12 Facts About Arabian Horses That You Didn’t Know

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most interesting Arabian horse facts. We’ll discover just why Arabian Horses have been the center of attention for equine lovers for so many years. One of the reasons for their popularity is their extremely humble yet hot-blooded Arabian Horse temperament which makes them ideal for both domestication and competitions.

With their delicately dished face and a beautiful sound body, they are loved by many for their unique and distinguishing looks. Arabians are well-known for their people-oriented nature and are one of the most loyal and loving horse breeds. Young Arabians are capable of far more than this as they are incredibly intelligent and versatile; ready to adapt to different situations. However, in our list of facts about Arabian horses, we’ll go through a lot more than their nature and body structure.

So, without further ado, here’s our list of Arabian horse facts:

1. Arabians are the Oldest Breed of Horses

Arabians are one of the oldest horse breeds to walk the course of this planet. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Arabian Horse dates back over 5,000 years in the Middle East.

You might wonder:

Are Arabians only found in the Middle East or neighboring countries?

Well, no. Arabian horses are found all over the world. Through war and trade, they made their way to the West and spread quickly through breeding and domestication.

Since the Arabian is titled with being the oldest horse breed, it’s also the first breed to be domesticated. Back in the day, Arabian Mares were a sign of power and wealth in the Bedouin clan, and they domesticated them for ages to come.

2. The Arabian Horse Origin

5000 years ago, the oldest Arabian horses are known to have originated from the Arabian Peninsula where they were bred by Bedouins and Arabs.

The primary purpose of breeding Arabians was to train them to be war horses which were capable of long travels and quick attacks on opponent camps.

This worthy addition to the Bedouins clan prompted them to take good care of their Arabians and so, this exquisite breed was often allowed to share the camp with its owner.

This close bond between man and horse allowed the breed to become incredibly intelligent and human-friendly.

3. Foundation for Most Modern Horse Breeds

An interesting Arabian horse fact is that this breed is among the forefathers of most modern horse breeds. Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Orlov Trotter are some of the most famous light breeds which are related to the Arabian horse.

The main purpose of cross-breeding was to give birth to more powerful and stronger horse breeds which were far more agile and intelligent than the average Arabian horse.

This way, when mares were given as part of a trade, they were bred with more lighter breeds to pass their sharp features and other desirable traits to the next generation. This is why the Arabians are directly or indirectly related to most modern breeds.

4. Unique Skeletal Structure

Here’s one of the craziest facts about Arabian Horses. The Arabian’s skeleton is fairly unique because Arabian Horses are born with one less lumbar vertebra, rib, and tail bone.

So, Arabians have 17 ribs, 5 lumbar vertebra bones, and 16 tail vertebrae bones unlike the usual 18 ribs, 6 vertebra bones, and 17 tail bones.

Although this might sound like a health disorder, Arabians are known for their distinctive genetic characteristics and are still one of the most healthy loved equine breeds.

Most Arabians have a fairly compact body with denser bones. The lack of a tail bone accounts for their high tail carriage which is considered an Arabian Horse characteristic. This gives the horse a proud and noble stature.

Here’s yet another interesting article on the unique skeleton of the Arabian Horse.

5. The Arabian Horse’s Appearance

The most important Arabian Horse characteristics are its distinguishing looks. It is easy to recognize an Arabian from afar just because of its distinct appearance.

Wide-set large eyes, wide forehead, broad chest, high tail carriage, short back, and an arched neck and brows are some of the most distinguishing characteristics of an Arabian Horse.

Arabians are one of the most beautiful breeds and each step they take displays their grace, energy, and nobility.

6. Arabian Horse Height

The height of an Arabian is usually in the range of 1.4-1.5 meters which is roughly 14-15 hands at the withers (shoulder of the horse.)

It is one of the most commonly acclaimed Arabian horse facts that these horses are generally shorter in height when compared to other horse breeds. This is because of the lack of a pair of ribs and tail bone, which elevates their back but shortens their overall height.

You might be wondering:

Doesn’t this height range make the Arabian a pony?

The height of an Arabian does fall under the height range of a pony, it is still considered a horse. This is due to their masculine bodies and distinctive genetic features which are not found in ponies.

Arabians have denser bones which makes them physically stronger despite their short height. Their strong bone density is one of the reasons they are often compared to stronger, taller horses.

