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THE ARABIAN HORSE

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The Arabian or Arab horse is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. It has been domesticated by the Bedouin there, some time after they learned to use the camel, approximately 4,000–5,000 years ago With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world.

The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic people, often being brought inside the family tent, close to children and everyday family life, for shelter and protection from theft. Selective breeding for traits including an ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. The Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war.

Over time, the Bedouin developed several sub-types or strains of Arabian horse, each with unique characteristics, and traced through the maternal line only. The five primary strains are known as the Keheilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban. Therefore, many Arabian horses are not only Asil, of pure blood, but also bred to be pure in strain, with crossbreeding between strains discouraged, though not forbidden, by some tribes. Purity of bloodline is very important to the Bedouin. The different characteristics of the five primary strains you can find here.

Arabian horses are the topic of many myths and legends. One origin story tells how Muhammed chose his mares by a test of their courage and loyalty. While there are several variants on the tale, a common version states that after a long journey through the desert, Muhammad turned his herd of horses loose to race to an oasis for a desperately needed drink of water. Before the herd reached the water, Muhammad called for the horses to return to him. Only five mares responded. Because they faithfully returned to their master, though desperate with thirst, these mares became his favorites and were called Al Khamsa, meaning, the five. These mares became the legendary founders of the five "strains" of the Arabian horse.

from: Arabian horse – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 


 
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