The Arabian (question)
As some of you may know, I am buying a little 14.3 hh blood bay arab very soon. I have helped train her, as she was sitting in pasture for 4+ years, unused. She needed ALOT of work, but between me and my trainer, she has come a long, long away and is even giving lessons for inter. riders. I have fallen pretty hard for her and her true owner has agreed that I can buy her.
However, my heart breed has always been the TB. I actually enjoy the unpredictability of the breed, and how they are always different. This is actually my first time truly getting to know the Arab breed. I took lessons on an olllddd arab for 1 yr before moving on to a more advanced horse.
I hate to admit it, but I honestly don't really know that much about Arabs. I believe that she isn't that typical from what I've seen. She can be a bit stubborn, but hates getting in trouble and will quickly drop whatever act she is trying to pull. She tends to drop her shoulder alot (we are working on that) and likes to have a fairly quick canter (we ride english). She is honestly not that mare-ish. She tends to think up new tricks to try out on her rider, such as deciding not to move at all. (she isn't in pain, but just decides the ride is over... I quickly got her over that). Before that she tripped alot, again no injury, just her pretending. She doesn't do that anymore. She is very smart and learns quickly. She is barefoot. She isn't at ALL spooky. I took her to a show and she acted like she had done it a million times (we placed first and second in everything we entered!!).
This is just about her, tho. What is the typical arab like? How long do they typically live for? (she will be 14 this year). Anything else I should be aware of? what are any usual health problems for arabs?
There is no 'typical' Arab. Each horse is an individual. Oh, they have certain traits such as the flinging the tail up over the back and the dragon snort thing, but you can't buttonhole her personality and temperament.
Arabs do tend to be scary-smart and get bored easily, but I've found that with other breeds, too. Appys are also quite scary-smart.
At 14 y/o, barring colic, illness or injury, there's no reason you can't ride her into her late 20s-early 30s.
Arabs tend to have good feet, and the only horse I"ve ever had to put shoes on has been my TB gelding. All the Arabs I've owned over the years have been barefoot.
They're generally easy keepers, as well. You have to be careful not to overfeed them, as that can lead to health issues, especially laminitis/founder.
Our arabian mare is a lesson horse and very, very easy going. She used to be very spooky but that was because she tends to take her confidence from her rider. She now rarely ever spooks and even then only a step or two. She's wicked smart and enjoys trying to get out of working, but if you know how to ask, she'll go to the ends of the earth for you. She is 7 I believe, almost 8- and has been the only lesson horse of ours that has never taken a lame step or coliced. She's also the only one I really trust beginners on.
The only problem I have with her is the fact that her skin is paper thin and prone to girth sores if we arent VERY careful to use a special pad and cotton girth on her.
Arabs are smart, spirited, have good hard feet, strong tendons, and generally live a long time.
14 is by no means old for an arab..
If you like the TB remember they get a lot of those traits from the Arab so you should enjoy this mare. Good Luck. Shalom
Sounds like your are is more "Arab-ish" than you give her credit for. ;) Arabs are very intelligent and won't allow anyone to "bully" them into anything. They aren't typically pushovers either. They're typically one-person horses. You have to earn their trust and respect, but once you have it it's there for life. You'll likely never find a more loyal horse - they tend to develop strong bonds with their people. You know how people you the term "heart horse" or something similar? Well, Arabs are like that with people. They're silly, charismatic, and have tons of character and personality. She'll probably entertain you to no end with her antics. She'll definitely test you (as she already has) constantly. You'll dig deep in your imagination to find new ways of getting her to do what you're asking. You'll love every moment of having her - no matter what!
As far as health, it's always been my experience that they're a very healthy breed - of course, there are always sickly horses in any breed. Like someone else said, barring any freak accidents, colic, or other random sudden illnesses, she'll easily be around well into her late 20s. Heck, there's an arab at the barn where my daughter takes lessons who is in his mid-30s and is still a beginner's lesson horse. The running joke is to make sure you find one you really like because they seem to live forever.
Yes to all what was said so far.
Even the scary-smart....just ask my hubby how it felt being outsmarted by a horse;-)
They'll give you their all and then some, if you treat them right.
I also went from TB's to Arabs, like them both, found that the Arab tends to get more personal.
My little guy in my avatar is my police horse....he sees EVERYTHING and I learned to check what's going on when I find him all alert...usually neighbor's cows are out, a strange car is coming up the driveway, or dogs are running free.
I'm convinced they can read and write, have only trouble holding a pen...
My Arab goes barefoot as well and I have not had any issues with it; I even jump him barefoot. He's honestly a really easy keeper. I haven't had any colic issues with him, and the only lameness I've had with him was recently when he had an abscess in his foot. He does a clubbed RF (it runs in Arabs), but it doesn't cause any issues except he can be a bit stubborn about picking up his right lead at times.
I did have a bit of trouble keeping weight on him last summer, but once I found the right feed, it was easy to get the weight back on him.
He's super smart, too. He's 13 now, and was a western horse before I got him and trained him to jump. I haven't had a single jump refusal out of him, and he'll jump anything I put in his way. He will peak at things that weren't in the arena the last time he was in there, but if it's in front of a jump he won't take a second look, haha.
I wonder if my mare isn't the same. On the line, she is fine, but under saddle she has a horrible time with her right lead! I was trying to figure out if she was just being she typical self and throwing something new at me, or if it was a real issue. She'll get it eventually, and has gotten better. I'm int he process of teaching her to jump. She does jump, but her canter needs work (she needs to slow down) and I want her to get the right lead before we canter a jump. She is fine with her left lead tho. And yes, she does have personality! I think I might like the Arab more than I thought I would.
It could be a club, or it could be that she's just left handed =]
When I first got my Arab, he used to like to stick his little Arab head in the air and canter really fast, too. I couldn't tell him to "whoa" because someone had it trained into him that "whoa" means "stop immediately" (I found this out the hard way and almost flew over his head a few times, haha) so I just found I would have to hold him into the canter transition and play with the reins and talk to him to slow him down until he learned to be more steady with his canter.
Here's a video of me jumping him last summer (he was jumping for about 3 months at the time). I was still fighting with him a bit, but he was a lot better in this video than the first few times we jumped, haha.
That's not a club foot....that looks more like neglected hoofcare when he was little. Horses have a favourite foot they put forward when grazing. If not corrected by a knowledgeable farrier, the forward one grows flat, the other steeper. Nothing can be done now, I've seen people try who ended up with permanently lame horses.
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