Much difference in QH and Arab mentality? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Question Much difference in QH and Arab mentality?

I was just wanting to ask some of you that have more experience with Arabs. One of the people that I may take in horses to train from breed and raise Arabs. I have never ridden an Arab and haven't been around them that much. Is there much difference in them and stock horse breeds as far as mentality and trainability goes? Are they more hyper or spooky? I won't refuse to train them just because they are Arabs (it sounds like fun), but I would like to have a game plan and an idea of what to maybe expect when I get them here. I know that it really depends on the idividual but are there some general breed characteristics that are different?
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 01:50 PM
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I had an Arab and she wasn't spooky, but she was very emotional and touchy. Granted, that could be her being a mare.

Traditionally, I've stuck with Quarters or Appies, but I do like Arabs. When I asked her to go I didn't have to ask twice, she was VERY responsive.

If she didn't want to do something, though, I had more of a challenge getting her to do it than I have with horses in the past. It seemed that she had more of an independent/stubborn streak. She was very inquisitive and learned quickly, but would sometimes get into trouble because I needed to hold her attention at all times.

This is my experience having worked with one Arab. I've ridden plenty and have noticed different degrees of the above in each, but I haven't found one that's spooky or hyper per se, they just tell you exactly how they are feeling all of the time, they're very expression-ful.


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post #3 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 02:09 PM
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I think arabs are extremely intellegent and take on the personality of the owner. If the owner is confident and outgoing the horse has these same traits. I have never had a spooky arab, a high headed arab or a hyper arab. They have all been fearless , outgoing, easy going and learn quickly.
I work with quarter horses as well. You are in for a treat working with an arab
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 02:10 PM
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I never bred or own arabian, but I've rode them at the sales barn. I don't think they are spooky and they are very smart, but touchy and hot (at least those I've tried). They also had certain opinion about things you sometime had to argue with. QHs are more on laid back side and generally not as emotional. With that being said there are exceptions on both sides.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 02:11 PM
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I concur with Six. They are very expressive. The way I can think of to describe them is if you've ever met a person that you can tell how they're feeling all the time, without trying very hard, because of their facial expressions and body language.
They also seem to be more relationally oriented than many of the other horses I've worked with. I'm sure there are exceptions but as a whole the Arabs that I've met seem to take a while to bond but once they bond with you, they'd do anything for you. But before they bond with you...well, you better show that you need to be respected because they will test you, over and over until you prove yourself to be "worthy".

Lacey is the only Arab that I've been around for more than a few months at a time and I can tell you that even though she's a crazy little girl, I get this feeling from her that we could get into some crazy situations and she'd get me out. We actually have gotten into a few mildly crazy situations and she keeps her head and watches before she gets scared, unlike the QH's and Morgans we ride with. haha

Maybe this is just Lacey, but when something scares her or changes in her environment she'll actually go right up to it and investigate instead of getting scared. The only time she gets really scared is when she can't check out the changed stuff. For instance, the other day I was taking her on a road ride and there had been construction going on up the road (in the opposite direction of the way we always go) so there were tons of orange cones and a big orange GRAVEL sign. Instead of getting antsy and wanting to GO on the road like she always does, she turned towards the cones and sign and walked right up the road next to them (when she does that sorta thing I just drop the reins and let her do whatever because I find it way hilarious, haha), in a totally prancy "I'm going on an adventure!" sorta way. haha I turned her around to go our normal way and she got all irritated like "I was looking at that stuff!"

I think you'll enjoy working with Arabs. They're definitely different but they are totally fun. The stuff with Arabs being spooky is just junk. Haha If you're a confident rider, which I'm sure you are, you shouldn't have any problem. They are more sensitive to aids but that's part of the fun. Heehee

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.

Last edited by Wallaby; 12-27-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 02:28 PM
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They are more sensitive in general, to aids, emotion, what's going on around them, etc...which is why, I think, that people refer to them as being flighty, or hyped up.

They do have more energy and endurance than most QH or other stock breeds, because they are a 'hot blooded horse', where as QH and other stock horses aren't. They are a breed that has a naturally high head set; don't ride them expecting to have them be able to set their head low like a breed with a lower neck\shoulder tie in.

