The History of The Arabian Breed

Arabians resided among the desert peoples of the Arabian Peninsula for thousands of years, looked after and bred by the Bedouins for use in both conflict and for lengthy treks and fast forays into enemy villages. With its large lung capacity and incredible strength, the Arabian developed to thrive in these rough desert conditions.

The Earliest Records

Historical figures such as Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Alexander The Great and George Washington were known to ride Arabians. Even today, offspring of the oldest ancient Arabian horses can still be found found. Since the Arabian is considered by many to be among the fastest and strongest horses in the world, many of today’s breeds can be directly linked back to the ancient Arabians that were taken across the world.

The prophet Mohammed was instrumental in expanding the impact of the Arabian throughout the globe in the seventh millennium A.D. He instructed his followers to look after the Arabians and treat them kindly. He said the mares should receive special attention because they ensure the continuity of the breed. He also claimed that Allah had made the Arabian, and that the afterlife would be given to those who handled the horses well.

The Bedouin clans have zealously preserved the breed’s purity over the millennia. Because of their restricted resources, they went to great lengths to ensure that their horses were kept in good condition, as it not only meant transport for them, but also a way of making money from foreigners. Such methods, which ultimately enabled the Arabian to become a world-renowned breed, resulted in the popular racing animals that we still use today, characterized by a unique face; big, wide-set eyes on a wide forehead; tiny, bent ears; and a big, efficient nose.

The Origin Of The Breed

The purebred Arabian is almost virtually identical to those that once roamed the Arabian Peninsula many thousands of years ago. Perhaps the biggest difference between today’s breed and their ancestors is the size: modern horses tend to be on the smaller side, as they were no longer needed for transportation or for war, instead becoming famous for their speed and stamina. Arabians these days showcase their sporting skills in a multitude of fields from England to the USA, with the breed being unparalleled in most endurance events. They aren’t often featured in horse racing events, but can be found in other media, from films to video games.

Authorities are at odds with the origin of the original Arabian horse. The topic is still being debated to this day, as many historians believe the breed originated from different locations. There are some claims that the ancient Arabian was a wild horse in northern Syria, southern Turkey, and potentially also in the eastern piedmont areas. The region along the southern rim of the Fertile Crescent, covering portion of Iraq, stretching along the Euphrates and south across Sinai and along the shore to Egypt, provided a gentle climate and plenty of rain to provide an optimal horse atmosphere. Other scholars indicate that this distinctive breed originated in southern Arabia, providing supporting proof that the three major riverbeds in this region supplied natural wild grasslands and were the places where Arabian horses came to the early residents of southern Arabia as undomesticated animals.

About Doreen Cohen