7. Skin and Coat Colors

Bay, chestnut, black, and roan are some of the most common coat colors for an Arabian horse. Regardless of its coat color, the skin of an Arabian horse is always black.

Arabians are known for their rich history and were used as travel and war horses for the Arabs. Traveling through the scorching heat of the sun and carrying multiple passengers is usually a hard venture.

Here’s where the black skin helps:

In these harsh situations, the dark pigmentation of the Arabian’s skin actually helped them to avoid skin damage.

8. Dietary Requirements and Habits of an Arabian Horse

Due to being bred as war horses, the Arabians evolved in terms of grooming and could easily spend longer periods of time without food, water, and rest. This evolution resulted in increased endurance and lung capacity.

But it gets better:

It is a known fact about Arabian horses that most of them require lesser foods as compared to other horse breeds. This is because of the fact that these versatile horses quickly adapted to their harsh situations in the desert and managed their diet efficiently.

We’ve covered the dietary requirements of an Arabian Horse in great detail; take a look.

9. The Arabian Horse Temperament


Arabians are hot-blooded, active, and are generally cooperative with humans both in training and riding. A fun Arabian Horse fact is that they can, at times, demand your attention. So, if you wish to encourage a type of behavior in your Arabian, just give it some attention and it’ll keep doing it regularly.

Here’s the thing:

A common myth which goes around about Arabians is that they’re aggressive and harsh. There’s no truth to such claims as Arabians are some of the calmest, most versatile, and intelligent species capable of loving their owners.

Bedouins were used to selective breeding. This way, only the Arabians with the best temperament were put forth for breeding and their genes were conserved.

This is one of the reasons modern Arabian horse types are far more temperamental and loving which makes them ideal for both, beginners and professional riders.

10. Domination in Endurance Racing

Arabians have excelled in several equestrian fields and continue to showcase their skills in endurance riding competitions.

Arabian horses are well known for their agility, endurance, and speedy maneuvers which help them in winning professional competitions.

But it gets better:

From performance in endurance riding to Western pleasure, reining, cutting, saddle seat, and many different disciplines and competitions, the Arabian horse quickly began to make its name in all fields of equestrian competitions, both English and Western.

Are Arabians faster than every other breed? Find more about the speed of an Arabian Horse in this article.

Domination in physical challenges and demonstration of unparalleled stamina makes them one of the most popular horse breeds of this decade.

11. Versatility and Uses

Here’s an interesting fact about Arabian Horses. Not only are they famous for winning endurance riding competitions, but they’re also capable of performing in several different fields such as:

  • Showcasing
  • Pleasure riding
  • Trail riding

Their intelligent nature and versatility also make them one of the best horse breeds for domestication. It is one of the reasons, many equine lovers tend to keep Arabians as a ranch or workhorse.

Many beginner riders also tend to choose Arabians as their first horse as it allows them to begin their horse-riding journey with a breed that’s understanding towards the rider.

12. Famous Arabians from The Past

Due to their endurance, agility, and active nature, the Arabian was mounted by many famous historical figures.

  • Genghis Khan
  • Napoleon
  • Alexander the Great
  • George Washington

…are some of the figures which rode Arabians to lead wars and revolutions.

The horse featured in the film “The Black Stallion” was also an Arabian horse named Cass Ole. Apart from featuring in movies, Arabians are also used as mascots for several football teams.

Arabian Horse Facts: FAQ

We hope you enjoyed our list of facts about Arabian Horses.

However, there’s so much about this breed that it’s hard to cover it all in a post. So, to answer the questions about Arabian horses that or readers had been tossing in, we decided to create an FAQ section.

Are Arabians good beginner horses?

Most Arabians bond well with humans and cooperate easily when riding because of their high intelligence, versatility, and calm temperament. They are one of the best horses for beginners to learn horse riding.

What is special about Arabian horses?

There is no competition for an Arabian when it comes to endurance, stamina, and versatility. Arabians are capable of unimaginable wonders and dominate in many equestrian competitions.

They are also one of the oldest horse breeds to exist and have laid the foundation for many modern horse breeds.

Where are Arabian horses originally from?

Arabian horses are speculated to belong from the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. The Bedouin tribes used to breed Arabians and keep them as war horses.

With the passage of time, trades, and wars, Arabians made their way to the West and through breeding, populated the region.

So, there you have it, folks. That was our list of Arabian horse facts. However, no amount of words can do justice to the beauty of this breed. And that’s probably why it remains famous even today, thousands of years after its origin.

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