History And Origin of The Arabian Horse Breed: The Arabian horse breed has a long and prestigious history, dating back over 4,000 years. Originating in the Arabian Peninsula, these horses were bred by desert nomads and valued for their speed, stamina, and loyalty.
The original Arabian horses were bred as war mounts, playing an integral role in the Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries. As the Islamic empire expanded, Arabian horses spread throughout the ancient world. They were prized for their beauty, intelligence, and athleticism.
Spread Around the Globe
In the 15th century, European nobility and royalty became enamored with Arabian horses. Many were imported to stud farms where they were bred with other breeds to produce new breeds like the Thoroughbred. In the 17th century, the English King Charles II founded the Royal Stables, housing over 150 Arabian horses.
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Today, purebred Arabian horses are bred around the globe. They continue to influence other breeds by passing on valued traits like stamina, beauty, and gentleness. While smaller than most breeds, Arabians are graceful, energetic, and intelligent. They excel in disciplines requiring agility and endurance like endurance riding, dressage, and show jumping.
Types of Arabian Horse Breed
The Arabian horse breed is one of the oldest breeds, with a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage. There are two main types of Arabian horses: the Egyptian Arabian and the Polish Arabian.
1. Egyptian Arabian
The Egyptian Arabian, also known as the “Straight Egyptian,” is the purest type of Arabian horse. These horses trace their lineage to the horses depicted in ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphics.
They are prized for their beauty, stamina, and athleticism. Egyptian Arabians tend to have a rounder, wedge-shaped head, larger eyes, and a shorter back.
2. Polish Arabian
Polish Arabian horses originate from the stud farms of Poland. In the early 20th century, the Poles began breeding Arabian horses using desert-bred Arabians from the Middle East. Polish Arabians are known for their high quality and classic Arabian type.
They tend to have an angular head, longer back, and higher tail carriage. Polish Arabians are also celebrated for their animated gaits, trainability, and friendly temperament.
Characteristics and Conformation of Arabian Horses
Arabian horses are one of the oldest and most recognizable horse breeds in the world. They are known for their distinctive physical characteristics and athletic abilities.
Arabian horses have a distinctive conformation that contributes to their stamina and agility. They have a short back, long sloping shoulder, and high-set tail. Their body is compact and square with a deep chest. Arabians have a distinctive concave profile, called a “dish face,” and wide-set eyes. Their mane and tail are also distinctive, as they are long and often wavy.
Arabian horses are typically between 14 to 15 hands high and weigh between 800 to 1,000 pounds. The breed standard emphasizes balance, bone, and athleticism over absolute size. Arabians are typically described as “dry,” meaning they have little excess fat and muscle. This gives them an athletic appearance with fine bone structure and skin.
Arabian horses are known for their stamina, agility, and friendly temperament. They form close bonds with their owners and handlers. Arabians are eager to please, gentle, and people-oriented. They are also highly intelligent and energetic. Their stamina and agility have made them popular for endurance riding and other performance events.
Care and Training of Arabian Horses
The Arabian horse is a delicate yet spirited breed that requires attentive care and training. As an owner, providing the proper environment and education for your Arabian horse is essential to its health, temperament, and performance.
Arabian horses should be housed in a spacious stall within a stable, preferably with access to turnout. Their stalls should measure at least 12 by 12 feet to allow freedom of movement. Turnout in a paddock or pasture is ideal for exercise and mental wellbeing.
If turnout is not possible, schedule daily hand walking or lunging sessions. Arabian horses are social animals and prefer the company of other horses, so housing your Arabian alone should be avoided when possible.
Daily grooming is important for the Arabian’s comfort and coat health. Use grooming tools like combs, brushes, and hoof picks to remove dirt and loose hair. Bathe your Arabian regularly, especially after strenuous exercise.
Check hooves for injuries or excess wear and have a farrier trim and shoe them every six to eight weeks. Arabians with long, full manes and tails require conditioning and braiding to prevent tangles.
Early training and socialization are essential for the Arabian horse. Work with a trainer to start your Arabian under saddle between the ages of two and four years old.
Focus on basic skills like leading, lunging, and voice commands before progressing to riding. Arabians are intelligent and learn quickly, but also sensitive, so training should be firm yet gentle. Continue lifelong education to keep your Arabian engaged and well-mannered.
Feed your Arabian a high-quality diet formulated for its age, size and activity level. Most Arabians do well on grass or alfalfa hay with a ration of grain and supplements. Provide constant access to fresh, clean water.
Monitor your Arabian for signs of colic or other illness and deworm regularly. Adjust feeding amounts for the winter when less exercise and turnout are available.
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