Breed History of Arabian horse
The Arabian horse is a breed known for its unique appearances with high intelligence, high spirit and outstanding stamina. They have a chiseled head and high tail carriage. It is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds as well as one of the oldest horse breeds in the world.
While it may be clear that the breed is very old but it is still not clear where they came from originally. There are archaeological evidences of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating 4,500 years ago. However, since it was the Arabian people who took the horses and so carefully guarded their bloodlines, the breed was named the “Arabian”. To the Islamic people, it was considered a gift from Allah to be cherished and worshiped.
Arabians spread all over the world from the Middle East by both war and trade, to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and good bone. The people of the Middle East had domesticated them by 1500 B.C.
Physical Characteristics of Arabian horse
The Arabian’s head has a wedge-shaped heads with prominent eyes, large nostrils, small teacup muzzle, marked withers and a short back. The Arabian breed is a relatively small horse with a small. They have solid bone, well-angled hip and well laid-back shoulder. Many Arabians have one less vertebrae in their backs which results shorter length. It usually has only 23 vertebrae while other breeds have 24. In addition, they also have one less in their tail, which accounts, in part, for the high tail set. Finally, they have 17 instead of 18 ribs.
Their average height and length is about 138 cm and 139 cm resp., and its average weight ranges from 280–350 kg. It has strong legs and fine hooves. It’s maximum capacity is about 3000–3200 kg and chest circumference is about 161 cm. Their coat, tail and mane are of fine, silky hair.
No matter, which color their coat is, they all have black skin except under white markings. This is so because they have developed in the dessert and black skin provided them protection from the intense desert sun. There are many variations in the markings and common colors of them. Some colors are common and some are extremely rare. There is a wide range of expressions within each color.
Let’s have a look on some colors.
- Black Arabian horse, with no brown in the ears, muzzle, or flanks, has always been rare but is becoming more popular due to many breeding programs.
- Seal brown Arabian horse is another rare color in Arabians and is believed to be a close relative of black, but the horse will have brown in the flanks, ears, and muzzle.
- Bay Arabian Horse is a brown or reddish-brown horse with black points that was considered to be the original color of the Arabian.
- Chestnut Arabian Horse is a loose term for horses of reddish tint with no black points, which appears in many shades as well.
- Washy bay Arabian Horse refers to a horse that could almost appear to be chestnut as the points of the legs, mane, and tail are neither black nor chestnut but a washy reddish color with a few intermingling black hairs.
- The white horse Arabian Horse, born white with black skin, is the result of abnormal action of the grey factor in which the basic color of the coat has been entirely replaced before birth.
- The grey Arabian Horse can start with any basic coat color, but is most common with dark horses. With the exception of the rose grey. A Rose Grey has red chestnut that is grey from the base coat to give it a rosy color.
Arabians are known for being a sound breed due to their strong legs and dense bones. They tend to have a low occurrence of lameness problems. Arabians mature more slowly than other horse breeds, and are not fully mature until five years of age. This means that owners of young Arabians must be extra careful to their horse before they have fully developed. Arabians have some genetic disorders which can result its death. There are six known genetic disorders.
- Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID)
- Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA)
- Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS)
- Occipital Atlanto-Axial Malformation (OAAM)
- Equine juvenile epilepsy
- Guttural Pouch Tympany (GPT)
Further research is needed to determine more details for these genetic errors. The Arabian Horse Association in the United States has created a foundation that supports research efforts to uncover the roots of genetic diseases.
Temperament of Arabian horse
For thousands of years, Arabians lived among the desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, bred by the Bedouins as war mounts for long treks and quick forays into enemy camps. Because of these harsh conditions they have evolved large lung capacity and incredible endurance. For centuries, they lived in the desert in close association with humans hence they have a good temperament that, the United States Equestrian Federation rules allow children to exhibit stallions in nearly all show ring classes, including those limited to riders under 18. The Arabians are also known as a “hot-blooded” breed, a category that includes other refined, spirited horses bred for speed. Some sources claim that it is more difficult to train a “hot-blooded” horse while most Arabians have a natural tendency to cooperate with humans.
The Arabians are well known for their speed and riding, with the best completing record of 100-mile race in less than 10 hours. The American Endurance Ride Conference estimates that over 70 percent of their members ride Arabians exclusively.
Arabians are involved in a wide variety of activities, including fairs, movies, parades and other places where horses are showcased. They have been popular in movies also like The Black Stallion featuring the stallion Cass Ole and The Young Black Stallion which used over 40 Arabians during filming.
Arabians are also the mascots for football teams, performing crowd-pleasing activities on the field and sidelines. Arabians also are used by Police for search and rescue teams and Polo players in their game.
Arabian horses require a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and lots of water in their diet. They drink 19 to 38 L of water per day. They require fresh grass, quality hay, grains, and some fruits and vegetables to eat. As their ancestors came from deserts with scarce food, Arabians actually require a little less feed than other breeds to maintain a healthy weight. Over feeding with supplements and treats can cause serious – even deadly health issues.
If you are trying to put on weight, the grass hays that have some alfalfa mixed in will help, alfalfa is more nutritionally potent. The requirements of nutrition of a horse will vary according to its size, age, activity level and environment. Clean and fresh water is very important. They must drink as much as it wants at least twice a day.
Grooming and Upkeep
Arabians requires standard grooming to keep their coat and skin healthy. Regular brushing is necessary especially after exercise to remove sweat and oils. And using a detangle can help to keep their tail smooth. Moreover, it’s important to clean their hooves daily and check for any injuries.
Having a shiny, flexible mane and tail indicates that it is healthy. So we need to take care pf its proper grooming. In Arabians, manes and tails are supposed to grow as long as they can. There are several tools that are commonly used for grooming a horse. Proper use and technique required to ensure the horse remains comfortable during the grooming process, and allows for greater ease in cleaning the animal.
The average price for an Arabians ranges from around $5,000 to $20,000. Also, before adopting, make sure the organization can give you proper information on the horse’s health, temperament, and history. Spend time with the horse and know what it likes the most. If you ever feel the organization is not being transparent or rushing you through the process of adoption, you might consider looking somewhere else.
They are extremely sensitive and pick up on your fear, anger or frustration easier than other breeds do. Hence they must be kept mentally satisfied.
Things to know about Arabian horse
Arabian breed are thousands of years old. Its striking beauty and even temperament have made it a popular breeding horse throughout the world. They are popular in many parts of the world which includes United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
They are known for many myths and stories. One origin story tells that Muhammad chose his foundation mares by a test of their courage and loyalty. There are several other stories also.
The Arabian is a versatile breed that dominates riding and compete today in many other fields including sports. They are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the entire world.