What to look for in an Arabian?
 
 

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What to look for in an Arabian?

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  • Arabian nationals 17 and under 2011
  • Are arabian mares or geldings better to bond with?

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    01-14-2012, 10:41 PM
  #1
Yearling
What to look for in an Arabian?

I've been raised with QH's my entire life. My baby is a Doc Bar bred AQHA palomino who will be turning 2 years old this May. I'm looking for another horse so my husband and I both have our own, and I'm seriously considering an Arabian. I know how to buy a QH, but judging Arabian conformation and value feels way out of my league. What should I be looking for? I know a lot of this will overlap with what I'm used to with QH's, but I want to be sure I'm covering my bases. I'm especially curious about conformation and bloodlines (what's preferred?), but also if anyone has any suggestions about anything else like temperament and whatnot. I ride strictly Western for now (maybe someday I'll try English again - it lasted about 5 rides the first time I tried it as a teen), particularly bareback, pleasure, trail, and reigning, though I'm interested in endurance riding and understand that Arabians are the breed of choice there.

Also, two of my dad's biases I was raised with that I'd like to get the facts straight on: he thinks Arabians are too high strung and mares are crazy - he's a pure gelding person and only likes QH's.
     
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    01-15-2012, 12:22 AM
  #2
Trained
I am an Arabian person
I have always love this breed of horse
They are small but very strong
The differ from other horses they have 17 pair of ribs
Well sprung,have a short back 6 lumbar vertibrae and 16 tail bones
The mares are very protective of their babies and owners
They are about 15 hh
They are one of the oldest and purest breeds
I have seen Arab's race, barrel race and be a ranch horse
     
    01-15-2012, 12:58 AM
  #3
Trained
I love my Arabians and I especially love my mares. Arabians as a breed are very .....reactive and have distinct personalities. I was talking to a friend today, I've not been around QH's in so long I'd forgotten what they were like. I recently bought a cremello stallions and well......he seems DULL compared to my Arabians. It's not that he's stupid, I don't do stupid horses at all, it's just.....I don't know......he seems sort of FLAT compared to the Arabians. Arabians tend to have opinions and will definitely let you know what they're thinking. Skippy seems to just ..... BE. He doesn't seem to reflect anything back to me. He's pretty, he's easy to handle and I like him but trust him with my life? MMMM NOT so much. My Arabian stallion though.....oh yes, he's very quick in his mind and very much a take charge kinda guy. You ALWAYS know where you stand with him. Arabian breed shows are the only shows where children are allowed to handle stallions, just as an idea how easy they can be to deal with. My stallion is wonderful with kids, will stand like a rock to be petted by a 3 year old and will let that same 3 year old up on his back and just walks like he's carrying eggs he's so careful. I get on his back and wheeeee, the game is on.

The mares are DELIGHTFUL, I think. They're opinionated, bossy, prissy and just FUNNY most days. I think if you bond easily with mares, you will LOVE Arabian mares. I know gelding people too and now that I've gotten used to being around intact stallions and moody mares, I don't know that I'd want a gelding, it would seem like 1/2 his personality was gone or something. I LOVE how the mares and the stallion show off for each other. The mares are both pregnant and almost ready to deliver, but they still prance and flip their tails up and the stallion still bows his neck and 'studly talks' to them even though they won't have anything to do with him.

A well handled Arabian who has been brought up well, respectful of people and taught to be a willing partner is just a JOY to ride. They are extremely smart horses and frequently they get in trouble because they are smarter than the human. I warn people that if they get upset or insulted because someone has made a fool out of them, don't buy an Arab. If, you have a great sense of humor and can learn to appreciate a horse who is smart enough to make a fool of you, then you'll learn to love these silly horses. Arabians are the horses who taught me that horses do have a sense of humor and I have a couple who are absolute jokers.

Conformation wise, they're pretty much like any other horse, you want a short back, nice straight legs, well angled shoulder and a nice big hip. Ok, big relatively speaking, obviously, not going to compete in the hip department with a foundation QH. Their necks should be set on at about a 45 degree angle, coming more upright out of their shoulders, well arched and come to a triangular head with small ears and tiny muzzle. They may or may not have a really well defined dish in the face. The younger the horse, the less defined the face will be, Arabians tend to 'dry out' as they age.



SVS Il Divo as a weanling



SVS Fornaio his father



Khadraj NA, his grandfather





*Padron, his grandfather & great grandfather



SVS Il Divo at US Nationals 2011 and Region 8 2010, he now also goes Western Pleasure. He's not perfect (that horse hasn't been born yet), but he's my ideal Arabian stallion, heck my ideal HORSE.
     
