HORSE BREEDS: ARABIAN

The Arabian is the most ancient of the horse breeds. They were developed by the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and used as war mounts. Over the centuries, the Bedouin tribes zealously maintained the purity of the breed. Once discovered, Arabian horses became prized possessions throughout the world, spreading first to Europe, then England and eventually the Americas.

A large number of today’s horse breeds trace their roots to the Arabian, which contributed hardiness, distinct beauty and athletic ability as those breeds were developed. In England, three Arabian stallions are credited with the foundation of the Thoroughbred racehorse: the Godolphin Arabian, the Darley Arabian and the Byerly Turk. Various breeds developed in the U.S., including the Morgan, the American Quarter Horse and the American Saddlebred, benefited from Arabian blood in their earliest ancestors.

What Does an Arabian Look Like?

The purebred Arabian horse is known for its unique beauty. The breed’s most identifiable characteristics include its finely chiseled head; dished face; long, arching neck; and high tail carriage. Its entire appearance exudes energy, intelligence, courage and nobility. In general, Arabians have a short, straight back (usually one less vertebra than is common with other breeds), perfect balance and symmetry, a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, strong legs of thick density and a more horizontal pelvic bone position. They come in a variety of colors. Many Arabians appear white as they grow older, but in truth they are gray and lighten in color as the years pass.

The purebred Arabian of today is virtually the same as the horses bred by the Bedouin tribes. Arabians now display their athletic talents in a variety of disciplines from English to Western, with the Arabian positioned as the undisputed champion of endurance events. Their distinctive beauty helps them stand out in any crowd. For more information, visit www.arabianhorses.org.