Controversy Of Modern Arabian Breeding

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Controversy Of Modern Arabian Breeding

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  • Arabian dishface breathing
  • Arabian breed navicular

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    02-18-2013, 06:02 PM
Controversy Of Modern Arabian Breeding

Most of you arabian horse lovers are probably aware of these things, but I am just wondering about the truth behind these claims.

#1 People are saying that arabians have breathing problems due to their head shapes. Of course most people know that the head shape of an arabian is bred to AID in breathing, although I suppose it could be possible that when bred to an extreme there could be issues. People also say things like they are too delicate, which is untrue (although their bones are smaller, they are also much more dense). But I have never seen or heard of a case where arabs have had issues due to their build, which makes me suspicious that these statements are just rumors starting by people who dislike the appearance and want to disguise their opinions as fact. I could be wrong.

#2 Then there is this thing people are saying about how "real" arabians do not look like this, that in the beginning they were much "healthier" and "normal" looking. I suppose I could agree (with not much research) that most of the older photos of the breed have not looked quite the same, but is that not always true for every breed? Every book I have read states that the arabian breed in particular is more similar to its ancestors than almost every other breed.

#3 "Arabian horses are abused in the show ring, especially the halter-bred arabs." This one I disagree with a great deal. Most of what these people talk about includes shaving, waxing, and greasing of the facial areas, and apparently plucking of the eyelashes which I have never heard of. Another thing that I have never seen is the eye tattooing. Equipment-wise, people have said the shanks, etc are abusive. I do not doubt that these things exist, and I would also say that the waxing, eyelash plucking, and tattooing sounds fairly abusive, although having never seen it firsthand I would not know. As for shanks, they can of course, like any other piece of equipment, be used wrongfully. However, not only is the abuse recognized by judges in the showring and punished by the AHA, but is rare. You can find abuse for EVERY breed.

Please do not reply to this thread if you do not have anything to say that is not based on experience or fact, or basically try to be mature and not hateful. If you want to share something you have heard or that someone told you go ahead, just like I said be mature not hateful. This is meant to be more of a scientific evidence conversation than a moral one, although morals obviously do have a place here.
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    02-18-2013, 06:20 PM
Uneducated and/or "breed-biased" people will always have something negative to say about something they don't like or don't know about and assume they won't like it.

I've honestly never heard of any of these claims. Heck, I used to jump a nice little Arab mare a bit more than a decade ago...stubborn as heck, but amazing jumper.
    02-18-2013, 06:33 PM
Horse breeds tend to change in appearance through the years due to different styles and what judges like. If the arabian breed has changed since the year 123BC, its because humans prefer a certain "look". Perfect example of this is the QH.

Never heard of an arab out there with a breathing problem.

Anything that's shown as the chance of being altered or abused for the show ring. I've heard of eyelining tattoos as well. We could get into all kinds of abusive methods, depending on what discipline we're talking about. These methods aren't solely "arabian" methods though and a lot of other breeds suffer from it.
    02-18-2013, 06:49 PM
Let's be honest...Americans are notorious for breeding to asthetic or performance goals that are not necessarily in the best interest of the animal, be it horses, dogs, chickens, or whatever. Over-specialization, whether for performance or aesthetics, is a poor breeding practice the majority of the time.

Are those things about Arabs true? I don't know - certainly not with the Arabs I have had...I'm just saying...
    02-18-2013, 06:54 PM
I've heard the one about them having breathing problems and with those that have severely dished faces, I could see why it is believable. I'm not a fan of Arabs and likely won't ever have one, especially not one with a goofy looking face. Don't mean to offend the Arab people that like the look, but not for me. To me, there is a big difference between breed trait and a deformity, and people like to toe that line, as Faceman pointed out.
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    02-18-2013, 07:03 PM
Yes, but it is only a deformity if it has adverse effects on the health at all times. We are talking head shape, not an extra limb xD. I have heard of one case where an arab had tooth problems because of the head shapes, but that is the only case that I know of. I have heard that there have been hoof problems with quarter horses due to flesh/hoof ratio (lots of muscle and fat, tiny hooves) although not working much with quarter horses I would not know if this is true or not.
    02-18-2013, 07:08 PM
I have heard that halter quarters sometimes have this issue because the fashionable thing is/was a muscled up monster with a baby doll face and those with dainty feet did have issues holding up all that weight. I would post a picture of what I consider deformed but I am pretty sure that horse belongs or is related to someones on here and I don't want to offend. Adelicate or sloping face is one thing but if their lips don't even come close to lining up, that can't be good.
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    02-18-2013, 07:24 PM
I did a quick search and found this guy:

Every breed has their different traits that people will try to breed the crap out of. Its not always for the best interest of the horse and its mostly for style. I heard that the "dish face" enables the horse to breathe better (read it somewhere in a book) for some reason I can't remember. But what about a severe dish face? Would it hinder the breathing at all?
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    02-18-2013, 07:34 PM
The QH "flesh/hoof ratio" is a pretty true style in halter classes. Luckily this isn't desired anymore. I heard of a halter bred QH who bulked out on his own, but his feet were so tiny that he became navicular by the age of 5.

This is just another example of "excessive breed trait"...when things go a bit overboard.

That's gotta be close to draft weight on average horse hooves.
    02-18-2013, 07:37 PM
Originally Posted by Copperhead    
The QH "flesh/hoof ratio" is a pretty true style in halter classes. Luckily this isn't desired anymore. I heard of a halter bred QH who bulked out on his own, but his feet were so tiny that he became navicular by the age of 5.

This is just another example of "excessive breed trait"...when things go a bit overboard.

That's gotta be close to draft weight on average horse hooves.
Gee! Is that photoshopped?? It looks like a bull!
dbarabians and AnrewPL like this.

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