Personally I love working with Arabians, because they are so much more energetic, and sensitive; they learn really quickly, if you take those two things into account. They can be a little harder to 'adapt' to different situations though, because of their more energetic and sensitive nature, so you always want to introduce them to different situations with this in mind; I think this is where people wind up thinking they are stubborn, or just plain dumb, because they ride them with the mind set that they should just 'take' to things immediately.

I also love working with Arab crosses (especially QH Arab crosses), as they usually have the endurance, sensitivity, of the Arab, but also the more 'calm' attitude of the QH, as well as the adaptability.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 12-27-2009 at 02:35 PM.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 02:33 PM
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I worked at an Arabian breeding farm and I currently train Quarter Horses. I would say that the arabian(as a general rule) is a more "hot" horse. They seem more attentive,and tend to watch everything. Ive met some stupid arabians and for the most part I dont care too much for them BUT Ive met some amazing arabs. Same with QH I guess. The racebred QH are "hot" and silly as are the halter bred horses. Im no arabian expert but I would say they are a higher energy horse
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post #8 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome. Thanks you guys. If she for sure decides to send hers to me, I am excited because she has always had very well bred horses. I don't know anything about their lineage except that she used to show all the time but is more into the endurance riding now. I hope she does send them to me, the last trainer she sent a horse to screwed him up and when she got the horse back, he bolted with her and she couldn't stop him. She ended up eating dirt and it nearly killed her so I certainly want to do her good horses justice and give her horses that she can trust.
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post #9 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 03:59 PM
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i train egyptian arabs, and i love them. never met one i didnt like. they are alittle more high strung and hyper ive found then QHs, but they are very intelligent and pretty easy to work with and willing to learn. they do tend to be kind of headshy, but thats not a problem to work with.
they tend to be kind of fast, especally young ones in training because they get off balance, but with proper and consistant training, they make wonderful horses
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post #10 of 28 Old 12-27-2009, 04:48 PM
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They are chock-full of personality :]

No offense, (I love my stock breeds!) but in comparison, stock breeds are pretty dull, personality wise. Stock breeds are meant to be abel to take direction from the rider, in a split second, without argueing. An arab, bred as an andurance horse, is supposed to be able to make decisions for itself - To protect the rider. The bedouins also used to keep their Arab horses living in their tents with them - They can get along with humans better than any other breed IF you treat them right.

So - They have a lot more independance than your average stock breed. They are quick witted, intelligent, and have a lot of heart. Unfortunately these traits can quickly turn into resentment, misbehaviour, spookiness and aggression if you don't treat them fairly. They won't take mis-treatment on the chin, like a lot of stock breeds.

Have you heard the saying you tell a gelding, ask a mare, and discuss it with a stallion? I would say you tell a QH and discuss it with an Arab.

My Wildey boy is a pure arab - He has the most personality of any horse i've ever met. I got him when I was 11 and I had some good mentors - He has some bad habits because of me, but we have an awesome bond if you will, and he will try his heart out in anything you ask of him. I have so many stories of this horse going above and beyond to do what I needed him to do.

Latte is an Arab also - And she is such an incredibly fast learner. It's like she was just waiting for the answers to her questions - Instead of me training her, it's like i'm simply filling her in on what she has missed out on! I have the same kind of 'bond' (not a magikal bond, more of a 'click') with her as I did Wildey. I really think it's the arab nature - They, more than a lot of other breeds, can be a friend as well as a working partner.

Because they have some of the responsiblity to lookout for dangers - If they don't have a supportive and strong leader then yes, they can be very spooky and flighty. Their high head carriage, and large, wide apart eyes are made to spot those dangers that their rider might miss - And once they spot them, if they don't get any direction on what to do next, their flight instinct will kick in. This is where the 'spooky' stereotype comes in - Arabs without proper guidance can become very spooky.

Good luck - I have found that arabs can be tricky, can be hard work and hard to figure out, but the reward at the end far outweighs any negatives. They really are great horses.

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