Today instead of a castle, palace or cathedral, we decided to visit Jerez and attend it’s unique show, “How the Andalusian Horses Dance”. Growing up we had horses, mine was a part Arabian and I enjoyed dressage, while my sister had a part Andalusian horse. So while this excursion was my husband’s idea, watching it was like stepping back in time, for me, but obviously not to anywhere near the same degree of technicality.
Prior to the show, which I recommend arriving by 11 am in order to get a nearby carpark, you can go to the outdoor arena and watch the horses being lunged and ridden and you are allowed to take photos.
The show is described as an equestrian ballet accompanied by Spanish music and 18th century styled costumes and lasts for 90 minutes with a 10 minute interval. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photos or videos during the show and it is strictly enforced.
The show sequence begins with Doma Vaquera (country-style riding) and traditional equestrian chores. This demonstrates the skills used by traditional cattle herdmen, with the horseman riding one handed around the arena, demonstrating his change of rhythm and performing pirouettes.
This is followed by advanced dressage accompanied by music. The next section involves carriage driving and while the introduction was in Spanish, I think it was comparing Spanish to English carriage driving. The next section, which I think is probably the most exciting, judging by my husband and kid’s interest level involved a number of horsement and their horses carrying out a range of dressage exercises on long reins like levades, caprioles, courbettes and piaffe.
The show ends with the carousel, where a group of horses and riders perform dressage exercises in unison and sequence to music. I have to say the music and movements did remind me of a carousel.
We enjoyed the horse show, but if you had young children or a partner not at all interested in horses, I think the thrill of sitting still for 90 minutes would wear off very quickly. Coming from a background of dressage, I could certainly appreciate the amount of training that has gone into every piece of the performance and as a teenager that would have been an ultimate dream job, so if you are or have been into horses I would highly recommend it.
Information on the Show: How the Andalusian Horse Dances:
Opening Times: (see link for full details) Show commences at 12 pm.
- January/February – show is only on a Thursday and one Saturday of the month
- March – July – Show is on Tuesday and Thursday and one to two Saturdays a month
- August – October – Show is on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and one Saturday a month
- November – December – Most Tuesdays and Thursdays and one Saturday a mont
- Ticket prices vary according to the position and row you choose. An adult starts at €21 and goes to €30 for the royal seating area. Likewise a discounted seat (children, over 65) starts at €13 and goes up to €19 (except the royal seating)
- The royal seating area and includes a backstage pass is €100 per person
There is parking behind the Equestrian center.