Equine Breed Menu

Arabian Crosses

Arabian Crosses



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Breed Organization
Arabian Horse Association AHA
Website: http://www.arabianhorses.org
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Breed Description
The Arabian horse is known for its elegant features. Its dished head, large eyes, arched neck and high tail carriage precede its reputation as the most beautiful of all breeds. "A neck curved like a crescent moon and a nose that could fit into a teacup" is an old Arab expression used to describe this look. However, this refinement is more than just cosmetic.

The Arabian's natural physical characteristics aid outstanding performance in today's equine activities. The short, dished head and wide, flaring nostrils allow for maximum oxygen intake. The arched neck keeps the windpipe defined and clear to carry air to the lungs. There's plenty of room for lung expansion because of well-sprung ribs and a deep chest cavity. Through careful breeding, strong, resilient legs are free of most lameness problems more common in other breeds. Some scientists believe the Arabian horse has one less vertebra in its back, allowing it to carry greater weight. Such qualities give the Arabian horse superior athleticism and versatility. Arabians can excel in any activity that people enjoy doing with horses.

The Arabian traits coveted for thousands of years still endure, greatly due to the Bedouins careful breeding and recording of bloodlines. Since the bloodlines have remained so pure and have been carefully cultivated over the years, a strong genetic stability, known as prepotency has resulted. This ability to pass on traits allows Arabian qualities such as beauty, intelligence, endurance and temperament to become quite evident in crosses with other breeds. For thousands of years, people bred Arabian horses to their own stock to pick up the famous Arabian qualities. In fact, the Arabian horse is the genetic predecessor of every light horse breed in existence today. A special modern breed of horse known as the Half-Arabian developed through Arabian crosses.

To be registerable, Half-Arabians must have one registered, purebred Arabian parent and one parent of any other breed or mixed breed. For instance, when the Quarter Horse, known for western and stock horse events, is bred to the Arabian, it can pick up added quickness and agility. The Saddlebred crossed with the Arabian often produces an animated, high-stepping show horse.

The one Arabian cross that is recognized as a separate breed is the Anglo-Arabian. A registerable Anglo-Arabian horse may be any combination of Thoroughbred and Arabian blood, provided there is no more than 75 percent and no less that 25 percent Arabian blood. The breed is popular, particularly in Europe, because of its aptitude for events such as hunter/jumper and dressage.


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