One of the smaller horse breeds, theArabian mareis also one of the oldest horse breeds. This breed of horses was ridden by Mohammed in the deserts of Arabia, and because the Bedouins have carefully managed their breeding and bloodlines over the past centuries, the modern Arabian is virtually the same horse that was ridden by the likes of Ghengis Khan, Napoleon, and George Washington. Because of their innate intelligence and spirited nature, Arabians are usually suited for more experienced riders.
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus caballus
Common Name - Arabian
The most distinguishing characteristic of the Arabian mare is the small, fine-boned head with a dished face and small muzzle. Arabians also have a distinctive silhouette because their skeletons have fewer rib bones, tail vertebrae, and lumbar bones than other breeds. Because of this, their necks are arched at a more upright angle than most other horse breeds. They are graceful and refined in their movements with smooth, flowing gaits. Arabian mares can be found in black, gray, bay, chestnut, and roan. They all have distinctive dark coloring around the eyes.
Arabian mares are usually bred around three years of age when they have reached most of their adult size. The mare is pregnant for approximately 11 months before giving birth. She will nurse her foal for about a year before weaning. Usually by the time a mare is in her late teens, she will begin having reproductive issues that prevent her from becoming pregnant.
Arabian mares are very friendly horses and used to frequent human interaction. They are smart and loving. They do well in training because, as a breed, they tend to be eager to please their handlers. The Bedouins bred these horses to be long-distance runners, so in show events, they shine in contests that display their natural endurance.
For over 2,500 years before the time of Mohammed, the Arabian horse was carefully nurtured by the inhabitants of North Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Mohammed cautioned his followers to care for these special horses, a fact that protected the breed from outside influences and extinction. As Islam spread, so did these lovely equines. All over the Middle East and northern portions of Africa, Arabian horses became renowned for their speed and endurance. When the Moors invaded Spain in the seventh century, the Arabian was introduced to Europe. From Europe, the Arabian spread all across the world. Later, different branches of Arabians developed. The Polish Arabian, the Egyptian Arabian, and the Hungarian Shagya Arabian had their origins in the deserts of Arabia.
Arabian horses have spread all over the world. They are common in the United States, South America, Russia, Europe, and of course, the Middle East, and Africa.