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So tell me about Cow Bred Arabians

5806 Views 47 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Dreamcatcher Arabians
And by ranch bred I suppose I'm referring to working cowhorse, cutting horses, roping, etc. I've found a few videos of some pure Arabians working cattle and I am absolutely in love. I know Arabs are a bit small for roping but I'd love to know if y'all know of any who've been used to at least catch some calves. A 15hh 900lb horse shouldn't have a problem with little calves, right? Definitely not a horse you want to haul big steers around with though.

Here are some videos I've found on YT.

THIS HORSE. I've never seen an Arab with such cow sense:

This stallion is practically floating on air:

This one can keep on a cow too:

I love Arabians and it seems rare to see them doing well in the western world. Seems like most, locally anyhow, are bred for for halter or endurance. Just not my discipline. And I love the older lines of well-bred Arabians with good confirmation and refined but HEALTHY looking heads and legs. Ones that don't look like they'd blow away in the wind or spook at a fart.
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I worked for an Arab ranch with a world champion cowhorse. This horse also beat out many big aqha names at the time at another competition that was traditionally all qhs. He was cool, but retired while I was there.

I rode a few relatives of his, one a world champion reiner. Boy did I love that horse! Riding him was no different than the cowhorses of my parents. He also was no smaller. These horses were not fine boned delicate things. Even the dressage mare, although more delicate, would have been able to pull calves at a branding.

I think, having worked there, that there are very high quality arabs. I think we are used to imagining a certain thing, but that thing is not necessarily true. They were very well broke and very good natured animals (excepting this paint cross I never understood the point of their owning).

I wouldn’t turn my nose up at those horses. I would imagine it harder to find that sort, but I don’t know why I say that. The horses I rode were mostly already fairly aged, and that was 17 years ago since I quit. I don’t know if that is in style anymore. Yet, before I went to work there, I didn’t know Arabs of such caliber existed.
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It is important to remember that many cutters are smaller horses. I would say that 900# range. Never have I seen them have difficulty dragging calves.

Now, I did go to a branding this fall where we were dragging 6-700#ers. That was making the smaller horses blow. It was too hard. My big horse was fine, but no one rides a beast like him that I know of. That big tends towards unathletic.
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That is my fear, that those older style horses aren't desired anymore. Well bred Arabs aren't crazy by default like people say. My Arabian/Appy mare is certainly hot and a LOT of horse for her size (850lbs, would be heavier if fully muscled), but she's gentle and calm and smart and is not spooky at all. People laugh when I tell them her breeding but shut up real quick when she has to walk in front of their horses in the parades because she's the one not having a mental breakdown. She has no issue standing still half asleep one second and turning and running barrels the next. She is my baby girl and will do anything. She's even jousted and she really enjoyed that. She's a more terrifying war horse than those big percherons and warmbloods. Her only fault is being a one-woman horse for the most part. But that may just be me not liking other people riding my horse, haha.
My gal:
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I've decided I want a ranch bred Arabian at some point. Only reason I'd want a QH is because they are good cowhorses (and they're so versatile) but I can see an honest cow Arab being my next heart horse. I really love the breed and finding a group of them that excel at the discipline I want to get into is amazing.
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While not a full Arab, my 1/2 Arab Star (in my avatar), who was more Arab than the other 1/2 (paint) was a cowhorse. I tried to get into some of the Arab cowhorse groups, but at that time they sort of were defunct. But I know at the Scottsdale shows, they had the cow & roping horses out at a couple of side arenas and they looked like ... AQHAs, LOL, standing quietly tied up waiting for their riders.

Star was the only Arab (and they all considered her an Arab) in our cowhorse association who consistently competed. She LOVED the cows! As we got better, we could hold our own and regularly beat some of the QHs. She was 15H so a little bigger than they like for cowhorse, but she could work a cow. And I tell you, she would never get tired.

I love my QHs, but that 1/2 Arab had more heart and try than any other horse I've had. She would do anything. I'd have another in a heartbeat. Arabs are great horses.
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Actually, they are not rare, at all. There are a lot of them out there, and organizations just for working western Arabians. I love 'em!! :)

One of my favorites....

And...I just LOVE LOVE this stallion! I saw his grandsire, *Muscat, back in the day.
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Another Arabian that is fabulous at working western, and cutting, is OhYa. He has some videos on Facebook, if you look up "OhYa" you can see them there on his page.

I know there is at least one video of him doing some cutting work, he is really a cool horse!! And he's got the substance as well as the pretty.

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Rushcreek Arabians was a huge name in the endurance world, but they were bred as working ranch horses for many, many years. Sadly, that breeding program has disbanded. Snell Valley Ranch is supposedly taking over the program, but I have no idea if the current horses are of the same caliber as the originals.
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If I could go back, I'd pursue cow work with my half-Arabian gelding. While we had a Great Dane, he would track her along the fence just like those videos you shared. Back and forth, back and forth, it was like he knew where she was going before she knew. I always wondered what he would be like with a cow. His sire was a traditionally bred show Arabian - I believe it was a huntseat horse but I'm not totally sure. I don't have the AHA membership anymore otherwise I'd look his sire up, "Ultra Fine".

I wish we would see more quality western sport Arabians. I think it'd be great to watch, they add a certain crowd-appeal.
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Khemander Kody was a phenomenal horse. He was a Khemosabi son and Khemo horses seemed to always do really well at the western disciplines. I'm sure they still do, though Khemo wouldn't be as close up.

