What we look for in a Spanish Mustang

This is strictly our opinion and other breeders may have their own criteria. 

While the Spanish Mustang has a number of different head profiles, we personally prefer the convex head with a fairly refined muzzle because we feel it is the most indicative of its Spanish ancestors.  The best example of this is the Sorraia horse, indigenous to both Spain and Portugal.  We like to see medium length straight ears for the same reason.

We want a neck that is deeper at the base than modern breeds and some horses will also have a pretty good crest.  The neck should blend well into the withers and should as well have a well laid in sloping shoulder.  We want the withers to be higher than the croup.  This is an uphill horse.  We also want a deep narrow chest, v' ed up nicely in front and a short to medium back. We prefer a fairly round croup although some horses are flatter and we really like to see a low tail set.  By this we don't mean the position of the tail, but that the root of the tail  fits smoothly into the hind quarters.  Flat smooth muscling with no bulging or creasing.  To make this point clear, have you ever seen a mule with bulging muscles?  Mules are known for endurance as are Spanish Mustangs.

Legs and feet are strong, sound and in proportion to the size of the horse, as nature intended.  To this day Spanish Mustangs have sounder feet and legs than the modern man made breeds.  The legs should be up under the horse.  Bob Brislawn said," The horses should look like they are leaning forward slightly, both front and back legs up under them like they are always ready to jump and go.  They never get caught with their legs out of position."  Spanish mustangs are agile and catty and are more flexible than modern breeds.

Another important point is that these horses can stand square, reach down and easily touch the ground with their noses because they are built in proportion.  How many man-made breeds have you seen have to spread their legs far apart to graze?

Dave used to raise Arabians before he got into Spanish Mustangs.  If you ever got an Arab cut below the knees or hocks he says that you better be prepared to bandage right away to try and keep proud flesh from growing.  We have had five or six of our horses get very bad wire cuts and have never bandaged or done anything.  And none of them ever got a hint of proud flesh.  Nor were any of them lame.  It's mother nature's survival of the fittest.