This is a Story About an Andalusian Horse Called Guapo4 min read

This is a story about an Andalusian horse called Guapo. He is the kind of Iberian horse that Andalusia is known for, the kind of horse you would have seen on the black and white postcards even long ago. I don’t know much about him and I only saw him once, but I don’t think I will ever forget his name.

It was a sunny day in early March. The scratchy sound of the roosters and the soft shine of the morning sun had slowly woken us up. Winter was slowly turning into spring and the mimosa trees were in full bloom. We met Guapo on a beach called Playa de Zamora, when my surfer friends were scouting for waves. I was tagging along with my camera, always scanning the horizon for anything that caught my eye.

Guapo the Andalusian horse going into the ocean for the first time with his rider

We didn’t find any good waves. Instead, we saw Guapo galloping along the shore. He was practicing his gaits, so he must have been a young dressage horse. His long brown mane was dancing in the wind and we watched him in awe for what must have been ten or fifteen minutes. The rider’s family was also there. Their son and tiny chihuahua, which looked like an ant next to Guapo, were playing on the beach.

Then the rider got off and started guiding Gaupo towards the waves, away from the beach and just a few steps further into the sea. Guapo looked a bit confused. He would follow the rider and quickly change his mind. I think he felt the wet sand shifting underneath his feet and lost his confidence.

Andalucian horse Guapo takes a few steps into the ocean

This day was Guapo’s very first time going into the ocean, the rider later told us. It was his first time splashing in the waves and feeling the salt water on his skin. We stood there watching his initial hesitation, but it quickly turned into pure elation. He would lie down in the water and immediately stand up again. He would jump towards the waves and try to run away when the rider teasingly splashed him with water.

This day was Guapo’s very first time going into the ocean, the rider later told us. It was his first time splashing in the waves and feeling the salt water on his skin.

Can you believe we were lucky enough to be at the exact same place at the right moment? It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where you go with the flow of a drowsy, sunny day. And then out of nowhere, your lack of plans is rewarded by the most surreal experiences where life feels like a fiction, almost too extraordinary to be true.

That’s why this is also a story about allowing life to unfold in whatever way it wants to go. It’s about being open-minded about unexpected encounters with those that happen to cross your path, friends and strangers. Because those accidental encounters that money can’t buy often turn into the kind of moments that will stay with you for life.

Update: we’ve received a lovely message from Guapo’s owner and we’d like to share it here:

“Dear Madam, I was sent the story of my horse on your website by a friend. He is a young dressage Stallion. He is actually a Lusitano the Portuguese descendants of the Andalusian horses. He is from Manuel Braga and he has an incredible pedigree. The rider is a great friend of mine, the kindest horseman in Spain. My wife has a traditional Andalusian and I have a modern Sport horse Andalusian as well as Guapo. We love our horses very much. “

Guapo sits in the ocean as his rider holds his lead rope
Guapo takes his first steps into the ocean
Guapo and his rider pose on the beach
My friends and I pose with Guapo on the beach


  • Hi Again Roslinde,
    I hope that all is well with you? An update on Guapo. In July he went to the World Championships representing Poland but sadly he had minor injury. Prior to that he went to the European Championships but has a small dental problem but last weekend luck at last in the Polish Championships. He won the Freestyle ( Dancing to Music ) and was second overall. He remains on goal towards the next Olympics.
    Kind regards,

    • Thank you for this update Tony! I missed this reply and realize it has been a year since. I hope Guapo is sitll doing well, sounds like he is achieving amazing things.

  • Hi Roselinde,
    Maybe you remember me Tony the owner of Guapo the Lusitano Stallion on the beach? Well I hope that you are well and safe from Covid 19 wherever you are.
    You may be interested to know that last October I took Guapo to Jerez to Miguel Poyata to be trained up to Grand Prix Dressage standard and then to be sold to a professional rider who can do him justice. Well Guapo learnt the tricks in record time. Miguel adored him and he Miguel.
    A lovely lady who represented Poland at the London Olympics saw him for sale, she came in February to see him and purchased him to train for and aim at the 2024 Olympics. Her charming husband drove from Poland personally to transport him back and take great care of him on the long journey. The stayed at horse hotels so that Guapo was comfortable, exercised and rested.
    She is really happy with him and Guapo has a beautiful home for life now.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Tony. Oh my gosh! Wow aiming for the Olympics even, that is such wonderful news. Thank you for letting us know and updating us about Guapo!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.