5 Fun Facts About Arabian Horses
Arabian horses are one of the most celebrated breeds in horse culture and mythology. Thanks to books and movies like The Black Stallion many kids dream of someday owning an Arabian.
Despite the popularity of these horses, there’s a lot that people don’t know about them. Here are five fun facts about Arabian horses.
- Arabians are one of the oldest breeds. Conservative estimates put the Arabian breed at about 3,000 years old, but they may be as old as 5,000. They are also the first domesticated breed, having been domesticated by the Bedouins and carefully bred to maintain the traits that the Bedouins valued, such as strength, endurance, and loyalty.
- Arabians are an important foundation breed. The age of the Arabian breed means these horses have been instrumental in creating many other breeds. Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Missouri Fox Trotters, Morgans, and even Percherons were all bred by crossing Arabians with other breeds.
- Arabians have important skeletal differences from other breeds. Arabian horses don’t just look like they have shorter backs than other horses; they actually do. This is because they have one fewer vertebrae than other horses, as well as one less pair of ribs. Their shorter backs make them stronger because they have a better structure for supporting weight on their back.
- Arabians are known as “people horses.” This is because many Arabians interact and bond with people more easily than other horses and will often choose the company of people over that of other horses. Legend has it that this is because the Bedouins bred them to be very people-oriented, even bringing favored horses into their homes to live amongst their families.
- Arabians are known for their endurance. Because of their light build, Arabian horses have an advantage over many other breeds. Greater surface area in relation to their weight means that they cool faster and don’t get overheated, while their muscles are designed to utilize oxygen much more efficiently. These differences enable Arabian horses to maintain high speeds over long distances without getting fatigued. This is likely a direct result of breeding, since the Bedouins bred Arabians to compete in endurance races.
Arabians are fascinating horses that have been capturing people’s hearts for centuries. These fun facts are just the tip of the iceberg! Spend some time with an Arabian and it’s easy to understand why everyone from the Bedouins to present-day Americans have been so captivated by them.