The Arabian horse was originally the war horse of the desert Bedouin. Prized by their masters, for the quality of their horses could well mean the difference between life and death in the harsh desert environment, these horses were tented at night as part of the family. From this grew the strong bond between mankind and the Arabian horse that still exists today.
The Arabian then, and now, is valued for its loyalty, heart, stamina and, of course, its beauty. Looks are what tend to draw people to this breed but their other outstanding qualities are what keep people buying and breeding Arabians.
The typical Arabian has short ears, a large dark eye, fine “dished” face, large jowl, small muzzle with wide nostrils and a fine throatlatch. A long arched neck leads into a well laid-back shoulder. The back is somewhat shorter and leads into a long croup. They possess a deep girth, well sprung ribs and should be deep through the flank. They are known for a naturally high tail carriage. Large, flat knees and strong hocks as well as short cannons are desirable.The Arabian breed is the foundation of all light horse breeds. Many developing breeds, throughout their history, have directly or indirectly infused more Arabian blood to produce refinement and other desired traits. Due to its presence and striking good looks the Arabian has become known as a show horse. In fact the Arabian is much more!
This horse can be found on the ranch working cattle, cutting, roping and reining. Its lesser body mass and “snap” makes it easier to “get back on itself” and its energy and stamina outlasts many other breeds. Nowhere is this more evident than in endurance racing, which has always been dominated by purebred and partbred Arabians. Their immense heart, desire to please and lesser body mass make them the ideal competitor. It may come as a surprise to many people but the majority of Arabians are “family” horses. Many youngsters are riding the trails as well as winning ribbons with these people-loving horses.
Its pride and movement make it an eye-catching driving horse and a much coveted English mount. More and more Arabians are competing successfully in open dressage and many are keen to jump. Arabian racing has found a niche in many countries. In short, the Arabian is a most versatile horse. Smart, adaptable and curious, there is little an Arabian is not anxious to learn if properly handled. This breed has a long and illustrious history, and with the qualities it possesses today, it is sure to have a rich and productive future.