August 06, 2008 | | Comments 0

Arabian Horses

Unlocking the Mystery of Arabian Horses

The Arabian horse is perhaps one of the most popular and enduring breeds of all time. People who are not horse enthusiasts and who are asked to name a breed that they know would probably think first of Arabian horses. Contrary to what some might believe though, not everything is known about these beautiful horses.

Arabian Horse History

The enduring mystery about this horse breed is its place of origin. There are a variety of conflicting theories that point to northern and southwestern locations of what is now Western Asia as possible points of origin of ancestors of Arabian horse. They may have been subspecies or not. Just like other horse breeds, primitive illustrations of wild Arabian horse ancestors have been found in caves more than two thousand years before the birth of Christ. Arabian horses first became popularly noted in Ancient Egypt as war horses.

The origin of the name of the breed is also partly a mystery. It is generally believed though that Arabian horses are name as such because of their close ties with the nomadic Bedouin tribes. Regardless of where they really came from, the Bedouin tribes are the ones who receive much credit for ensuring the purity of the Arabian breed. The particular care and breeding techniques used by the Bedouins account for the survival of this breed in harsh conditions.

The introduction of the Arabian breed to the rest of the world proceeded at a natural course. The incidence of both peaceful trade and conflict between Muslim nations and European Christian nations ensured the spread of the Arabian breed.

Arabian Horse Traits

The Arabian horse is stately in appearance despite its size. It stands at a minimum of 14.1 hands, has solid bone structure and has a short but sturdy back. It has a long arched neck and a broad forehead that distinctly carries a raised middle portion. Its chest is broad and its shoulders are long and sloping. It distinctively carries a high tail which contributes to its seemingly royal appearance.

The temperament of Arabian horses is highly reflective of its breeding origins. Although they retain traces of their wild spiritedness, they are also gentle and cooperative. Their mild side was probably cultivated due to their closeness to the first human breeders that ensured their survival in the desert. Since they did develop as a breed in the desert, they have also developed a distinctive hardiness and ability to endure. Among the most common Arabian colors is chestnut.

Arabian Horses Today

Arabian horses are primarily prized for their endurance. Because of their origins, they have the ability to withstand high endurance activities such as horse racing. They are however, perfect horses for other activities such as dressage, trail riding, cutting, jumping and reigning. Because of the natural beauty of Arabian horses, they are also typically found in horse shows, event parades and films. Their affinity for humans makes them ideal for teaching young individuals to ride. Naturally though, Arabian horses should be treated with care and respect if they are expected to exhibit their gentle nature.

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