About The Spanish Barb Horse Association


 Our Mission Statement:


The Spanish Barb Horse Association (SBHA) is dedicated to the restoration, preservation, perpetuation and promotion of the Spanish Barb Horse.



IMG_0924-Janie-horse-orgWe have changed our name to the Spanish Barb Horse Association from the Spanish Barb Breeders Association, but not our mission.

“I was told by a Spanish Barb owner/breeder that everyone who has a Barb thinks they have the smartest horse and now I can see why. I have asked a couple of new Barb owners to join me at our weekly get together so we can share with others how special this breed is. Part of the journey that Zapata & I are on is to be a wonderful representative for this breed of horses. Like I said I have quite a task ahead of me but with Zap it will be a wonderful ride so to speak.” Becky Chandos

The Barb Horse of Colonial Spain was refined, hardy and versatile with a steady and willing temperament. He was coveted and sought after to improve other breeds throughout Europe. The Barb horse survived weeks of sailing to the New World, slung in the dark belly of ships and then adapted to a vastly different and often hostile environment. It was upon this horse’s back that the Americas were settled. The SBHA reveres this heritage, seeks to honor it and recognizes its value.

The founders of the SBBA desired to not only perpetuate the breed but to restore them closer to the original horses as brought to this continent by the Spanish. They felt the breed, in the wild state, had somewhat deteriorated and desired to restore it to its former status as one of the finest breeds of Old World Europe.

In 1972, the Spanish Barb Breeders Association (SBBA) began with approximately five strains of horses from which to perpetuate the breed. They were represented by the stallion, Scarface SMR-82 (Romero/McKinley), Rawhide, a Gaskin stallion bred by ILO Belsky, the stallion Sun (Sioux Chief SMR-4), the mare Coche Two SMR-88, and the mare A-ka-wi SMR-87. Merits and faults of each horse were noted and thus the direction was given to the breeding programs. Spanish Barb Horse Association Stallion

In order to insure the continuation of a breed whose nucleus was so small, selective, intelligent line-breeding and in-breeding played a vital part in SBBA breeding programs in the early years. The successful use of close breeding programs became evident in the quality of the resulting foals and the stabilization of the desired attributes of the breed.

Because of this small genetic beginning, the SBBA brought the Wilbur-Cruce strain, represented by seventy seven individuals, to the registry in recent years. Dr. Gus Cothran evaluated the herd through blood typing as a “closed group with good genetic diversity”.

In order to insure that the breeding program remains of the highest quality, the registration procedure differs from other equine registries. Regardless of bloodlines, each horse comes before official inspectors to be considered for registration.

Each horse is reviewed on its own merit according to quality and conformation. This insures that no horse is automatically registered and no horse is automatically rejected. Each complies with the high standards of the breed.  There is also a Half-blood listing for offspring sired by or out of one registered SBHA parent. Complete files are kept on each horse including a full set of conformation color photos.

By this process, any outstanding individual can be brought in to the registry. The horse will be given either Permanent, General, or Appendix registration status. Young horses are eligible to apply for advancement to Permanent upon reaching three years of age. Attaining Permanent status depends on a number of factors, one of the most important being the degree of conformance to all areas of the Spanish Barb Horse Association Breed Standard. Each application for advancement includes recording 15 different measurements of the horse.


Spanish Barb Horse Association measuring a horse for registration


These measurements are utilized not only in the inspection review process but for overall statistics maintained for on-going research carried on by the association since its inception. A Hardship division is in place for horses that are not out of SBHA registered parents or have unknown bloodlines.  Any horse applying for Hardship consideration must possess Spanish-Barb characteristics and traits evident for the process to continue.

There is also a Half-blood listing for offspring sired by or out of one registered SBHA parent. Complete files are kept on each horse including a full set of  conformation color photos.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists the status of the Spanish Barb as critically rare which motivates the Spanish Barb Horse Association to work to diligently see that the breed continues toward its recovery.  Help SBHA with our mission today and join us!  Join SBHA



Spanish Barb Horse Association mares