Arabian Horse Breed: Everything You Need to Know

The Arabian horses or the purebreds have the longest history in the world, saying about more than thousands of years back and these are considered as the oldest breeds in the history of horses. These are also called, ‘Al Khamsa’ in Arabic. It’s even temperament and conspicuous charm have made it famous breed of horses from all the ages. Horse enthusiastic value them for their beauty, stamina, intelligence and of course, speed. If horses had legends, it would be this breed for sure but this breed has been more developed in Arabia in the 7th century C.E. This breed has also contributed in the latest breeds of light horses meaning that the Arabian bloodlines are found in the modern horse breeds of riding horses. Which makes it a very important breed or yet makes it an ancestor breed. To proof it they are ancestors, a historian in 786 A.D. named El Kalbi wrote a history script on them which also explained the pedigree of Arabian Horses.


Every horse lover knows the value and the experience of it, if he / she owns it. Recently recorded, there are only 80,000 of these left in the world and the 60,000 of them are owned in United Stated of America (USA). In the beginning of 1945 only 3500 horses were owned in Gulf countries which was increased to 50,000 by 1970. These statistics show the they are a lot of people who hope to mount this purebred. But people still enjoy the half bred of Arabian horse which are spread all over the world like; Arab stallions are being owned by many people un United States and they are expanding and making different breeds by crossing on other types of mares.


If you visit any stud farm where Arabian horses are bred, you will find them gentle, docile, quiet and welcoming attitude, just like a house pet or a dog. They are very much comfortable with a colt or a saddle and they will let you handle them like you have known them for many years. Most people claim that Libyan, Persian or Syrian tribes, tribes from the North of Africa and the Egyptians were the first one to credit for this breed but the fact is, this breed was the foundation stock from Gulf countries. And when Islam spread everywhere, only then this breed was spread out to different countries by gifting it to emperors or rulers or some were captivated from the war events.

Arabian horses have the most nonpareil ability to bond with its owner and it is the only feature which makes it heritage rare. Due to weather change the owners kept Arabians in their own tents and shared water and food with them which resulted in these horses developed a very close and selfless love with humans.

These were and are bred by Bedouins for long treks, war mounts and for quick forays in the enemy areas or camps. For centuries, Bedouins tribe have carefully perpetuated the chastity and the purity of this breed. Breeding practices were and are extremely selective due to limited resources, as these breed as very sensitive to modern medicine.

These horses have big lungs which makes them resistant to harsh weather of the desert. Iconic and historical figures like Napoleon, Genghis Khan, George Washington and Alexander the Great rode them. In the early days, a man’s riches and wealth was measured by these amazing animals. And if now you are looking for a partner who will also be your companion in competition or adventures also your best friend till the end of time then Arabian horse is a match for you.

These breeds not only have the oldest heritage but these gentle animals also have a religious heritage, so naming mare or stallion is easy in them. The Prophet Muhammad SAW  Himself said to treat them with gentle and kindness. He also insisted upon taking most care of the mares because they are only one who insure the existence of this breed. He also said that Allah had created his breed Himself out of love and whoever treated them with most care and love he will be rewarded in afterlife. No wonder these are called purebred.

It is not an easy task to distinguish between a regular horse or a royal breed horse to an Arabian horse because these careful practices have now prized horse lovers with beautiful breed which are marked by dished profile like; lustrous and large wide eyes on a broad forehead, curved but small ears, efficient and large nostrils. These are small to medium sized, the size of an Arabian horse is measured in hands; it is not taller than 15 to 16 hands, if measured in feet, they are maximum to 6 feet in height and they weigh about 900 to 1200 pounds. Arabian horses have a wide and a deep jaw. These regal creatures have a very different anatomy as compared to other breeds. They have one less vertebra (back lumbar) and fewer less vertebra in the tail. They also go unnoticed due to their long necks and well-spring ribs, pasterns and well-sloped shoulder blades, medium tail, they do not appear leggy when they sprint and deep quarters and this is sole reason that they are fast, people say that this horse can fly without wings. So, whenever you wish to see or own an Arabian horse these are the Arabian characteristics you need to recall.

Color and Genes

The prevailing colors are grey, chestnut, white, black and bay. There is an old Arab proverb which says, ‘‘The fleetest of horses is the chestnut; the most enduring the bay, the most spirited the black and the most blessed the white’’. Most horses have marks on legs or head but the Arabian horse will never have a skewbald, no spot or piebald. The skin will always be black no matter what the color of coat is. But with beauty and perfection comes a price, these horses have some disturbing genetic diseases and disorders such as; Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) this causes a flaw in coordination of legs and balance, Guttural Pouch Tympany (GPT) it is a genetic effect which occurs in bones and it can be corrected with the help of surgery, Juvenile Epilepsy Syndrome (JES) it can too be treated by medication, Lavender Foal Syndrome (LFS) is also known as Coat Color Dilution Lethal (CCDL) it is a rare disease but it results in euthanasia of Foal; Occiptoatlantoaxial Malformation (OAAM) where the cervical vertebra fuse with each other in skull and neck causing damage to the spinal cord and Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) that is the only series of genetic condition which can be tested for.

Arabian horses were first developed as a saddle horse, a kind of use which still prevails among the modern breeds. These breeds were and are used and trained for three gaits; trot, canter and walk. But for perfection, the Arabians are trained for five gaits which are used for safe and fast rides but the rider should be in light harness.

In 1909, the first book for studs was published and in the same year the first Arabian Horse Club of America was made. This club and book were recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture which established the club as a national registry for the purebred only. At that time there were only 72 Arabian horses registered in the association’s record. Now there are many Arabian horses living in the United Stated as compared to other countries.

This fact is the most interesting one; Arabian horses were used in U.S. Army, yes, you can read that line again! In 1920, the president of Arabian Horse Registry of United States was W.R. Brown. There were only 365 Arabians in the country and the U.S. had just established the Remount Services. With so less horses it was not an easy task to represent such breed in the endurance race, in this way Arabs were superior by taking all the winning prizes. Mr. Brown won the first place after many years on his purebred Arabian mare named RAMLA and its number was 347 and it carried 200 pounds.

The second Cavalry Endurance Ride was held in 1922 and this time the U.S. Army wanted the Arabians to carry 250 pounds and they were trained 6 times a week and had to train 10 hours each. According to Mr. Albert Harris the Jockey Club invested $50,000 to the Army to purchase the best and purist of the Arabians. Mr. Harris also wrote a letter which says, ‘‘with two endurance ride to the credit of Arabian Horses in 1920 and 1922, the U.S. Remount, and incidentally the Jockey Club, felt something had to be done to beat these little horses in the next ride…’’. In spite of all effort, again the winner was Mr. Brown in 1923 race and the army then realized the value of Arabians and that year they purchased and continued purchasing and by the year 1943 there were 2700 horses registered in the U.S. The Army also started a breeding program for the Arabians. A few years later the Army decided to give away all the horses to any person who bids high and it was Mr. Kellogg (CEO of Kellogg cereal). He arranged a ranch in California and it is still maintained for breeding programs of the Arabians.

How to Care Them

It is important to arrange a horse farm.Pature requirements are same as other horses.Make sure to keep your pasture fertilize with horse pasture fertilizer and arrange water buckets.Horses need pasture, water and supplement amount.A good amount of supplements according to requirement like coat supplements, hoof supplements available on myhorsenames are beneficial for them.Arabian horses need some extra care because they are very specific in use.