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Less reactive Arab lines?

2335 Views 47 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Remali
This is really just for my own curiosity and for the sake of discussion. Of course, every horse is an individual regardless of breed, but does anyone know of performance Arabian lines that are known to produce brave, relatively calm (in the context of Arabs) animals?

My half Arab mare is terrified of the most random and annoying things. Things like semis and motorcycles are perfectly fine, but certain objects that she sees on a daily basis don't get any less scary. Barrels are terrifying. Signs are terrifying. Mailboxes are terrifying. Milkweed plants are terrifying. Painted lines on the road are terrifying. And we encounter most of these on every single ride in the exact same spots they've been in for as long as she's been here. If she spooks at something once, I know she's going to spook at it every single time.

She is perfectly tolerating of desensitization training. I've spent hours throwing hula hoops onto her neck and bouncing exercise balls off of her back and things of the like. She doesn't care one bit. She doesn't care about most things that move and make noise, and wild animals don't phase her one bit. But she hasn't ever gotten any less spooky about the stationary items she has constant exposure to and have obviously never tried to eat her. I can tolerate all her other quirks, but I am beyond frustrated when she throws herself into a ditch because she almost stepped on a painted line and noticed at the last second.

Anyway - the reactivity is a big part of what turns me off from getting another horse with Arab blood in the future. I know brave Arabs exist, but I'm wondering if there are lines that are known for it or if some individuals are just a lot better than others.

@Dreamcatcher Arabians and @phantomhorse13, I know you two have lots of Arab history.
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I've ridden some Varian horses and they had very gentle, less reactive temperaments. These included a Khemosabi granddaughter who was his same color with the high whites, and a Bay el Bay daughter. She could carry little kids.

My first Arab was a Bask granddaughter and mostly polish, she was the spookiest horse I've ever been around. She only stopped spooking quite as much when she was very old and I don't think she could see or hear as well.

Endurance bred Arabs like Rushcreek horses I've been around were steady and unflappable.
My current Arab is level headed and she has almost entirely polish bloodlines. The difference between her and my first polish Arab is that her lines are more performance oriented rather than halter, and no Bask.

I had another Arab that was definitely purebred but with no papers. She was not as spooky but super hot.
One thing I've found true with almost every Arab I've been around. They're sensitive, and if you treat them right they are people oriented. I think people believe that sensitive and spooky go hand in hand. They really don't. My super spooky Arab was that way regardless of any rider nerves and continued to be that way after lots of training and many experiences. My less spooky Arabs were also that way naturally.

It's always helpful to work with a horse and give them more experiences, but don't think you'll stop a very spooky horse from being that way just by being confident. @phantomhorse13 is a very confident and very experienced rider and she also has had Arabs that were very spooky despite what she brought to them as a rider and handler.
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And to add to it - if I play "passenger" on a ride and let her walk on the buckle, sooner or later her brain will drift off into the clouds and she'll attempt to veer off the path and into the brush/ditch/trees/whatever. Totally forgets that I'm on her and doesn't even pay attention where she's going herself, and that the least I expect is for her to go in a straight line.
Yep, I stopped riding every step on my spooky Arab mare once and she ran her head into a tree.
She also closed her eyes once and ran over the top of me. Totally innocent, I had " disappeared."
I couldn't ride her into dirt or sand clouds when galloping because she'd try to close her eyes.
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