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Use and characteristics of Arabians
Traditionally, the Arabian horse was raised by Bedouin tribes who moved their animals from place to place in search of pasture. The constant need to seek out fresh grazing and water meant that these nomadic people raised tough and intelligent horses that could survive in harsh conditions. These were the fundamental characteristics of the original Arabian horse - hardiness, intelligence and willingness to share the lives of the nomads. The modern Arabian horse, although it has changed a great deal over the centuries, still exhibits these important qualities, which are prized and promoted by all those who sell an Arabian. These are just a few of the properties that attract people to buy an Arabian too, along with their compact conformation, excellent feet and great powers of endurance. While the original horses of the Bedouin were often smaller, modern Arabians average 14.1 to 15.1 hands in height (57 inches/145cm to 61 inches/155cm) and weigh approximately 800lb/360kg to 1,000 lb/450kg. The distinctive dish-shaped face of the Arabian horse is frequently described as being finely chiselled. Their eyes are large and luminous, their necks arched, and tails carried high and proudly. The most popular coat colours are bay, grey and chestnut. These superb riding horses excel at endurance.
Origin and history of breeding Arabians
It's perhaps not surprising that a horse as beautiful and charismatic as the Arabian should have accumulated some evocative legends over the centuries. Early beliefs regarding the Arabian suggested that it was a unique equine with its origin in the Arabian peninsula, where it developed almost as a separate sub-species of the horse species, Equus caballus. However, modern DNA analysis suggests this is not the case and the Arabian is an offshoot of the main expansion of domesticated horses from the steppe. The Bedouin tribes who bred the foundation stock of the Arabian were most likely nomads from the regions of modern-day Syria, Iraq and Iran. By late medieval and early modern times, Arabian horses were being referenced in lists of horse breeds in European texts. In the 19th and 20th centuries, travellers and Arabian enthusiasts such as Wilfrid and Anne Blunt from England, Homer Davenport from America, and Carl Raswan from Germany established the Arabian as one of the world's most beloved and influential breeds.
Arabian horses in equestrianism
Strong and agile Arabians are an excellent size for family horses. They have always been leaders in endurance. In 1966, the winner of the first 100 miles Quilty Endurance Ride in Australia was an Arabian stallion whose owner rode him bareback the whole way! One of the most famous Straight Egyptian stallions was the grey Aswan, who was a gift from Egypt to the Soviet Union for help in constructing the Aswan dam. Standing at stud in Tersk, Aswan was the sire of many successful racehorses.