh is muscular and tends to be short, and is orientated in such a way that the patella or gaskin is in the same vertical line of the hip bone, or point of the hip. The leg is slightly long positioning the hock in the same vertical line of the point of the buttock. The hocks are large, strong and dry. The legs present relatively closed angles.

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