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Azteca - Horse Breed & Info

Characteristics of the Azteca Azteca Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below

In 1519 Cortez took fifteen horses to the New World and man on horseback confounded the great army of the Aztecs. Now a new breed of horse, the Azteca, is the national horse of Mexico!


Azteca horses are increasingly in demand in Mexico as this breed is the first to be developed in Mexico and was from the beginning designed to suit all that is required of a horse in that country.

Previously, the majority of horses in Mexico were descendants of Spanish horses, such as the Galiceno, or recent imports from Spain of Portugal. Since the Spanish horse has always been favored in Mexico, the Andalusian was the foundation for the new breed. The purpose of producing the Azteca breed is to combine the qualities of the Andalusian and those of the American Quarter Horse, which by the way was also founded on Spanish blood. Bloodlines may be crossed back and forth in many combinations, as long as the resulting offspring are always 6/8 or less of any one breed.

Breeding of the Azteca began in 1972 by crossing the Andalusian and American Quarter Horse, and some crosses were made between Andalusian stallions and Criollo mares.


The Azteca is an attractive horse, found in all colors with the exception of piebald, skewbald, or spotted. The head is lean with a straight or slightly convex profile. The ears are small and pricked. The eyes are large and expressive. Necks are well muscled and slightly arched. The withers are rather high with a straight, short back. The croup is broad and rounded with a deep and broad chest. The shoulder is long and sloping. The legs are well muscled with narrow cannons and clearly defined tendons and joints. Height is between 14 to 15.2 hands in consideration of the Azteca’s intended use in Charreria. The tail is low set and both mane and tail are flowing.

Though developed relatively recently, the Azteca is a distinctive horse with unique qualities that make it highly suitable for the riding culture of its native Mexico. Azteca horses are both docile and lively, and are famous for their mobile, extravagant paces and beautiful action. They are easy to train and perform well in high school disciplines requiring a suspended or elevated gait, but they also have innate cow sense and excel at ranching and cutting. The Azteca is also used for traditional Mexican performances such as the Mariachi and the reining exercises of the charro which requires a horse calm enough to rope from as well as the ability to rein and cut. The breed although new has also won respect in jumping events.

The horses are inspected as foals and again at 3 and letters are attached to their registry to indicate the proportions of founding bloodlines present in each individual. If an Azteca is crossed with an Azteca, this is now of course preferable and is given the letter of A.

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