🐎 The Azteca Horse Breed

Breed Description

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 nobile, extravagent 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 inate 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.

Average Height:

The Azteca has an average height of 14.1 – 15.3 hands.


The Azteca has a very large range of color options that basically include almost all equine colors.


Azteca horses resemble their Andalusian ancestors in their straight or slightly convex profiles, well-arched necks, and abundant manes. Aztecas should have well developed shoulders and medium whithers. The chest should be deep and the back should be short and straight. The Azteca’s hindquarters should be muscular and the tail should be medium set.


Docile, playful, bold, intelligent, and willing.

Members of this breed often excel in the following disciplines:

  • Dressage
  • Gaited Events
  • Rodeo / Ranch

Breed History

The Azteca breed was developed fairly recently in Mexico. It is the result of a crossbreeding program that began in 1972 to fullfill Mexico’s ambition of creating its own national breed. Since Spanish horses have always been favored in Mexico, the Andalusian played a primary role in the program. To create the first Aztecas, Andalusians were crossbread with cow-smart American Quarter Horses and Criollo horses. On November 4, 1982, the Mexican Department of Agriculture granted official registry to the Azteca breed.

Development of the breed continues today, with crossbreeding still permitted to Andalusian, Quarter Horse, and Criollo horses. Aztecas may have a minimum of 3/8 to a maximum of 5/8 Andalusian or Quarter Horse blood, and a maximum of 1/4 Criollo blood. The ideal Azteca should have the elegance of the Andalusian, combined with the agility and cow sense of the American Quarter Horse.