The Arabian Horse Breed: 12 Things You Didn’t Know

The Arabian Horse Breed: 12 Things You Didn’t Know

The Arabian horse breed is one of the most desired horse breeds by equestrians. Arabian horses are celebrated for their endurance, temperament, and distinguished appearance. However, there are many other traits and historic aspects that have kept captivating horse lovers at all times. Here are some interesting facts about the Arabian horse breed.



1. Arabian is the oldest horse breed

With an unknown origin, Arabian is the oldest horse breed. It is believed that they are the first human-domesticated horses. 3500 years back ancient drawings of horses, found on the Arabian Peninsula, nearly resemble the modern Arabian horses.

Bedouin tribes in the Middle East started domesticating the horses by feeding them with dates and milk. Due to the harsh environment of the desert and scarcity of food, weak horses could not survive. Horses that survived the tough desert environment were considered for war.

2. Foundation For many horse breeds

As the oldest breed, Arabian breeds have acted as the foundation for many modern horse breeds like Morgans, Thoroughbreds, and Quarter horses. Some other modern horse breeds have Arabian bloodlines at some point. Horse breeders cross-bred their herd with Arabian horses to get a more intelligent and agile foal.

3. Arabians have a unique skeleton

The unique skeleton is another interesting fact of the Arabian breed. Some bones are missing like

  • An Arabian horse has 17 ribs rather than 18 in a normal horse. It provides them with extra lung space.
  • They have one less lumbar vertebra (5 as compare to 6). Missing vertebra decreases the length of the horse comparatively.
  • They also have a missing tail bone that makes their unique raised-tail appearance.

4. Arabian Horses always have black skin

An interesting thing about the Arabian horses is that they are always black-skinned. Highly pigmented skin is made for the scorching heat of the desert and makes them compatible with the desert environment.

Most of the Arabian horses have a Bay color hair coat. However, different colors like chestnut, grey, and roan can also be found.

5. They are designed for endurance

Arabian horses were bred and used for wars by the Bedouin tribes in the Middle East. So, the stallions and mares were selected based on some specific traits and characters. Intelligence, endurance, and agility were some of the standard traits for considering horses for breeding.

Increased lung capacity and light bodies have made them ideal for endurance domination and agility.

6. Victorious Knights come back with Arabians

Europe was introduced to Arabian horses in different wars and knights came back home with Arabian horses as the symbol of their victory. Europe attacked Palestine in 1000 AD and victorious commanders came back with some Arabian horses. It is said to be the introduction of the Arabian horse breed in Europe.

Later on, in the 15th century, an attack by the Ottoman Empire on Hungary with 300,000 mounted troops greatly increased the number of Arabian horses there.

7. Did you know?

Crabbet Stud in Europe started breeding Arabian horses in 1877 and worked for 100 years to preserve and improve the genetics of the Arabian Breed.

8. Most expensive horse breed

Arabian horse breed is one of the most expensive horse breeds. It can be more costly than an airplane! Horse lovers and race clubs pay millions of dollars for the intelligence, loyalty, and unique appearance of this breed. Jalil, a famous horse was sold for 9.7 million dollars at the age of 2 years.

9. Titbit

Average horse prices range from $7500 to $15000 and horse keeping cost for an Arabian horse is around $500 per month.

10. Arabians are People Oriented Horse

It is interesting to know that Bedouin tribes kept their horses like their children. Mares were used to sharing the tent with their owners. Years of attachment with people make Arabian a people-oriented horse breeds. They are more friendly and enjoyable as compare to any other horse breed.

11. American Arabians Decimated by civil war

A. Keen Richard is said to be the Pioneer Arabian Horse breeder in America. He traveled in the desert to get the purebred Arabian horses in the mid-1800. He cross-bred the Arabians with thoroughbreds and also bred purebred Arabians. His herd was decimated by the civil war in America, with no purebred Arabian left.

In 1908 Arabian horse registry of America was established and recorded 71 horses, the number reached half-million in 1994. It made the North-America having more Arabian Horses than that of the whole world.

12. Mounts of Famous people

Last but not the least; the Arabian breed has been used as the mounts of many famous people in history. During the American revolutionary war, the primary mount of George Washington was Blueskin, a half Arabian horse. Blueskin was sired by the stallion Ranger, obtained from Sultan of Morocco.

Napoleon Bonaparte, a famous military and political leader of France used to ride a grey Arabian horse named Marengo. Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great are some other historical figures who used Arabian horses as their mounts.

These are just a few interesting facts about the Arabian breed. However, there are many more things that keep on fascinating people from Bedouin Tribes to Americans. The Obvious reason for this magnetism can be easily found by spending a few moments in its enjoyable company.