ARAB HORSE - Origin, characteristics and photos!

Arabian horse: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Arabian horse, also called "Arabian" , is one of the breeds of horse...

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The Arabian horse, also called "Arabian" , is one of the most popular and beloved horse breeds in the world. He is from the Middle East and, in addition to being particularly appreciated for his physical qualities and his remarkable intelligence, he is considered one of the oldest horses in the world. It has also been particularly important throughout history for its role as a war horse. For all these reasons, the Arabian horse stands out as one of the most beloved, distinguished and renowned breeds.It is therefore not strange that the Purebred Arabian horse is so coveted by enthusiasts and riders all over the world.

In this PlanèteAnimal sheet we talk to you in detail about the Arabian horse, its origins, the characteristics of the thoroughbred, its temperament and its most frequent he alth problems. Find out all about this horse, developed by the nomadic Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula, below.


  • Africa
  • Saudi Arabia

Origin of the Arabian horse

As we mentioned in the introduction, the Arabian horse was developed in the Arabian Peninsula, in the Middle East, a region that is characterized by an extremely hot climate, with abundant desert areas. This is why it was particularly appreciated by nomadic Bedouin tribes. It was so valuable to the Bedouins that they had tents whose function was to shelter their horses from the sun, sand and cold desert nights, as well as to protect them from possible thieves.

It is estimated that the first specimens, similar to those we know today, were already present more than 3,000 years ago, since there are cave paintings and inscriptions in the Arabian Peninsula that are look a lot like it. Their importance in their country of origin is such that there is now a national program to safeguard the breed and maintain its physical characteristics. However, it is believed that their origin is much older and that they are descended from horses that have helped various civilizations, such as that of the Egyptians, to flourish. Besides being the primary means of transportation, horses were used in warfare, thanks to their excellent speed, extraordinary stamina, and fearlessness of battle.

The Arabian horse began to develop thanks to merchants and Muslim armies, who introduced such a wonderful breed to the East and West of the world.From then on, the Arabian horse began to spread in different countries, breeding as a separate breed and participating in the development of new breeds of horses. The Andalusian horse, for example, is one of the breeds born from the crossing of Arabian horses. Today, breeders can be found in Russia or in several European countries, such as Germany, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom and France, among others.

Later, the Arabian horse travels to the New World with the Spanish conquistadors, being the ones who will form future bloodlines throughout America. Curiously, even George Washington had an Arabian horse, called "Ranger" , which made this breed very popular. So much so that although the Bedouins continued to breed Arabian horses, the breed began to decline so that exports declined and the government of Saudi King Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud made great strides. efforts to preserve it in its country of origin.

Physical Characteristics of the Arabian Horse

The Purebred Arabian horse has unique physical characteristics that differentiate it from other horse breeds. If we analyze the anatomy of the horse and its skeleton, we quickly notice that instead of 6 vertebrae and 18 ribs, some Arabian horses have 5 vertebrae and 17 ribs, which allows them to lift their tail more easily characteristic. This tail is high and it is placed on elongated and flat posteriors, ending in strong and robust legs, which like the front ones, have a prominent and very developed musculature, which makes them excellent jumping and racing horses. .

Arabian thoroughbred horse

The Arabian horse specimen is small in stature, as thoroughbreds are right on the boundary between a horse and a pony, which would be exactly 148 centimeters, although in general they exceed this limit, the average being about 152 centimeters in height.As in many countries they are preferred to be taller, they have been crossed with other breeds, obtaining specimens that measure from 153 to 163 centimeters.

These horses have a life expectancy of 35 years, reaching sexual maturity at 4 years old, and weigh between 300 and 400 kilos, although some specimens can reach 450 kilos. The head is short and wedge-shaped, with a broad forehead and a small muzzle, which contrasts with their open nostrils. The eyes of an Arabian horse are large and very expressive, dark in color, while the ears are small and pointed. The coat is short and shiny, the accepted colors being chestnut, brown and black.

Character and behavior of the Arabian horse

Most likely due to the close bond that the Arabian horse has woven with human beings, the breed currently presents a particularly charismatic, docile and predisposed character, in addition to being a very communicative animal.Likewise, the Arabian horse is considered one of the smartest horses in the world, as it learns and develops new skills with ease.

All this, together with its affable character, allows the Arabian horse to stand out not only in its relationship with humans, but also in competition, although it should be noted that, like any horse, it requires positive and respectful treatment. However, despite their great docility, Arabian horses are classified as "warm-blooded" horses because they are, like other breeds such as English Thoroughbreds, strong in character, sensitive and intelligent.

Arabian horse care

Horses are herbivorous animals, so they only eat food of plant origin. Specifically, an adult Arabian horse will need an amount of food of 1 kilogram per day for every 45 kilos of body weight, i.e. for a large specimen of around 450 kilos, 10 kilos of food will be needed.Thus, for a correct feeding of the horse, we will offer it hay, green plants and grass, being preferable to give it green fodder, vegetables such as potatoes or carrots, alfalfa and grass.

It is also important that they have a s alt stone at their disposal, since it is a source of vitamins and above all of calcium, being an important nutritional contribution in all horses, and of course in the Arabian horse Also. It is important to point out that, if we let them graze freely, we must be careful of plants toxic to horses.

But in addition, the Arabian horse will need different attentions, so in the care of the horse we emphasize cleanliness, which must include daily brushing, both of the coat only hair, and hoof hygiene. If we have to ride them, at the end we will have to clean at least their paws with water and, if it is hot, we will give them a full shower.If they are very dirty, you can use soap for this shower, always using a specific soap for horses, avoiding the head area.

Arabian horse he alth

In general, we can see that the Arabian horse is strong and resistant, but like all horse breeds, it has a certain predisposition to the development of certain diseases. To avoid this, it will be important to offer good nutrition, hygiene and preventive medicine, through deworming and vaccination of the horse. Some of the most common diseases of the breed are:

  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID)
  • Abiotrophy/Cerebellar Ataxia (CA)
  • Lavender foal syndrome (LFS or CCDL)
  • Occipito-Atlanto-Axial Malformation (OAAM)

He is also susceptible to some of the most common horse diseases, such as different oral diseases.It is therefore recommended that an equine dentist examines our horse's mouth at least once a year, and can detect any abnormalities, such as dental abscesses. In addition, we will have to be attentive to the possible appearance of colic, which indicates that there are gastrointestinal disorders and can be due to many reasons, such as inadequate diet, too much exercise or changes in their anatomy. .

Less frequent are other conditions such as visual or auditory pathologies, as well as heart problems or the dreaded cerebellar abiotrophy, which seems to affect Arabian horses more than other breeds. This neurological disease is hereditary and seriously affects the he alth of horses that suffer from it, in particular through the inability to correctly perceive distances, head tremors or lack of balance and motor coordination. This pathology is detected, due to the notorious symptoms, at a very early age, normally between 6 and 48 months.

  • AECCA. Libro Genealogico, Morfología y Deporte. 2019, from the Spanish Association of Arabian Horse Breeders. Website:
  • WAHO. (2005). General Interest. 2019, from the World Arabian Horse Organization Website:
  • ARABIGAN. (2019). Veterinaria, Deporte y Morfológicos. 2019, from Arábigan: La Web del Caballo Árabe. Website:

Pictures of Arabian Horse

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