I have two pure arabs. Can't say enough good things about the breed, even though the gelding has given me some grief (not his fault, just the idiot owners he had before!). :)
As has been stated before a lot of their "issues" stem from being extremely intelligent and sensitive. Too intelligent for some owners.
I've known quarter horse geldings who were bigger handfuls than many Arabians at my barn (which is, for all intents and purposes, mainly a showbarn with a focus on arabs). Treat them right and use common sense, and the pay offs are enormous. They are indeed very much "one person" -types who will choose and bond very intensely with a single human. Amazing horses. I will admit that with some, having the "right" sort of owner is imperative -- not someone who will let them get away with stuff...or has a heavy or excitable hand (true of any horse, but as has been mentioned before, some Arabians can be especially sensitive and reactive to this...my gelding is a prime example of what can happen when you couple a high-energy and heavy-handed person with an already naturally "hot" and too smart for his own good horse).
They are also versatile! I've seen them excel in English and Western events, and of course there are few other breeds out of there more suited to the trails. Find the right horse and it'll take you anywhere you want to go, and you'll have a partner for life to boot.
...and I do wish people would quit stereotyping entire breeds simply because what they have seen on magazine covers or due to their experiences with a small handful of individuals.
Edit: Ah, late post! I'm sure there is a perfect Arabian out there for you, OP, if this is the breed you are truly gravitating toward. You won't be disappointed. :)
Last edited by Cheshire; 06-17-2010 at 06:43 PM.