Arabian Horse Pictures
Arabian Horse History

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Arabian Horse Pictures

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We are proud to present a second page of both Arabian Horse Pictures and additional Arabian Horse History. This page will continue to grow as we find more and more great Arabian Horse Photos. So remember to: BOOK MARK THIS PAGE And check back from time to time for new photos and information. / Steve

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History and Origin of the Arabian Breed Horse

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Horse of the Desert Bedouin

Somewhere in the inhospitable deserts of the Middle East, centuries ago, a breed of horse came into being that would influence the equine world beyond all imagination. In the sweet grass oasis along the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in the countries that are now known as Syria, Iraq and Iran, and in other parts of the Arabia peninsula, this hearty horse developed and would soon be known as the Arabian horse.

The Arabian horse was primarily an instrument of war, as were horses in general in most societies of the time. A well-mounted Bedouin could attack an enemy tribe and capture their herds of sheep, camels and goats, adding to the wealth of their own tribe. Such a raid was only successful if the aggressors could attack with surprise and speed and make good their escape. Mares were the best mounts for raiding parties, as they would not nicker to the enemy tribe's horses, warning of their approach. The best war mares exhibited great courage in battle, taking the charges and the spear thrusts without giving ground. Speed and endurance were essential as well, for the raids were often carried out far from the home camp, family and children.

Arabians after the Storm

The Bedouins have generally been credited with the beginning of selective pure breeding of Arabian horses. These tribes, although their breeding records were kept by memory and passed down through the ages verbally, are also credited as the first to keep breeding records and maintaining the purity of the Arabian breed. To this date, many Arabian pedigrees can be traced to "desert breeding" meaning there is no written record but because of the importance of purity to the Bedouins, we accept desert bred as an authentic verification of pure blood.

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Origins of the Arabian Horse by Arabian Horse Pictures

The origin of the Arabian horse remains a great zoological mystery. Although this unique breed has had a distinctive national identity for centuries, its history nevertheless is full of subtleties, complexities and contradictions. It defies simple interpretation. When we first encounter the Arabian, or the prototype of what is known today as the Arabian, he is somewhat smaller than his counterpart today. Otherwise he has essentially remained unchanged throughout the centuries. Authorities are at odds about where the Arabian horse originated. The subject is hazardous, for archaeologists' spades and shifting sands of time are constantly unsettling previously established thinking. There are certain arguments for the ancestral Arabian having been a wild horse in northern Syria, southern Turkey and possibly the piedmont regions to the east as well. The area along the northern edge of the Fertile Crescent comprising part of Iraq and running along the Euphrates and west across Sinai and along the coast to Egypt, offered a mild climate and enough rain to provide an ideal environment for horses. Other historians suggest this unique breed originated in the southwestern part of Arabia, offering supporting evidence that the three great riverbeds in this area provided natural wild pastures and were the centers in which Arabian horses appeared as undomesticated creatures to the early inhabitants of southwestern Arabia.

Arabian bloodstock

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Introduction of Arabian Horses to North America by Arabian Horse Pictures

America was built by utilizing horsepower and colonists were quick to realize the value of Arabian bloodstock. Nathan Harrison of Virginia imported the first Arabian stallion in 1725. This horse reportedly sired 300 foals from grade mares. The first breeder of consequence, however, was A. Keene Richard. He journeyed into the desert in 1853 and 1856, subsequently importing several stallions and two mares. However, his breeding program was ruptured by the Civil War and nothing survived.

In 1877, General Ulysses S. Grant visited Abdul Hamid II, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey. There, he was presented with two stallions from the Sultan's stable, Leopard and Lindentree. Leopard was later given to Randolph Huntington who subsequently imported two mares and two stallions in 1888 from England. This program, limited as it was, must be considered as the first purebred Arabian breeding program in the United States.

purebred Arabian breeding program

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The Arabian Horse Today by Arabian Horse Pictures

Historically the Arabian has maintained a reputation as the horse of beauty, intelligence, courage, endurance, and romance. Because he was bred and reared in close contact with man from the earliest records, and existing in mutual inter-dependence, he developed an unequaled ability to bond with humans. Indeed, his intelligence has been celebrated in thousands of anecdotes. He is gentle, affectionate, and familiar, almost to the point of being troublesome. Foals, for example, have no fear of man, and are usually indifferent to sudden noises. The Arabian gentleness and tractability, while originally the effect of education, is now inherited, and is observed in foals bred in a foreign environment.

Wild Arabian Horses

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When imported to England, the Arabian became the progenitor of the Thoroughbred. In Russia, the blood of the Arabian horse contributed largely to the development of the Orloff Trotter. In France, the animal helped make the famous Percheron. And in America, again it was the Arabian horse, which became the progenitor of the Morgan and through the English Thoroughbred, to make the Trotter. As the oldest of all the light breeds and foundation stock of most, the Arabian is unique. The Arabian breed is different in that it does not exist as a result of selective breeding, as were other modern light breeds. With other breeds it was necessary to establish a registry prior to the development of the breed, but the Arabian breed has been recognized for thousands of years and has been maintained and cherished in its purity over those years as much as is humanly possible.

Arabian Stallion Picture

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Breed Characteristics by Arabian Horse Pictures

A beautiful, delicate head characterizes the Arabian, often with a "dished" or concave profile below large, prominent eyes; a high-set, arched neck; and a naturally high tail carriage. The back is short and straight; the withers are pronounced and long; the chest is muscular, deep and broad; the shoulders long and sloping; the legs muscular with broad strong joints and clearly defined tendons; and the hooves small with very tough horn, wide at the heel. These points of "type" give the Arabian its distinctive beauty. The ideal height for an Arabian is between 14.2 and 15 hands and may be chestnut, gray, bay, and black. White markings on the face and legs are common. The coat is fine and silky and the skin is invariably black. The mane and tail are full.

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Through his luminous photography of horses, Tony Stromberg works to bridge what he calls “modern life’s separation between people and nature.” As humankind’s most enduring companion, horses can be profound teachers, bringing deep awareness to a world dangerously out of balance. This gorgeous Spirit Horses wall calendar is filled with extraordinary portraits of horses, both wild and domestic, paired with quotations from teachers and writers exploring equine wisdom and its intersection with spirituality.

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