Arabian Horse

The Arabian Horse

The Arabian horse is the most ancient and purest breed of horse in the entire world. Its exquisite, unique dished face has made it legendary among horse enthusiast; many rightly consider it to be the most beautiful horse in all creation. Its floating gaits, wide eyes and spirited nature is highly inspirational and makes it easy to see why it has captured the imaginations of so many writers and artists over the centuries.

The origins of this marvellous Hot Blood horse are shrouded in mystery. Ancient artwork suggests that there were horses of an Arabian type that dwelt in the Arabian Peninsula between 2 000-3 000 B.C., but other than this is there is not much evidence to support this date. Either way, their unmatched endurance, sound health and ability to live on small portions of feed definitely shows that they lived in desert-like regions for many, many years.

It comes as a surprise to many people to learn that Arabians have fewer bones than most other breeds; they only have 17 ribs (while most other horses have 18), 5 lumbar vertebrae (compared to 6 in other breeds) and 16 tail vertebrae (instead of 18). These missing bones are essential in determining the unique conformation of the Arabian.

The purity and superb performance of the Arabian was recognized as long ago as the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. when the religion of Islam spread into Africa and Spain. The Islamic horses were noticeably superior to the native horses and thus the process of upgrading began, causing the Arabian to become the single most influential breed when it comes to the worldwide development of the equine. Even today Arabians are used in the improvement of horses like the
Thoroughbred, Appaloosa, Anglo-Arab and many others.

Arabian horses come in the colours of dappled grey, black, chestnut, bay and brown and stand from about 14.2 to 15.3 hands. They are bred in abundance worldwide and, though there has been a recent re-interest in the sport of Arab racing, most Arabians are used for endurance racing and in show-ring sports.

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