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one of the purest of all horse breeds


The Arabian is characterized by a delicate head; large, prominent eyes; a high-set, arched neck; and a naturally high tail carriage. The back is short and straight; the withers are pronounced and long; the chest is muscular, deep and broad; the shoulders long and sloping; the legs muscular with broad strong joints and clearly defined tendons; and the hooves small with very tough horn, wide at the heel. The ideal height for an Arabian is between 14.2 and 15 hands. Its color may be chestnut, gray, bay, or black; white markings on the face and legs are common. It has a fine, silky coat; the skin is black; the mane and tail are full.

First bred by the Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula, the strong Arabian horse is noted for its endurance. So important were the early Arabian horses to the nomadic Bedouins, the headmen of the tribes could relate the verbal histories of each family of horse in his tribe as well as he could each member of his human family. And, because keeping the bloodlines pure was extremely important, the Arabian became the forebear of many other well-known breeds, including the Thoroughbred. In fact, the Arabian is unique amongst all other breeds of horse in that it does not exist as a result of selective breeding. With other breeds it was necessary to establish a registry prior to the development of the breed, but the Arabian breed has been recognized for thousands of years and has been maintained in its purity over those years so well that many more modern breeds can be traced back to a specific pair of Arabians.

Because the Arabian was bred and reared in close contact with man from the beginning, it has an unequaled ability to bond with humans. The breed is gentle, affectionate, and familiar. Even foals bred away from direct human contact exhibit no fear of man, proving that this personality trait is inherent to the breed.

Highly intelligent and trainable, Arabians excel at a wide variety of activities. They are as adept on the trail as in the show ring. As an endurance horse, the Arabian has no equal.

Arabian Horse Association

Arabian Peninsula

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The Robinson Library >> Agriculture >> Animal Culture >> Horses >> Breeds, A-Z

This page was last updated on August 05, 2017.