I am feeling lazy today so here is a short blurb about a breed with an extremely long and detailed history. Maybe another Arab enthusiast will come along and add more, but I do love the breed quite a bit so I figured I'd say something.
The Arabian is thought to be the oldest breed of light horse and exists in the foundation stock of quite a few other breeds.
Originally bred by the nomadic Bedouin tribes of the Arabian pennisula as war mounts, the extreme conditions of this area have formed a breed with exceptional lung capacity and endurance. In this harsh desert climate, humans shared their food, water, and tents with their equine partners, and it is not difficult to understand why Arabians are known to be extremely loyal, people-oriented and intelligent horses.
They are traditionally smaller, sturdy and swift horses with extremely strong, short backs, hard feet, proud carriage, hooked ears, large eyes and dished faces. Arabs are also known to be versatile, though they are perhaps best recognised as endurance and competitive trail mounts -- a sport the breed truly excells in. However you can easily find purebreds and 1/2 arabs competing in a large variety of Western and English disciplines.
Arabs tend to have an exotic beauty that has captivated many men throughout history.
Contrary to popular public belief, they are not the crazy half-wild monsters many make them out to be. As with ANY breed, poor handling and poor breeding can and will produce an idiot. The blowy, spindly halter arabs with extremely exaggerated dish faces (they look deformed imho) are not the norm, though unfortunately they continue to be ambassadors for the breed in many cases. These animals can be superb family horses, are often used in lesson and theraputic programs for young children, and if anything have the ability to outsmart many owners who are not wise to their severe intelligence.
Arabians are affectionate, strong, romantic, willful, long-lived, and effectively ancient.