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Type and Conformation



"Hidalgo" - 2nd Generation from Wilbur Ranch

The breed standard for the Spanish Barb is the tool used to evaluate horses by which the individuals of the breed are judged for type (Spanish characteristics) and conformation. The standard also serves as a basis of comparison by which horses are measured for acceptance within the Registry. Every aspect of the breed standard has been designed to promote the IDEAL for the breed. This ideal is the method by which the goal of complete restoration in quality and excellence, will continue to be achieved. 

The overall appearance of the Spanish Barb is one of balance. The Spanish Barb horse has depth of body and a neck that ties in low. The hindquarters is round in shape and consists of long, smooth muscling. The legs are clean and proportionate to the body, the joints and bone are large.


The stallion, Santiago
Proportinate body.


Foundation Mare, Magdelena
Roundness of body, smooth muscling, short back, great
bone size, short cannons

Standard height of the Spanish Barb is 13.3 to 15 hands. A few individuals may mature slightly under or over but will not represent the norm.

All colors are found within the breed: dun, grullo, chestnut, black, bay, roan, gray and pinto, (Overo, Tobiano and Sabino).

Chico face 1.jpg

Straight profile with refined lips and shallow mouth


       A  Ram Nose (as in sheep) is a

   convexity of the nose


Broad forehead

with a refined and

tapering nose

The head is distinctively Spanish in type. It is refined and elegant with a tapering nose. The muzzle is short, being set off by a shallow mouth and firm lips. The nostrils are crescent shaped and of ample size for air intake when enlarged during exertion. The profile is straight or slightly convex. The ears are short to medium, and curved inward at the tip. The large eyes are set well forward on the head and are primarily brown, but blue eyes occur occasionally. 

The chest is medium in width and sufficiently muscled to form an arch. The ribs are well-sprung, never slab-sided, and the heart girth is deep, varying from 67" to 74" inches in circumference, depending on the height and overall size of the horse. The shoulder is well-angled and in balance with the back and heart girth.


The chest is muscled to form a upside down U-shape, the legs are straight


Another view of chest, large, strong joints and bone

The back is short, and well-muscled. The loin is short, straight and full. The croup is round and sufficiently full in width and length to be in balance with the body. The flank is deep and the tail set is medium to low.

The legs are straight and in proportion with the body with long muscling in the forearms and thighs, with short, dense, and clean cannons. The circumference of the front cannons average 7  1/4 to 7  7/8 inches. The joints are well developed, strong and clean. 


When in summer coat, the feathering ranges from lacking, curled tightly against the lower leg, to some that have hair curling from the back of the fetlock. Chestnuts on the front legs are small, smooth and not protruding. Chestnuts, when they appear on the hind legs, should be extremely small and flush with the leg. Ergots are either lacking, very small, or appear more as a callous. The pasterns are medium in length and have good flexibility which contributes to the smoothness of gaits. The hooves are ample and well shaped, with an excellent frog formation and thick walls which are extremely hard.
Under normal conditions the mane, forelock and tail are quite long and full.  An exceptionally full mane will sometimes fall naturally on both sides of the neck.

The classical style characteristic to the Spanish Barb Horse and all Iberian/Barb descended breeds is displayed by their natural carriage, action, intelligence and temperament under saddle.  These somewhat elusive traits remain an important part of their heritage and appeal and are basic to the successful restoration of the breed.


The overall impression is one of balance, depth of neck and body, roundness of hip, strong, clean-limbed legs and a refined head.

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