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sarahver 08-23-2010 10:23 AM

Arabians - They're something else aren't they?!
 
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Well after spending most of my summer working with Arabians and having the chance to work for someone with incredible depth of knowledge of Arabians and showing, I have come to the conclusion that they are an incredible breed, capable of any dicipline.

I can't decide if I love them or hate them, it really seems to depend on the day. They seem to be highly intelligent, fast learners and have moments of pure brilliance. They also seem to be more reactive towards people i.e. they form stong opinions of you, whether they are good opinions or bad.

Personally, I think an ideal mount could be Anglo-Arabian - just enough Arabian to produce the beauty and intelligence with a bit of TB thrown in for added athleticism and to tone down that intelligence (I don't appreciate being out smarted by a horse :oops: ).

Thoughts? Stories?

And here are some pictures of the horses I have been working with purely for viewing pleasure (the greys are all different horses, they just look similar).

Speed Racer 08-23-2010 10:30 AM

Sarah, I've had Arabians for 32 years, and you're right about them being too intelligent for their owner's good! :lol:

The gray Arab I have now is scary-smart. My deceased gelding was also highly intelligent, but this gray boy is even smarter (I hate to admit that!).

They'll enchant you one moment, and frustrate the crap out of you the next. That really is part of their charm. :wink:

I'll always have at least one Arabian, although I've fallen in love with my TB and will probably want another at some point.

Anglo-Arabs are wonderful horses, but a lot of them get their intelligence from their Arabian half.

MaggiStar 08-23-2010 10:31 AM

Wow you got the chance to work with the most amazing of horses.
I absolutely adore arabs and wish to own a few purebreds.
I have an anglo-arab and she is FIESTY she has attitude that could kill but she is so willing and sweet natured most of the time i forgive her

JumperDak15 08-23-2010 10:53 AM

I recently just rescued an arab colt and WOW. What a fantastic little boy. I never used to like Arabs very much but now I just adore them! Achilles, is the name of my boy, he is just amazing, so smart, he knows some tricks now, he was starving when i got him and now he's healthier than a fat pig, and he is fast, athletic, loveable and a bit of a trouble maker! He's walked right into my house and into my living room...he's taken my dad's work boot and thrown it around, and best of all, our fav thing to do together is lay down on the ground, and he rests his head on my legs! He is truely a great little dude!

sarahver 08-23-2010 02:13 PM

I really think that of all the breeds, Arabians are the most charismatic. Their exceptional beauty and grace really make them unique. The thing that really struck me was the intensity of their personalities (for want of a better word). I found that once you have established a good working relationship with them they will give you everything they have plus more. I also saw the darker side of them, although only twice - boy when an Arabian wants to let you know they are unhappy about something they make themselves very clear about it.

E.g. One of the geldings I broke in this summer decided it was totally unfeasible to canter without bucking each time. The owners instructions were to stop him, turn him in tight circles and smack him on the butt with a crop three times. Although this is not my normal approach to such a situation, I followed instructions and did so. This method did NOT stop him from bucking, in fact he was so horrified at being smacked that his behaviour would escalate. On the third day trying this method he promptly threw himself on the ground without even blinking. Luckily he fell one way and I fell the other!

I changed my approach on the fourth day and he has been much more accepting of cantering since, that was a month ago and he is now cantering beautifully. I just couldn't believe how deeply offended he was to have a couple smacks on the bum! The approach that worked in this case was to keep him trotting faster and faster until he thought cantering would be a much better idea than all this trot work, almost had to convince him it was HIS idea rather than forcing him into it. I haven't encountered such individualism with another breed!

Speed Racer 08-23-2010 02:21 PM

My gelding absolutely cannot be twitched. I know some horses are fine with it, but he'll go completely ballistic if you put a twitch on him, which is the exact opposite of what you're trying to do.

He HATES being smacked, which is why all I have to do is show him the crop or whip, and he complies with what I want.

With some Arabians you can't use a crop or whip. They just simply will not tolerate it.

I know all about how an Arab can be if they disapprove of something. :wink:

They truly are larger than life, aren't they?

Polo Pony Design 08-23-2010 02:26 PM

I learned to ride on an Anglo-Arab. Stubbon little ******* he was. All he liked was dressage. If you did anything else with him he had this hysterical disapproving look on his face as if it was below him.

Looked after me for three years before I finally fell off him, and that wasn't for lack of trying on my part.

sarahver 08-23-2010 02:34 PM

SR: I still can't decide if I love them or hate them. Regardless I am drawn to them as I find them intriguing. I am definately going to keep my eye out for a nice Anglo Arabian with the Arabian beauty and presence and the TB body and laid back personality. I just know they are out there and am sure that the right one would be my next big time eventer for sure he he.

Great stories everyone, I would be keen to hear more of people's experiences! Polo Pony - I know EXACTLY what you mean about the disapproving look!

Speed Racer 08-23-2010 02:41 PM

My heart horse was bred for the show ring. Had performance champions up and down his pedigree, and his sire took a Top 10 at the Arabian Nationals back in the day. He had siblings who went on to their own winning show careers over the years.

That horse hated showing. Absolutely loathed it. He was the most miserable, angry beast on show days. I actually had a judge tell me my horse would place better if he wasn't so obviously angry about the whole thing.

When he was 10 y/o, I took him on a trail ride. He was a completely different horse! Ears up, eager to go, happy to do anything and everything I asked him. I loved him too much to continue to try and force a square peg into a round hole, and there was no way I was going to sell him, so I switched disciplines for him.

He was a performance horse, he just didn't want to do it in a show ring. :wink:

I miss that evil, opinionated little beast. I called him my little bay demon in horse form his whole life. I also called him Killer, which I think he preferred to his regular barn name of Conny.

He had a way of stepping off the trailer and looking around as if to say, "I'm here. You may admire me now". The interesting thing is, he always did draw a crowd because he had that 'look of eagles' the Arabian people always talk about. He of course, just figured it was his due.

****, I'm gonna make myself cry if I don't stop.

sarahver 08-23-2010 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speed Racer (Post 727916)
That horse hated showing. Absolutely loathed it. He was the most miserable, angry beast on show days. I actually had a judge tell me my horse would place better if he wasn't so obviously angry about the whole thing.

When he was 10 y/o, I took him on a trail ride. He was a completely different horse! Ears up, eager to go, happy to do anything and everything I asked him. I loved him too much to continue to try and force a square peg into a round hole, and there was no way I was going to sell him, so I switched disciplines for him.

He was a performance horse, he just didn't want to do it in a show ring. :wink:

Interesting that you mentioned this - once each youngster was competently w/t/c in an arena, I began taking them on trails for experience, change of scenery etc. Every single one of them was fantastic on trails despite encountering numerous 'scary' things like deer, fallen trees, snakes, dumped rubbish etc etc. I don't know if it was just the specific horses I worked with but they were all very reliable when ridden on trails and genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves. Oh and I would not like to be the one to try to show an Arabian that hates being in the showring, kudos for doing it though!!


He had a way of stepping off the trailer and looking around as if to say, "I'm here. You may admire me now". The interesting thing is, he always did draw a crowd because he had that 'look of eagles' the Arabian people always talk about. He of course, just figured it was his due.

Completely and wholly understand this statement!

I suppose I am leaning more towards the loving Arabians camp...


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