Arabian horses are acclaimed as one of the oldest and most popular horse breeds in the world. Its origin is traced back to the Bedouins, a desert tribe living along the Arabian Peninsula. Bedouins bred these horses for its endurance and prowess as a war mount. From Genghis Khan to Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the Great to George Washington, as well as nobilities, conquerors and historical figures were all Arabian riders. Arabian horses have contributed its genes directly or indirectly to most modern day horse breeds, and have changed little over the centuries. Today, English and Western used these horses for riding, and other purpose as it is the ultimate bet in endurance competitions.
Photo: Orrion Farms
History of the Breed
Nations histories and cultural growth are part of Arabian horse embodiment that impacted nearly every other horse breed in existence today. Arabians as one of the oldest human-developed horse breeds in the world have proven its superiority. The present type of these beautiful horses is probably the brainchild and domesticated by the people of the Arabian Peninsula. The Bedouins were very smart people for they knew the uses of the camel, approximately millennia ago. Considering its beginning, the hot climate and raw culture, they were able to breed these wonderful Arabian horses. Breeding these horses was for warfare as Arabians were good war horses for their endurance, intelligence, speed and soundness of constitution. For centuries, the Bedouin painstakingly tracked the ancestry of each and every horse following oral tradition. They gave the name Asil to horses of purest blood and forbid strictly crossbreeding with non-Asil horses. To make their raids successful, stealth was required that mares were able to do. Mares were preferred over stallions as they move around quietly and would not give away the fighters” presence. Over the passage of time, the Bedouin developed a number of sub-types or strains of Arabian horse. Each type of strains possess unique characteristics but traceable only through the maternal line. The Arabian Horse Association stated that there are five primary strains: (i) Abeyan; (ii) Hadban; (iii) Hamdani; (iv) Keheilan; and (v) Seglawi. These explained why many Arabian horses were not only Asil, of pure blood, but were also bred to be pure in strain. Still forbidden was crossbreeding between strains though not considered forbidden, by some tribes. For the Bedouins, purity of bloodline was essential and they also believed in telegony. This belief stated that if ever an asil mare breeds with an impure stallion; all its off springs would have impure blood throughout the line. Through time, horse breeders across the world would incorporate the Arabian horse breed to improve most of the modern breeds today. The Arabian horse breed has developed worldwide with much enthusiasm and success improving the breed through the years.
A purebred Arabian horse has a delicate head with a concave profile below big and prominent eyes; the neck is arched and high-set with a high tail carriage. Back is straight and short with pronounced and straight withers. The muscular, deep and broad chest goes with a long and sloping shoulder. Broad muscular legs with strong joints and tendons are clearly defined. Small hooves with very tough horn are wide at the heel. Feet and legs have common white markings. The skin is invariably black with fine and silky coat. The mane and tail are full. The skeletal structure of Arabian is different from other breeds. Other breeds have 6 lumbar vertebrae, but Arabian has 5; and has 17 pairs of ribs instead of 18. Arabians have good croup length and excellent depth at the hip. This is the reason for Arabian to have excellent agility. According to information published by the US Equestrian Federation, most Arabians stand between 14.1 to15.1 hands while some were larger or smaller than this average range. Although they are shorter, Arabians are still classified as a horse. Compared to heavier and taller breeds, the Arabian can hold its own because it is sure-footed, short cannons, and its back is shorter, but broader. Compared with breed of the same size, Arabians can carry heavier riders. The Arabian temperament is complicated for its spirited disposition. Not found in other breeds, the Arabian has created a loyalty between horses and human and because of their loyalty to humans, US Equestrian Federation allows children under the age of 18 to exhibit stallions in virtually all show-ring classifications and Arabian horse show. Arabians are quick to learn but easily pick up bad habit and this behavior is very difficult to change. Arabians do not accept inept training practices either. This horse is stubborn and won’t want to listen to commands.
Largest Arabian Breeding Facilities
In the United States, there is only a single breed registry for the Arabian horses and that is called the Arabian Horse Association (AHA). Its work involved coordinating with the Equestrian Federation of the United States in issuing permits and authorizing horse shows. It is also tasked to assign licensed judges during competition of Arabian horses. AHA results after the affiliation of Arabian Horse Association International and the American Arabian Horse Registry. Their purpose was to meet with and to encourage all owners of Arabian horses in breeding and holding competitive and recreational interests of Arabian horses. Another purpose was to maintain the Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian registry. The largest and most successful breeder of the beautiful, rare and valuable Egyptian Arabian horse in North America is Arabians Ltd. They have exported the best Arabian breeds to 5 continents of the world. These best Arabian horses are now kept in the luxurious stables of the top Arabian breeders that include kings, business moguls, sheikhs, billionaires and movie stars. They are turning out champion Arabians in every color. They were able to breed the rare black Arabian horse. The best breeders for the Arabian horses, whether big and small; started their breeding ventures after exporting from Arabians Ltd. Breeding of Arabian horses is becoming more popular and Arabians are imported to the US from Saudi Arabia and South America to perfect the breed.
