Purebred Arabians Registry What is a Purebred Arabian? – US Arabian Horse Registry

WHAT DOES AN ARABIAN LOOK LIKE?

Comparatively small head, profile of head straight or concave below the eyes; small muzzle, large nostrils, extended when in action.
Large, round, expressive, dark eyes set well apart with white (sclera) showing in the eye not to be penalized (glass eyes shall be penalized)
Comparatively short distance between eye and muzzle; deep jowls, wide between the branches
Small ears (smaller in stallions than mares), thin and well shaped, tips curved slightly inward
Arched neck, set on high and running well back into moderately high withers, in balance with the rest of the body
Long sloping shoulder well laid over with muscle
Ribs well sprung
Long, broad forearm
Short cannon bone with large sinew
Short back with loins broad and strong
Croup to be comparatively horizontal, that is a croup not necessarily flat, but a good working croup allowing rear action to come well underneath the horse when traveling
Natural high tail carriage and when viewed from rear, tail should be carried straight
Hips strong and round with well muscled thigh and gaskin
Straight, sound, flat bone, large joints, strong and well defined with sloping pasterns of good length
Round feet of proportionate size
Height from 14.1 to 15.3 hands, with an occasional individual over or under
Fine coat in varying colors of bay, chestnut, gray, roan, white and black. Dark skin, except under white markings.
Stallions especially should have an abundance of natural vitality, animation, spirit, suppleness and balance.

Reprinted in part from the Willomar website, (originally published in 1985)     link: https://www.willomararabians.com/arabian-type/

In the literature of the Arabian breed the word type has, in my opinion, caused more confusion than any other word.  For the purpose of this essay we will define “breed type” as those characteristics that are specific and unique to the Arabian breed. These characteristics include the head, neck, top line, quality, and way of going. The head is to be triangular; it is to be wide at the eyes and refined at the muzzle. A dish below the eyes is desirous; a Roman nose is most undesirable. The eyes should be large, soft, and set well apart. An attractive triangular head with large eyes that are well set apart indicates intelligence and a desire to please.

The neck should be well shaped, clean at the throat latch and very mobile at the pole. Since the neck and head are the horses balancing mechanism, the neck needs to be clean at the throat latch and well hinged at the pole to allow the horse to stay in balance with ease. The top line should be quite flat with emphasis on a short strong back and powerful croup. .A short strong back indicates a clean line for the energy of impulsion to travel and drive the horse forward, Length of croup, and the depth of hip and croup, are important for the horse to perform as an athlete. Quality includes dryness; i.e. the skin being very tight over the rest of the body and a soft hair coat. The motion should be elegant, very elastic, and liquid in its portrayal.

There are very practical reasons for all of the above characteristics. Dryness is that quality that expresses hard dry dense bone. hard dry tendons and ligaments, clean joints and a soft supple skin and hair coat. These characteristics were what attracted early day cavalry men to include the Arabian breed in the production of their horses, for these characteristics were what gave soundness to their horses in the long marches. In the desert. the horse was bred to be an athlete and often the horses life depended on this ability. When all of the characteristics of type are in place and are in harmony. then liquid fluid motion, the kind that could cover desert sand all day, is the result.

If we are then to apply the above definition . . . to the horses we come in contact with today, we then need to recognize that the breed is made up world-wide of a number of different “types” or flavors of Arabian horses within the “breed type”. This occurred because each tribe from Arabia created a different “type”, or flavor to suit their own purposes (much as we create different types of automobiles). . . . these different types are identified by the names: Kuheilan, Seglawi, Managhi, Hadban, and others that are lesser known. The Arabian breed is a very old breed and due to the physicality of its origin (i.e. isolation in the desert over a long time and especially isolation of the individual tribes), the genetic base of the breed is very concentrated and the various types are therefore genetically very prepotent. It is therefore of great importance that the creative breeder recognizes the various types and their contribution to the whole.

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