Friesian Andalusian Cross (History, Characteristics & More)

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The Friesian Andalusian cross is an absolutely stunning horse breed that you might not have heard of.

It was new to me until recently, when I met one that a fellow equestrian owned.

I loved this horse so much that I decided to speak to some breeders to find out more about it.

Here, I want to share everything I learned about the breed’s history, physical characteristics, and more!

Read on to find out!

History of Friesian Andalusian Cross 

Like me, you probably are always wondering what type of horses are there? There are literally hundreds of which the Friesian Andalusian cross is just one and the breed I’m going to focus on here. 

First, let’s start with the history of this very beautiful horse, which is also called the Warlander. Most on the name later.

The Friesian Andalusian cross or Warlander was created by crossing purebred Andalusians with purebred Friesians.

It is a fairly new breed, with the first official cross developed in 1990 by Karen Maree Kaye. Karen is the owner of Classical Sporthorse Stud and created a breed standard and breeding program for the cross.

When she had her standards in place, Karen then bred the first Warlander at her stud. Warlander horses got their name from Karen’s veterinarian, whose name was Warwick.

Karen was passionate about classical equitation and baroque horses, and she selected the best qualities of both the Andalusian horse and the Friesian horse to create the Friesian Andalusian cross.

Karen also created the Warlander Studbook Society with help from connections from around the world. The standards implemented at its creation are the ones the Andalusian Friesian cross is judged by today.

The Warlander studbook is closed, so it can only have pure Friesian and pure Andalusian cross bloodlines within it.

Here is a video that explains more about the Warlander.

Physical Characteristics of Friesian Andalusian Cross

Warlander horses are a  mix of Friesian horse characteristics and Andalusian horse characteristics. These are all of its defining physical features that make them flashy horses and fun riding horses.

Markings

According to the Warlander Stud Society, the only markings that are allowed are white facial markings and any white markings below the knee, like socks. (1) 

No markings that break the solid color, like roan, pinto, or appaloosa are allowed.

Colors 

The Friesian Andalusian cross can only be solid horse colors. The most common colors for the breed are bay, grey, and black, although palominos have also been bred.

Height 

The Warlander or Andalusian Friesian cross cannot be shorter than 14.3 hands if it is. Any smaller than this and it would be a pony, which would make the horse fall short of the strict breed standards.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good horse, just that it would not qualify to be part of the studbook.

The ideal height is no higher than 16.2 hands, but they can be up to 17 hands tall if the other requirements for the breed are met.

Conformation

The ideal conformation for a Friesian Andalusian cross carries all of the characteristics of a classical baroque horse.

What does that mean? Well, let’s take a look at the main conformation characteristics of baroque horses more closely.

Head

The head of the Warlander should be upright and noble, with a side profile that is straight or convex. The forehead should be deep and allow the eyes to sit well within the head.

It should have a thin, lean face with a long, narrow nostril. The ears should be curved with the tip slightly inverted.

Eye

The eye should be triangular, and each one should be large and well set apart from the other. The eyes should be both alert and soft.

Neck

The neck of the Friesian Andalusian cross should be high arched and have a lot of muscle. It should come out from the shoulder and narrow in size as it moves toward the head.

The throatlatch should be clean, and the horse should have a long and thick mane. Which just happens to be one of my favorite characteristics of this horse. I mean, who doesn’t love a horse that looks like it stepped out of a fairytale?

Topline 

The topline should have a smooth and graceful flow from the poll, to the neck, to rounded withers that are set back. The back should be straight and long and move from the withers to a rounded croup.

The shoulder should have a 50-degree angle and be sloping and long.

Legs

The legs should be solid and well set, square and forward. The pasterns should be at a 45-degree angle and be just right in length.

The cannons should be clean with a rounded front, and flat sides but have the substance to carry weight as a riding horse. The knee should be broad, flat, and fall in line with the rest of the leg.

The forearm should be long and have musculature proportional to the cannon. The hind legs should be straight and have well-muscled gaskins, and the hocks should be clean.

Overall, the Warlander is a compact yet strong breed. They are beautiful and graceful horses that are also functional. The gaits are naturally impulsive and suspended.

The conformation of the Warlander is designed to allow them to collect easily, making them great for classical dressage or work as a cart horse. Fancy cart horses are necessary for many occasions.

They are calm, kind, intelligent, and easily adapt to new situations, making them great for riders of all skill levels. Their build also makes for a very comfortable horse to ride.

Check out this beautiful Warlander stallion. I’m actually jealous of his hair!

What is the Average Lifespan of a Friesian Andalusian Cross 

The Friesian Andalusian cross, like most breeds of horse, can live to be 30 years old or more if they are well taken care of. [2]

How Much Does Friesian Andalusian Cross Cost?

Warlanders can cost anywhere between $5000-$20,000+ depending on their bloodlines, training, show records, age, and more. The price means that this breed cross isn’t cheap.

They are also a more niche and specialized horse that is bred to be athletic, particularly at dressage. Because of this, the average price will be higher.

An untrained or green horse can only cost $5000, but a 9-year-old well trained Warlander that has won 50% Friesian champion and proven themselves as a dressage partner will be $20,000+

What to Feed Friesian Andalusian Cross 

A Friesian Andalusian cross should eat the standard horse diet of grass, grains, oats, and hay mixed in various quantities depending on the needs of each horse. 

Because Andalusians, one of the Warlander’s ancestors, lived on land consisting of dry grasses, you should give the Warlander a large amount of dry food, like hay and less grains.

However, each horse is an individual, so the diet will need adjusting based on that.

FAQs

What sports are Friesian Andalusian crosses bred for?

Warlanders are bred for classical equitation, classical dressage, and trail riding. While they can participate in show jumping and other jumping sports, their conformation is not the best for it, and they will excel as fancy dressage prospects.

When is a Friesian Andalusian cross considered purebred?

A Warlander is purebred when it is out of a purebred Andalusian mare or Friesian Mare and by a purebred Andalusian stallion or Friesian stallion.

Conclusion

The Friesian Andalusian cross or Warlander celebrates the best qualities of both Andalusian or Iberian Horses and Friesian horses.

They were created after the dreams of one woman, Karen Maree Kaye, and became successful crossbreeds, The Warlander studbook follows strict guidelines, and these horses are designed to be successful in dressage, trail riding, and other equestrian sports.

Friesian Andalusian Cross with curly hair

References 

  • 1. Warlanderstudbooksociety.com.au. 2019 [cited 2022 Jul 20]. Available from: http://www.warlanderstudbooksociety.com.au/breed-standards/
  • 2. Contributors WE. How Long Do Horses Live [Internet]. WebMD. Available from: https://pets.webmd.com/how-long-do-horses-live#:~:text=The%20average%20horse%20lives%20for
Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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