The Use of Arabian horse today
Throughout history, Arabian horses are found world-over during peace, war and trade. They are used to improve other breeds by adding longer endurance, faster speed, more refinement, and stronger bones as they are a light horse breed. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse. Arabians join many competitions especially in racing, shows, endurance riding, jumping, and more. They also serve for pleasure trail riding and working as ranch horses for people who do not join competitive events. Arabians are also most popular participants in films, movies, parades, circuses and other places where horses are used. They excel in a wide variety of activities popular today due to their trainability, gentle disposition, high stamina and intelligence. They are excellent in a wide variety of activities popular today. As an endurance horse, the Arabian has no equal.
Photo: Horse & Hound
Famous Arabian Horses
Once you see these beauties, you will realize why these magnificent stallions are worth a king’s ransom. These horses probably rival superstars in popularity and financial worth.
1. Marwan Al Shaqab, a treasure in the royal stables of Qatar has the status of a rock star status in the Middle East. Owned by the royal family of the state, this exquisite stallion was three time winner in a world championship, two times winner with the US National Championships and has the title of leading world sire seven years in a row for the World Championships.
2. Muscat stands fourth in line in siring the most number of Arabian offspring. He was the youngest among the stud stallion used for breeding at the Tersk Farm. Within a year, this extraordinary Arabian horse gained the title of US National Champion, later the Canadian National Champion and within the same year, he became the champion at Scottsdale.
3. Khemosabi is most recognized by Arabian horse lover. He is recognized for achievements in showmanship. Due to his excellent performance in the Western Pleasure show ring, he received an achievement award. He sired more than 1200 foals during his lifetime and many of them went on to be first class winners in many championships.
About Arabian colors
Like other horse breeds, there are three base colors: bay, black, chestnut and other varieties. Most often, Arabians are more on the bay or chestnut colors, while black horses are unusual. This can be due to lack or absence of E genes. Based on AHA registers, purebred horses have coat colors of bay, black, chestnut, gray and roan. The most common are bay, chestnut and gray; black is rare. Arabian horses are mostly grey that makes up around 60-70% of the population. Grey does not attract the sun as less heat as much as a dark coat. Grey is incredibly useful in a hot desert climate.
The Most Beautiful Horse in the World
With its unique head shape and lofty tail carriage, Arabian Horses are the most popular horse world-wide. Originating from Arabian Peninsula, they are also the oldest breed in the world. Evidences from archeological studies pinpointed that this breed could be traced as far back as 4,500 years ago. History showed them to be used for war and trade purposes. Most modern breeds of could trace their bloodline to Arabian horsed because of their endurance, refinement, speed and strong bones. Everything about Arabian horses makes them the most beautiful horse in the world.
Photo: Arabian H765
Arabian Horse Story
The Arabian horses are the one breed of horses that has remained almost unchanged over the years. The main distinctive difference between the initial breeds and the ones available today is that those in the present day appear to be a bit smaller. The origin of the Arabian is still a matter that many experts do not agree on. There are some archaeologists who claim that initially the Arabian was a wild horse that was found in the northern regions of Syria and the south of Turkey. They claim that these regions in addition to Iraq are a fertile crescent that runs along the Euphrates and on the west is the Sinai and Egypt which provide an ideal environment that facilitate horse breeding. The ideal environment for horses is one that has adequate rainfall but not too wet either. The riverbeds in the region were the source of pasture of these horses. The creatures that existed during this era were not domesticated and belonged to the residents of the south west region of south Arabia.
Photo: Orrion Farms
If you are in search of a horse that will give you loyalty, companionship that is responsive and love all in one the Arabian might be an ideal selection. They are also best suited for individuals who want to start a horse family or beginner horses that will be driven when wearing harnesses or ridden. They have a high capability of enjoying the human being company as compared to some of the other horse breeds. In situations or environmental conditions that the purebred Arabian might not thrive an individual can considered some alternatives like the American Show Horses, Anglo-Arabian, ArabxHQs and Shagyar Arabian. Almost any individual can competently handle an Arabian horse due to their unique characteristics and features. They are hardy, long and their health is remarkable. It has the capability to adapt to the different weather conditions and when treated with care and affection it responds accordingly.
How they got their Elegant Appearance
The most distinguishing aspect about the Arabians is their looks. Their dished face, a neck that is long and arching, carriage on the high tail and a head that is finely chiselled make their physical appearance not only appealing but also elegant. The overall appearance portrays a sense of nobility, energy, courage and intelligence. Whenever an Arabian trots the world interprets it as a display of pride and grace. The Arabian gained their elegant appearance due to the fact that those who bred them maintained the pure breed due to lack of adequate funds to crossbreed.