Optimal thought and optimal fitness through reason, logic, science, passion, and wisdom.
The Horse
The Horse

The Horse

He’s an Arabian stallion. Mine. He’s the horse who takes me out into the woods for exhilarating runs and relaxing lazy walks.

Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal Science‘s Breeds of Livestock Project says about the Arabian:

The Bedouin tribes of the desert, believing the horse to be a gift from God, told many romantic tales of the Arabian’s beginnings. One such legend claims God fashioned the desert south wind into a creature who “shall fly without wings”.  …  The Arabian was also bred to withstand long treks across the desert and the tribal wars which sometimes followed such trips. The Bedouins developed horses with strength, courage and stamina required for survival, and for the speed and responsiveness needed to win the tribal skirmishes.

Copyright © 1995-2009 Oklahoma State University Board of Regents. All rights reserved.

OSU has a strict copyright statement on their Website, but this quote seems “fair use.” At least, I hope! (OSU: I’ll gladly take the quote down if you need.) Same with and to the AHA.

The Arabian Horse Association has a good history of the breed. They say:

From the ancient deserts of the Middle East evolved the oldest known breed of riding horse, the Arabian. … For thousands of years, Arabians lived among the desert tribes of the Arabian peninsula, bred by the Bedouins as war mounts for long treks and quick forays into enemy camps. In these harsh desert conditions evolved the Arabian with its large lung capacity and incredible endurance. Historical figures like Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Alexander The Great and George Washington rode Arabians. … The severe climate required the nomads to share food and water, and sometimes even their tents with their horses. As a result, Arabians developed a close affinity to man and a high intelligence. … [The Beduoins’ breeding practices] have led to the beautiful athletic breed we know today, which is marked by a distinctive dished profile; large, lustrous, wide-set eyes on a broad forehead; small, curved ears; and large, efficient nostrils. Copyright © 1996-2009 Arabian Horse AssociationSM. All Rights Reserved.

Read the rest. Interesting and informative stuff.

And over at MyHorse.com they say:

[Arabians are] the “Energizer bunnies” of the equine world. On the trail, their diminutive stature, proud tail carriage, pretty faces, and big, dark eyes make them instantly recognizable. And beyond the Arabian Horse’s elegant exterior, centuries of selective breeding have endowed him with the stamina, soundness, surefootedness, intelligence, and a people-pleasing nature that make him an exceptional trail partner. Crossed with other breeds, the Arabian shares these characteristics with his Half-Arabian siblings.

While the breed has legions of fans, there are detractors that believe Arabians are “too spirited or high-strung” for family enjoyment on the trail. However, almost all negative experiences result from green riders paired with green or insufficiently trained horses, or horses soured by over-showing and a solitary, stall-bound life. With any breed, but particularly with the Arabian, care must be taken to match the skills and personality of horse to rider. ©2009 MyHorse.com

And they point out that:

Many owners tout their Arabian’s willingness—almost necessity—to bond with people.

How true. I’ve seen that. People who don’t even know me or my horse have commented on our connection.

One man who owns Arabians said of his horses:

“Arabians have enormous heart, and I’ve never had them refuse a request, whether the obstacle was a challenging climb, dizzying descent, or belly-deep water.

I’d agree. I’m amazed at all my horse will do when I ask. If I rode more, I’m sure he’d do more and do it more willingly. What’s all the more amazing is that my horse is a stallion and is definitely an “alpha” horse: he’d be, I think, in the top of the herd hierarchy, even if not at the top.

But as a herd animal, and as an “alpha” horse, it’s their job to challenge the leader to make sure the leader is fit to lead. That’s a key insight into horses that I got from GaWaNi Pony Boy. I like Pony Boy’s advice and methods. Not that I’ve had a chance to fully study and follow his methods, but I do as much of his system as I can and as I know.

And how true are these points:

• Arabians are smart and sensitive, and that’s part of the fun. Don’t expect them to be “push-button” horses. They’re never stupid or untrainable. You need to think about what you’re asking them and have clarity in your request—in other words, you need to be a little smarter than your horse! … • Be sure you are right for the breed. Look elsewhere if you’re short-tempered, lack patience, or want a horse that just plods down a trail. Or you want a horse that’s “bombproof”—not that that quality exists in any breed.

Absolutely. Read the rest. The article is interesting and informative.

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