Everything You Need to Know About the Arabian Horse

Posted by Allie Layos

The Arabian horse is an ancient breed of horse with a modern following.

One of the oldest and most recognizable horse breeds in the world, the Arabian horse originated among the desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, bred by the Bedouins for its endurance and prowess as a war mount.

The Arabian's distinctive dished face, high tail carriage, and large eyes and nostrils make it easy to spot, and its courage and fiery spirit made it prized among nobility, conquerors, and other historical figures; Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and George Washington all rode Arabians.

The Arabian directly or indirectly contributed to nearly all modern day horse breeds, and has changed little over the centuries. Today, these horses are used in both English and Western riding, and excel at endurance competitions.

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General Appearance

The Arabian is a model of perfect balance and symmetry, with a naturally high tail carriage and a general air of animation and spirit. They usually stand 14.1 - 15.1 hands and weigh about 950 pounds.


Because they have one less vertebra than other horses, Arabians generally have a short, straight back. They also have a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, strong, thick legs, and a pelvic bone that is more horizontal than other horses. The neck of an Arabian is long, arched, and set on high on the withers. The croup is comparatively horizontal.


The Arabian Horse Association registers horses with the coat colors of bay, grey, chestnut, black, and roan. No matter the coat color, all Arabians have black skin except for the skin underneath their white markings; this protects them from the desert sun.



Arabian horses have comparatively small heads, with a profile that is straight or slightly dished below the eyes; this dished profile is preferable. Arabians also have a small muzzle, large eyes and nostrils, and a short distance between eye and muzzle. They have deep jowls, and small ears that are thin and well shaped, with tips that curve slightly inward.


The best word to describe the Arabian horse is spirited. They are courageous, loyal and highly intelligent, with a unique ability to bond with their owners.


There are six known genetic diseases that affect Arabians, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, Lavender Foal Syndrome, Cerebellar abiotrophy, Occipital Atlanto-Axial Malformation, Equine juvenile epilepsy and Guttural Pouch Tympany. The Arabian Horse Association has created a foundation to research the roots of these diseases.

Body image: Wikipedia

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Everything You Need to Know About the Arabian Horse