Smartblood Versus Warmblood


The modern Andalusian Smartblood is aptly named for his intelligence, athletic ability but more so, his desire to bond with his rider...

After decades of riding and teaching both Amateurs and professional riders, I have been exposed to every type, size, breed and build of horse that has ventured into the world of Dressage. Whether competitive or not, each rider was definitely aspiring in the same direction. All searching for elastic submission and connected obedience.

Smartblood athletic abilityThrough my journey I have witnessed many fantastic partnerships and ones that were destined to fail, mainly due to inappropriate partnerships between horse and rider.

An old saying that too regularly deemed itself worthy, Green and Green makes Black and horse and green rider ends in bruises, seemed to occur on many occasions, often just witnessed from the sidelines.

My own journey encountered horses that were bred specifically for the sport, good movement and temperament, namely a variety of Warmbloods. For professional riders, lots of these specimens excelled into and through the upper levels but for many, heartache and injury as well as a loss of confidence was their only reward.

Many people venturing back to the equestrian world after years of absence, often bought the best Warmblood that money could buy. Unfortunately, it was often more horse than they could ride and produce.

I have watched many clients sit on the side lines whilst their trainer rode and competed the clients horse as they observed longingly to be the rider instead of the observer. The movement was often too big, too much for them to deal with. Both horse and rider would become frustrated and sometimes fearful due to an altercation. This often occurred when the pair would try to move up to the levels that introduced "Collection". The larger, longer bodied horses needed help along the way and most lost energy and more importantly balance to energy ratios. This often ended in an argument between horse and rider and when the horse became threatening the rider often became fearful and backed down. The horse soon begins to realize its strength against the human partner and the relationship sometimes spirals downwards.

I, quite recently was introduced to the PRE Andalusian, the breed that we have now named "The SmartBlood". After having the privilege of working and training two stallions, my horizon broadened in total amazement. I rode and trained these horses through circumstances that created major distractions for the other horses in my barn, Dutch, Danish and German Warmbloods. The SmartBloods always focused on the job at hand and were not easily distracted by the outside situations, ie heaving equipment working to build a new arena. This was very refreshing after dealing with the " Spooky Horse", the horse that is often looking for an excuse to evade. Spooky horses can be directed properly with a strong rider, but many adult armature riders can find this situation intimidating and dangerous. When this is your hobby, it is more pleasurable to be on a mount that feels safe and can do his job in the competition arena.

After a number of trips to Spain, I found a horse that suited my needs as a professional rider, aiming to go up the ladder through the FEI world. A more fabulous horse I could not have found, Malcarat, a PRE Andalusian SmartBlood. A desire to please, a never ending work ethic, and an unspooky nature, all and more than I could have hoped for. Light on his feet and an easy aptitude for collection, it brings the fun back into training for my goal.

Smartblood horse and riderThe modern Andalusian Smartblood is aptly named for his intelligence, athletic ability but more so, his desire to bond with his rider. The movements that most Amateur riders find difficult is almost built in to these Noble blood lines , after centuries of careful breeding and training programs.

I recently returned from a trip to Spain where I combed through horses to find the horses that specifically fit the needs of the US rider. They can be found, but like digging for gold, you have to know the terrain in order to find the right ones .

We will bring back the SmartBloods in order to fill the demand of the modern rider who is lucky enough to see the the way of the future.

Jacqueline Macdonald Cuddy


Official Andalusian Smartblood Dressage Horse Home