    01-15-2012, 01:16 AM
  #4
Trained
And if you consider 15.3 hh small, then he's small. My mares are both 15 hh, it's one of the things I love about Russian/Polish breeding, the horses are more substantial than some of the more straight Egyptian bred horses. Breed standard is 14.1 to 15.1 with the occasional individuals over or under.
     
    01-15-2012, 02:05 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
Dreamcatcher, I have to say, I always LOVE reading what you have to say about Arabians. You always seem to hit the nail on the head perfectly.

OP, basically, everything Dreamcatcher said, I second. Arabian mares are my absolute favorite. They just have some quality about them that just clicks with me. I haven't found a horse of any other breed that was nearly as expressive as the Arabians I've had the chance to be around. When I'm around my mare I feel like I'm around a mute human being, not a horse.

One of my favorite things about my Arab mare is that now that I've earned her trust, I can do anything to her and anything can happen to her, but as long as I'm there, she's ok.
For instance, today we were giving a lesson to a very LOUD 9 year old girl who decided that quietly walking behind Lacey, then screeching at the top of her lungs when Lacey farted was a good idea. Lacey was sort of half asleep when this happened but did she lurch forward or freak out? Psh, no. She flicked her ears back to the girl, realized there was no danger, and went back to napping. It's just stuff like that. Anything could happen but as long as I'm there and I appear calm, Lacey could care less.
She can be a real firecracker to ride, but if I (or anyone else) start slipping off, she's stopped as fast as fast as she can. She refuses to allow me, or anyone, to fall off. I like to say that she basically has an invisible seatbelt installed on herself.

The other day I heard a comparison that rings true for me: Arabians are the Border Collies of the horse world. So, if you've been around any BC's, you can kinda know what to expect: "crazy" with inappropriate handling but angelic with the correct handling.
     
    01-15-2012, 02:40 AM
  #6
Trained
LOL, oh YES and speaking of spooky.....I had an Arabian mare who was a BIG trotter and I had never ridden saddle seat. That mare would feel when I'd get behind the motion and she would half halt to give me time to get right again and then off we'd go until I got the hang of the BIG ENGLISH trot. And she could SPOOK! OMG could she spook, but I LOVED how she did it. We'd be going along and all of a sudden I felt like I was on a real fast down elevator. She'd snort, "OMG" and drop her front end and freeze for a minute. Big deep inhale and if I didn't flip out about whatever she startled at, we'd walk on, no big deal. I've come to expect that kind of spook from my Arabians, I've never had a one try to bolt off with me.

And God forfend I should fall off! First, they won't leave you. They might start and run for 20 ft and then turn around and come right back and sniff you over. If you don't get up right away, they tend to trot up and down the trail or the arena wall and YELL for help. It's the most embarrasing thing EVER. I tried to use a paint bucket upside down for a mounting step and it flipped over and dumped me and I just sat there disgusted. Well, Lady ran up and down the arena rail hollering her fool head off at my neighbors who were out in the street playing some kind of game. They all came over to see what was wrong because the horse was just sooooo upset that her rider was on the ground. Taught me real quick if I do something stupid like that again I better jump right back up and get up on the horse before it makes a scene, LOL!

Cloney, my stallion, is still pretty green under saddle and I expected him to move when I went to mount the first time. He stood like a rock, I jumped clean over him and hung myself upside down from the saddle horn. He never moved, just looked at me like I was plum stupid or something, and yes, I felt plum stupid. ROFL! My husband came over and unhooked me, I went back over to the mounting block ( a real one this time) and got up and Cloney and I went for a ride, he was totally unphased.

I've found that a QH takes more stimuli to get him to spook but once he does, he's spooked real good for quite a while and pretty much nobody's home until he's over it. An Arab jumps, says, "OH SH*T" more often and easier, but once it's over, it's OVER for good and RARELY do they completely go lights out. I'm used to other horses spooking at the scarey trail marker on the way out, on the right side, and then back on the way in they do it again because it's on the LEFT side which means it's a whole nuther scarey trail marker. Not so much with the Arabs, they seem to remember that it was there on the way out so on the way in it's not a problem.

LOL, Thanks Wallaby, I try to call it as close to reality as I can see it! Arabians have a misunderstanding problem with most people and I try to clear it up without trying to say that they aren't a different kind of animal.
     
