The Arabian's conformation and type have been selectively bred
for longer than any other breed of horse.
The Bedouins of the Arabian desert were dependent for survival
on their Arabian horses. While they valued the beauty of their horses, they were
equally adamant that their horses were strong, with deep chests, straight legs,
large joints and good lungs to carry them across large stretches of their desert
homeland. Historical figures like Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Alexander The Great and
George Washington rode Arabians.
The prophet Mohammed, in the seventh century AD, was instrumental
in spreading the Arabian's influence around the world. He instructed his followers
to look after Arabians and treat them with kindness. He instructed that special
attentions should be paid to the mares because they insure the continuity of the
breed. He also proclaimed that Allah had created the Arabian, and that those who
treated the horse well would be rewarded in the afterlife.
In general, Arabians have a short, straight back (usually 23
vertebra as compared to 24 with most other equine breeds), perfect balance and symmetry,
a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, deep girth and strong legs of thick density. An
Arabian can most readily be identified by its finely chiseled head with a dished
face, long arching neck, and high tail carriage.
Now one of the most popular breeds in America, the Arabians'
incredible energy, intelligence and gentle disposition allow riders to excel in
most equine sports and activities.