Arabian Horse Beauty

Arabian horse beauty derives from the fact that equines have populated the Arabian peninsula for thousands of years. Great numbers of oriental horses were later introduced into France by invading forces, and to them exclusively must be attributed the origin of several actual equine populations.

In Asia the Arabian horse was found in Syria, Mesopotamia, the Hedjaz, the Yemen, in the provinces of Iraq and also in Egypt. The horses bred in the Nedjd were considered the finest, purest and most elegant, but also the smallest of the Arabian horse breed. They were remarkable for their gracefulness, their stamina and their proverbial sobriety.

Asia Minor possessed almost exclusively saddle horses of the Arabian type, among which four underbreeds were known - Anrous Tayla, Tehencour Ova, Circassian and Anatolian.

The Syrian and Persian horses were also great favorites among the Arabian breeds. The first one is noted for its fine conformation, and it is in these countries that the government stud stations of France recruit their sires whenever they wanted a new strain necessary for the regeneration of the Arabian horse bloodline.

The beauty of the proportions of the Arabian horse is only equaled by his stamina and energy. The characteristics of the pure bred Arabian horses are, a flat forehead, and average length of face, a square head, wide jaws and expressive and open eye, firm and elastic nostrils, fine and mobile ears, an upright and graceful body outline, a light neck and shoulders, loose withers, a straight back, broad loins, a plump and horizontal rump, a muscular thigh, lowered buttocks, a small belly, a broad chest, an excellent and properly balanced heart, round ribs, muscular members, neat sinews, wide joints, neither course nor fine hoofs, the whole body being very graceful, elegance being allied to energy and vigor. The weight of the body varies from 900 to 1000 pounds. The size averages from 14 to 15 hands from the ground to the withers.

The scapulosischial length is fairly equal to the average size, and produces a horse of middling proportions. The flattened forehead, mediolinear horse, which is considered as the prototype of rectilinear horses, has a definite coat of dapple grey color with black tips. That coat offers variations due to the age, sex and principally to the cross breeds, but the grey remains the dominant color in the Arabian horse breed. It is even to be found in the progeny of Arabian horse sires which are crossed with other breeds, and is quite sufficient to show the introduction, more or less remote, of an oriental strain, of which the other characteristics may be concealed. Chestnut and bay liveries are also common in oriental horses. Their presence can be explained by their cross breeding with other horses of different types, which live in the same countries. The skin is thin, fine, and elastic. The hair is soft and glossy; that of the mane and tail is long, soft and curly.

The Arabian horse is a remarkable saddle horse, which is due to a special constitution and also to a good conformation. He is also a light draught horse for he moves about swiftly and with great ease in harness and often pulls even fairly heavy loads. The small size of the Arabian is his only fault, and to remedy this French horse breeders are experimenting by crossing the oriental strain with the English thoroughbred, thus forming a cross breed horse called the Anglo-Arabian, which is a proceeding that was readily adopted by the army, as well as by the public - the one finding a splendid army horse, and the other a useful draught horse.

From experience gained in South Africa, it is believed that if such a course were adopted the the Union Government as well as by private horse breeders, both would find in the Anglo-Arabian horse cross-breed a useful army horse and a very handy light draught breed, suitable in every respect for the climate and soils of the southern hemisphere.