I have written blogs on the Andalusian horse (featured in Bianca Swan's novella about a hot Spanish bullfighter and a Virginia socialite Hot Spanish Nights) but I wanted to introduce another of my favorite equines – The Magnificent Lusitano, a Portugese breed, with a high percentage of Andalusian blood.

So enjoy meeting a truly spectacular breed:

Lusitanos can be any solid color but are most often gray, bay or chestnut. They also come in the luscious colors of black, dun and palimono. (I am particularly fond of the palominos—they are dynamic!) The typical Lusitano is 15.2 to 15.3 hands but many breeders are producing larger horses for the demand of the market.

Lusitanos have well-proportioned heads with slighly convex profiles. Their majestic necks are thick and arched. Long luxurious manes and tails make them look like fairy tale horses. Put a horn on a Lusitano and you would have a unicorn! They have short, strok backs, rounded muscles croups. Their legs are sturdy and muscled. These powerful horses are known for intelligence and willingness, are agile, their gaits elevated and comfortable to ride.

These horses are considered a Baroque breed, known for classical dressage, driving and bullfighting on horseback. Their ancestors were warhorses. The Airs Above the Ground (Capriole, Courbette and the Levade) performend to strike fear in the enemies’ heart or to maime and kill. The Capriole begins with the Piaffe (a slow trot advancing one step at the time or in place) then the horse (usually a stallion) leaps into the air and fires both back feet in a poweful elevated kick. In the Courbette, the horse rears to his full height and jumps forward.

The Levade is a crouched rear to protect his rider and terrify the other soldier. All of these movements, now rarely practiced except in the classical dressage schools like the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the Cadre Noir in France, are diffcult but breathtakingly beautiful.

Today, Lusitanos can be found in the Olympic disciplines and high-level combined driving events. In 1995, a four-in-hand team driven by Belgian Felix Brasseur won the FEI Driving World Cup and took the World Championships a year later. In 2002, a Lusitano on the World Equestrian Games bronze-winning dressage team collected a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2006, the entire Portuguese dressage team rode Lusitanos at the World Equestrian Games.

You can still see this breed in the bullring in bloodless bullfights. The bull is not killed, and it is a disgrace to the rejoneador if the horse is injured.

If you are interested in checking out Hot Spanish Nights, visit Bianca Swan’s blog for a blurb, excerpt and book trailer. Take a look around the blog while you’re there. The Celestial Sin page contains a blurb, excerpt and trailer as well. And there is a free read.

Nothing to do with horses—fallen angels in fact—my latest release Night Before Doomsday is now available.


  1. Mary Marvella // October 7, 2011 at 6:27 PM  

    Linda! You find such gorgeous studs, houses, too.

    I am always amazed at how much you know about them.

  2. Autumn Jordon // October 7, 2011 at 7:17 PM  

    Ah, you made me miss my horses. The Lusitano's are beautiful animals. I'd love to ride one, for hours or days. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  3. Nightingale // October 7, 2011 at 7:59 PM  

    Thanks Mary and Autumn. Well, I lived and breathed horses for about 20 years of my life. I hope I learned something. ha ha

  4. Pamela Varnado // October 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM  

    Other than a few day trips horseback riding, I don't have much experience with horses, but you've made me wish I had more. Would the Lusitano make a good riding horse for everyday use or is it strictly a show or bullfighting horse? It's a beaut and I wouldn't mind having it in my stable-if I had one of course.

  5. Pamela Varnado // October 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  6. Judy // October 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM  

    Linda, these horses are magnificent. I love that you've taken a love of yours --horses--and put them in one of your books.

  7. Scarlet Pumpernickel // October 8, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

    I've never ridden, a very poor revelation for a girl who grew up on a farm. But we had cows and goats. No horses, so no riding. I always wanted one and we had plenty of pasture. But my grandparents and parents thought horses would only be more animals to feed and keep up. You post alway make me long for what might have been.

  8. Mona Risk // October 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM  

    Hi Linda, Like Scarlett I've never ridden, but I love your pictures and enjoyed reading your post.

  9. Josie // October 9, 2011 at 9:24 AM  

    Your photos are gorgeous, and descriptions are excellent. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

  10. Beth Trissel // October 10, 2011 at 10:50 AM  

    Wow, what gorgeous pics. Love this post.