    01-15-2012, 04:16 AM
  #7
Yearling
Thanks so much for the replies! Really, you've just confirmed even more why I decided an Arabian is the way to go. I've trained my family's QH's and am now training my own QH. I can see why my dad didn't like them and why I'd love them - he's from the schooling where a horse is a beast of burden to be tamed and to learn obedience and submission. Now that I'm training my colt my own way, I've decided to go for clicker training instead - give a QH a chance to experiment and guide his own learning and it turns out they do have quite the personality - or at least this one does ;) I really prefer a QH for my husband because he hasn't ever ridden a horse and is quite hesitant to do so. Kind of along the lines of what you said, I feel that QH's are less spooky and more predictable - at least they always will be for me because that's what I know best. However, I struggle riding my family's QH's that I trained - including the one that I grew up with and love to death - because everything is so routine and I quickly get bored on them. Honestly, if I can overcome the bias I grew up with towards mares, I would prefer a mare so I always have the option of a foal if I want another horse similar to the ones I already have.

Here's a link to one of the foals I'm looking at, though I'll likely go with a horse out of either the same ranch that this filly is from or the second ranch listed, which works closely with the first. Any thoughts about this filly or the quality of horses from these two?:
Belesema Phanneko - Belesemo Arabians Sale Horses
Horses for sale,Animals,books,and items FOR SALE!
     
    01-15-2012, 04:20 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
I love my Arabians and I especially love my mares. Arabians as a breed are very .....reactive and have distinct personalities. I was talking to a friend today, I've not been around QH's in so long I'd forgotten what they were like. I recently bought a cremello stallions and well......he seems DULL compared to my Arabians. It's not that he's stupid, I don't do stupid horses at all, it's just.....I don't know......he seems sort of FLAT compared to the Arabians. Arabians tend to have opinions and will definitely let you know what they're thinking. Skippy seems to just ..... BE. He doesn't seem to reflect anything back to me. He's pretty, he's easy to handle and I like him but trust him with my life? MMMM NOT so much. My Arabian stallion though.....oh yes, he's very quick in his mind and very much a take charge kinda guy. You ALWAYS know where you stand with him. Arabian breed shows are the only shows where children are allowed to handle stallions, just as an idea how easy they can be to deal with. My stallion is wonderful with kids, will stand like a rock to be petted by a 3 year old and will let that same 3 year old up on his back and just walks like he's carrying eggs he's so careful. I get on his back and wheeeee, the game is on.

The mares are DELIGHTFUL, I think. They're opinionated, bossy, prissy and just FUNNY most days. I think if you bond easily with mares, you will LOVE Arabian mares. I know gelding people too and now that I've gotten used to being around intact stallions and moody mares, I don't know that I'd want a gelding, it would seem like 1/2 his personality was gone or something. I LOVE how the mares and the stallion show off for each other. The mares are both pregnant and almost ready to deliver, but they still prance and flip their tails up and the stallion still bows his neck and 'studly talks' to them even though they won't have anything to do with him.

A well handled Arabian who has been brought up well, respectful of people and taught to be a willing partner is just a JOY to ride. They are extremely smart horses and frequently they get in trouble because they are smarter than the human. I warn people that if they get upset or insulted because someone has made a fool out of them, don't buy an Arab. If, you have a great sense of humor and can learn to appreciate a horse who is smart enough to make a fool of you, then you'll learn to love these silly horses. Arabians are the horses who taught me that horses do have a sense of humor and I have a couple who are absolute jokers.

Conformation wise, they're pretty much like any other horse, you want a short back, nice straight legs, well angled shoulder and a nice big hip. Ok, big relatively speaking, obviously, not going to compete in the hip department with a foundation QH. Their necks should be set on at about a 45 degree angle, coming more upright out of their shoulders, well arched and come to a triangular head with small ears and tiny muzzle. They may or may not have a really well defined dish in the face. The younger the horse, the less defined the face will be, Arabians tend to 'dry out' as they age.



SVS Il Divo as a weanling



SVS Fornaio his father



Khadraj NA, his grandfather





*Padron, his grandfather & great grandfather



SVS Il Divo at US Nationals 2011 and Region 8 2010, he now also goes Western Pleasure. He's not perfect (that horse hasn't been born yet), but he's my ideal Arabian stallion, heck my ideal HORSE.
All your Arab`s are stunning
     
    01-15-2012, 04:51 PM
  #9
Trained
Sorry, neither is the quality I would be looking for.
     
    01-16-2012, 12:51 AM
  #10
Trained
Dream catcher what qualities will you looks for
     

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