Arabian horse : please share your personal experience. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Arabian horse : please share your personal experience.

Heard both good and scary things about them. Would like to see people's first hand experience.
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post #2 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 06:44 PM
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I love Arabians, they are my breed of choice.

However, the 'saying' that says something like "to enjoy Arabians, you have to be comfortable knowing your horse is smarter than you" is basically true.

My current Arabian is not what I'd call an especially "bright" Arabian, but he's definitely smarter than the average horse - imo. And he definitely gives me a run for my money in terms of outsmarting him (sometimes, other times it's painfully easy to give him the slip. Haha).

There was no outsmarting my previous Arabian!

In any case, they require, imo, handling that's a little different than "the norm". Training must be incredibly consistent and fair. It isn't hard, but it is different.
Arabians, because they are so smart, tend to take over and elect themselves president if they get the impression that their handler isn't up to the task.

They are a SUPER fun breed and I adore them, but they aren't for everyone!
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post #3 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 07:06 PM
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I miss my Arab mare every day. The reason many people do not like Arabians is because the horses are smarter than they are. A friend who raises Arabs says "You can train a QH like an Arab but you can't train an Arab like a QH." You do have to modify your methods a bit with Arabs and those methods work well with other breeds. But Arabs are more sensitive so you might get away with being a little heavy handed with, say, a QH, but not with an Arab. Personality and temperament vary within the breed, so some are very flighty and nervous, but others are very calm and stoic. You just have to find one that suits your personality. Once you gain their trust you will have a great friend for life! My mare was a one-person horse. A few people could ride her but she was definitely my horse. She was very particular who she would even let touch her. But she would do anything for me.
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post #4 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 07:45 PM
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My first gelding was an Arab/NSH cross (so basically 3/4 Arab and 1/4 saddlebred). He could be hot, but he was a great horse. Very smart. Almost scarily-so sometimes.

Most of my friends have or have had Arabs. Without fail they have been great horses. Tons of heart, extremely smart, versatile, fun personalities, and fun to work with. I have yet to meet an Arab whose basic personality was just nasty (have met TBs and QHs and paints and appies that were, though).

That being said, they aren't for everyone.
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post #5 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 07:46 PM
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I had 2 other horses (a Percheron QH cross and an Appendix), and I have an Arabian now, and based off my experiences with him and other Arabians, I don't I may ever have another breed again.

Arabians are sensitive, so they need a firm, quiet hand, but they also do need to know that you are the leader, or they will "elect themselves President" as Wallaby said lol. Some Arabians are pretty hot, but some are like the stereotypical QH They are also very smart, versatile, and gorgeous .

You really do have a friend for life once you gain an Arabian's trust. My boy was basically a rescue (long story lol), who didn't trust anyone, and very spooky. But, we've worked through his kinks, and he is amazing, a bit on the hotter side if I had to classify his personality, but still amazing! He'll do anything I ask of him, and has a ton of heart!

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post #6 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 07:53 PM
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I absolutely love my Arabian gelding. Like someone else said, he will definitely elect himself president if given the opportunity so I would not say he is beginner friendly for that reason. He's bright, curious, sensitive, and smart. He picks up on my emotions easily so sometimes I have to be careful with that. Fairness is also very important to him, as is consistency. He thrives on praise so teaching him what "good boy" meant did wonders for training - when I say good boy he is able to piece together that he did something right much faster than if I just release pressure.
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post #7 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 08:46 PM
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Depends on the Arabian. I've had two purebred Arabian mares. Both sweet, but one was spooky (Mia) and the other one was not (Lilly). Both were "please and than you" horses. One was easy to work with, and one was not. I've got a 3/4 Arabian gelding with a very hot non-Arabian sire who is the calmest, sanest horse I've known. The two of us have not 'bonded' in 7 years, but he is a darn good horse. We just don't like each other much.

My current go-to horse is half Arabian, half mustang. He's not as reactive as the reactive mare, but he spins up fast. Calms down fast, too...but he'd be a pee-poor beginner's horse.

I trusted both Lilly and Trooper with my youngest daughter when she was a total beginner. I traded Mia away in part because she was too much horse to live in a corral and be ridden by an old guy in the deserts of southern Arizona, even though we had done so for 7 years. I'm still unlearning bad habits I picked up as a defensive measure when riding her. That said, I doubt I'll ever meet a horse I like more.

If you are an inexperienced rider, don't get the initial experience on your own horse. Take lessons until you have, at least, a stable seat, gentle hands and some feel for horses.

If/when you are in the market, don't buy the breed. Buy the individual horse. Cowboy is a 13 hand BLM mustang, maybe 700 lbs and around 17-18 years old. He's too small for me (I'm 5'8" & 160 lbs). He's not pretty. He'll take advantage of a total beginner (he's had at least 6 owners and been a lesson horse). But in his own way, he's teaching me things about riding that I did not learn during 7 years with Mia.

I'm obviously partial to Arabians. But Cowboy is a darn good horse, and would be a great trail horse for a rider who has the basics down. The soul of the horse is not limited by papers or breeds. You can have a great 'bond' with a horse and yet have no business owning or riding her. You can have almost no bond with a horse and be a good working combo. And sometimes, you can meet in the middle. But I would no more limit myself with "Arabians only" than I would "black horses only".

Cowboy & I, while I continue to trust 3/4 Arabian Trooper with my youngest:



Bandit & I:



Mia & I, in a calm picture:



I'm partial to Arabians, but don't limit yourself.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"

Last edited by bsms; 09-27-2015 at 08:55 PM.
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post #8 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 09:01 PM
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Sorry, couldn't figure out how to do the quotes.
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post #9 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 09:03 PM
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"If/when you are in the market, don't buy the breed. Buy the individual horse. Cowboy is a 13 hand BLM mustang, maybe 700 lbs and around 17-18 years old. He's too small for me (I'm 5'8" & 160 lbs). He's not pretty. He'll take advantage of a total beginner (he's had at least 6 owners and been a lesson horse). But in his own way, he's teaching me things about riding that I did not learn during 7 years with Mia.

I'm obviously partial to Arabians. But Cowboy is a darn good horse, and would be a great trail horse for a rider who has the basics down. The soul of the horse is not limited by papers or breeds. You can have a great 'bond' with a horse and yet have no business owning or riding her. You can have almost no bond with a horse and be a good working combo. And sometimes, you can meet in the middle. But I would no more limit myself with "Arabians only" than I would "black horses only"."


Well said!
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post #10 of 40 Old 09-27-2015, 09:39 PM
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Arabians are my breed of choice, also. I have raised them from babies, had horses that were rescued, taken on horses that nobody else could touch. As long as you are fair and consistently firm, not HARSH, they are ALL workable.

For most Arabians, you MUST know how to be STILL, on the ground and on their backs. Apply pressure, then be STILL for the release. Know how to keep your hands quiet(still). Then know how to keep your legs quiet.

This horse could not be TOUCHED within out shaking when I got him as an 8 year old....does he look like that NOW?? Carrying this 9 year old over cross country courses???

Last edited by greentree; 05-12-2016 at 07:58 PM.
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