Hi everyone! My name is Alexandra Meghji, and I am so excited to be a new blogger for HJU! I am a 16-year-old Canadian dressage fanatic, and I am currently riding at the FEI Junior level on my Andalusian Iliado II! Today I am going to be talking about what makes PREs so fabulous why I am so in love with this incredible breed!!!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love all horses. Every single one, from Shetland ponies to Belgian drafts to lanky warmbloods to untamed mustangs. But there’s something about the PRE, a spark in their eyes, a drive in their minds, and an adoration in their hearts for their people and their work. Its implicit determination mixed with explicit spirit, and this combination is truly remarkable. It’s something you don’t find in all horses, but something that Iliado has showed me will always be instilled in him.
The PRE loves, and I mean LOVES to win! Committed and headstrong, the Spanish horse gives his all: down every single centreline; through every step of the half pass; through every flying change. He has the mindedness to succeed. It’s just the way he is. It’s ingrained in his subconscious, because it had to be since the very beginning, solely for survival. Since the commencement of riding, the PRE has been the warhorse of choice, from all cavalries across Iberia. To live through bullfights and brutal battles they had to be persistent and strong-minded because well, their lives were on the line. They were skilled and tenacious fighters of course, however they were also widely regarded for their gentle and trusting temperament. They relied on their riders – their leaders- to guide them through war, and this meant that unparalleled levels of trust and communication between horse and rider were crucial for survival. I mean come on- ancient fables don’t compare him to Pegasus and nickname him the “Horse of Kings” for nothing.
And this tenacity, drive and undying perseverance in the PRE shines through today in our modern world. He is the Pegasus of dressage, and his wings carry him effortlessly through every competition arena. His history is something that shapes who he is today, because a dressage test is work, just like a bullfight or war. And though it is certainly far less dangerous, the Andalusian takes it just as seriously as any sort of battle, and tries just as hard to prevail. When he struggles with something, he tries harder, and when he succeeds, he continues trying to improve. I’ve never met horses who respect and take pride in their work as much as PREs.
As for my experience with the PRE, well, it’s been a blast! And I can tell you for a fact that everything about Spanish horses; everything about their work ethic and their keen demeanour is true, at least in Iliado’s case. He has this incredible love of life and takes on every challenge with such gusto and spirit. He really is a classic Spaniard, and I am incredibly pleased that he demonstrates these qualities every day. His spicy Andalusian blood makes him the perfect combination between a loving companion and zealous competitor, both of which qualities are perfect for showing. I am so fortunate and proud that in the two years since he became mine, he has blossomed into such a proficient, professional and polished virtuoso of the FEI Junior level.
But he’s more than just a mechanism for winning red ribbons to me. He’s my best friend. And I know everyone says that but I honestly mean it. I know that no matter what happens I can always go to the barn and cry into his neck and he will just stand there and make everything better… just by standing there, no judgement, no commentary, just telepathic understanding. He is a member of our family and will always be, because of what he has given to us and the unbreakable partnership we have made. I know that with him as my partner, I can tackle anything in the dressage ring – because he has given me the confidence to try. He has taught me that hard work trumps everything, no matter how talented you are, and this among other lessons, is something I will never forget.
Thanks so much everyone!!! Looking forward to my next article!