Breed Profile: Arabian Horses
A brief discussion about my favorite breed of horse, the Arabian.
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Arabians are refined and gracefully built. They have naturally high head and tail carriage, one of the breed’s most recognizable and distinguishing traits. An Arabian’s spinal column consists of five lumbar vertebrae, sixteen tail vertebrae, and seventeen ribs. This makes for a short, flat back and a round barrel with a low flank. Arabians also have broad, deep chests and well-muscled bodies. Their hooves are hardy and healthy. All of this combines to make an overall sound and athletic horse.
An Arabian’s face is like a beautiful sculpture. The head is wedge-shaped and slightly dished with a broad forehead. Eyes are large and low set while the tapered muzzle has large, delicately flaring nostrils. The ears are slightly curved inward and complete the angelic appearance.
The Arabian is known for its stamina and excels in endurance competitions, racing, and showing. They have great speed and long strides with springy steps. it is said that the Arabian has great spirit, courage, gentleness, intelligence, and beauty. Often times you either love Arabians for these traits, or you hate them. The latter tend to believe they have peculiar conformation or that these creatures are hot-headed and tempermental. Honestly, any horse can be tempermental if not properly trained.
The Arabian is the main foundation breed of a majority of today’s breeds and is considered one of the oldest breeds; their bloodlines can sometimes be traced back 3,000 years. Arabians have directly influenced the Lippizzaner, Hungarian Shagya, English Thoroughbred, Akhal-Teke, and Orlov Trotter just to name a few. Most pony and horse breeds have Arabian blood in them. The American Arabian Horse Associate recognizes the breed’s genetic purity and strives to keep it that way. The United States has the largest quantity and best quality Arabians in the world. These pleasureable horses originated in the deserts of Egypt and Africa. They were brought to other continents through transport and by breeding them with the horses of traveling explorers.