I'm not familiar with the horse, Tempo.

Kalaloch I've known since he was a foal. He did well in young horse halter classes, then went on to do western disciplines, cutting and reining. He did really well in both. Unfortunately he was before his time, cow classes and such still really haven't caught on all that well with Arab folks and his owner made the huge mistake of showing him open and doing well. He's pure Polish, smart as a whip, super easy to handle and now doing dressage. I don't think she ever gelded him but thought about it. He was just never really accepted because he wasn't a halter or Saddleseat champion. Really sad, he had/has a lot he could have offered.

Arabians can do anything you want them to, most can do more than one thing and do it well. When I first moved out here to OK, I got told several times that those "itty bitty Ayrabs" just couldn't be expected to hold a cow. :rolleyes: And then I saw my first cutting or reining bred QHs. My comment,which didn't go over well, was, "I have yearlings bigger than that.". I thought they were all babies and was shocked to find out they were full grown. So much for "itty bitty Ayrabs".
My trainer, Tom, had not met my Arabs when I got Skippy and wanted to get some good QH mares to breed to him. He sent me to a sale to find a, "Nice, Big, Heavy mare" to breed to him. That's when I first saw cutters & reiners. I found the nicest, biggest, heaviest mare in the place and bought her. Tom said, "But......she's halter bred.". I said, "Well, you said go find a big mare, so I did.". We got to talking about what I'd seen there at the sale and when I told him I had yearlings bigger than those horses, he came to see my Arabs and had to agree that "itty & bitty" did not fit my Ayrabs. LOL!

Since then, he's trained a couple of my Ayrabs and wouldn't admit it to anyone else but he fell in love. It was pretty darn funny to hear him talking nonsense about them and stand there loving on them and hopping up to ride and having a huge grin on his face. He used them to bring cows up for roping, then started them on the Hot Heels and then roped on slow cows with them, his daughter would take them out trail riding, and I'd do western pleasure and trail with them, in addition to halter.

My last Arab, Cloney, did halter in both main ring and sport horse, won at both. Then did hunt seat pleasure, then western pleasure and now western dressage and riding out on trail. He's won at everything he's ever done in the show ring. And has been easy to do it with. Was one of the easiest stallions I've ever handled and raised, and now as a gelding, he's super easy too. They're some pretty darn nice horses. And I'm not saying that to take anything away from the stock horses, they're pretty darn nice too.
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All I can say is ANY breed is welcome to show NCHA or even on smaller regional shows, yet we don't see them very often at all. It would be good to see one there!
The few we saw over a lot of years, all were very high headed and had tails waving over their backs the entire time they were showing.
So, Arabian people, get with it! Don't just talk about showing your horse in cutting, do it!
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All I can say is ANY breed is welcome to show NCHA or even on smaller regional shows, yet we don't see them very often at all. It would be good to see one there!
The few we saw over a lot of years, all were very high headed and had tails waving over their backs the entire time they were showing.
So, Arabian people, get with it! Don't just talk about showing your horse in cutting, do it!
Check out the links I posted.... you won't find any high-headed horses there. :)
Reining, as well....

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Check out the links I posted.... you won't find any high-headed horses there. :)
I watched the first one, nice horse, but he's still got his head high compared to a QH.
I will say, he was correct.
But, if people want to say they can compete with a QH, get out there and do it!
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I watched the first one, nice horse, but he's still got his head high compared to a QH.
I will say, he was correct.
But, if people want to say they can compete with a QH, get out there and do it!
Depends on the horses conformation... .how they carry their head.....
They are getting out there and doing it. LOL.
ETA: Well, to be fair, QHs now days are being trained with their heads nearly down in the dirt... headsets are so low... I guess if you like that sort of thing, head into chest.... But I prefer my horse to see where he is going, and to be comfortable....
@Zimalia22 that horse I said won against a bunch of high caliber qhs, he wouldn’t today. It was back when they all slid with their head in the air. Do you remember that? It was when I was a kid, so a long time ago. It was cowhorse too, so not just the cutting of course. I’m glad that high headed stop went out of style. The strictly reiner had the good low headed slide, so maybe it was just training. I don’t know.
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A couple of my other favorites....

The first one is EAF Hesa Wizard. I knew his dam and his granddam.... (well looks like I can only post one pic at a time....)

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And my other favorite... TA Kordelas Jubilee...

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One more (ha), saved the best for last... I love this boy's bloodlines!!

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I would love to see more Arabs cut! I would love to see more of any breed cut!
We QH people keep hearing about this horse or that horse, yet they won't step up to the plate. Come on! Get with it!
NCHA is open to ANY BREED! So are the local and regional cutting associations!

I tried to talk my neighbor in years ago to sending one out for training. He never did.

If you are interested at all in cutting, get one trained! Go to local, regional and NCHA shows! You're certainly welcomed!
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Kalaloch+ did show open. Mostly reining IRC, rather than cutting. He was better at reining, though no slouch as a cutter. At the time, any kind of working western classes were very limited in Arabian shows, so she had to go outside the breed shows with him. That would have been 2011-ish. He's still standing stud and I think he's retired from showing now.

Most Arabian show folks will not show open, claiming breed prejudice, though I certainly haven't seen it in my disciplines and we haven't shown at a breed show since 2010? 2011 maybe? Since then all we do is the odd open show every now and then. Cloney doesn't show often anymore, he's the same age as Kalaloch+ (Klay) so they' re both 18 this year. Neither of them has anything to prove to any one.
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