Guest Author - Kim Wende
For some there is nothing more beautiful than the Arabian horse. With their beautiful dished head, teacup muzzle, huge eyes, large nostrils, arched neck and the high tail carriage. The Arabian horse is the purest horse breed in the equine world and they are the oldest breed.
Did you know that the lineage of the Arabian horse can be traced back five thousand years?
Arabian horses are called “Drinkers Of The Wind” because of their stamina and hardiness. Their short, but strong backs along with the sloped shoulder gives them a floaty gait. Arabians can be found in several colors, bay, black, chestnut, sorrel, roan and the most prominent color grey.
For years Arabians were perceived as only being able to compete in the show ring for classes such as halter, English, western pleasure, sidesaddle, and native costume. Arabians have competed successfully in such events as jumping, reining, working cow horse, dressage and the gaming classes like barrel racing and pole bending.
Arabians are the breed of choice when it comes to the endurance world because of their stamina.
I've heard all kinds of myths about Arabians such as:
Arabians are crazy and hot – while this breed does have a lot of stamina they are not hot and crazy. If fed incorrectly or not given enough exercise they will have a lot of energy, but so will any other breed. If Arabians were hot and crazy they would not have been allowed in the tents with the Bedouins in the desert. The reason that some people think they are hot and crazy is because of what they've seen at the horse shows. The horse when presented is rearing, prancing, throwing their head and is like a fire breathing dragon. Some trainers will push their horses to extremes for a chance to win in the classes.
The unethical trainers will often do things to the horses to make them fiery and flighty such as keeping them in a dark stall for days on end and playing loud rock music, putting ginger in their rectum (this is illegal, but it does happen), whipping them across the chest, and yes some chase them around with a fire extinguishers.
Arabians are dumb and stubborn – quite the contrary as Arabians are very intelligent and learn quickly. They are extremely sensitive and pick up on your fear, anger or frustration easier than other breeds do. Because of their high intelligence they must be kept mentally satisfied and cannot be man handled. Arabians are like Border Collies and if they get bored they will create their own entertainment. If mishandled Arabians can become a problem as they become leery of you and may become nervous and jumpy.
Arabians are too refined to do anything strenuous outside the breed show ring – this is not true at all as there are Arabians that compete successfully in working cow horse, reining, jumping and dressage.
Arabians are not safe for children – this is another misconception because if you attend an Arabian horse show you will see lots of children showing them. I've seen several Arabians that when handled by children they were calm, trustworthy and safe, but yet when an adult took the horse they came to life. Arabians will step carefully to avoid stepping on the child's feet.
Don't let any of these misconceptions about the Arabian horse turn you away from them as they are very affectionate, intelligent and they love being with people. Keep in mind that within every breed there are good ones and bad ones.