Arabian horse

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Related to Arabian horse: quarter horse

Arabian horse,

breed of light horselight horse,
any breed of horse that is used primarily for riding or for light work such as pulling buggies. Light horses have their origin in the Middle East and N Africa.
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 developed in Mesopotamia and N Africa, and probably the first true domesticated breed. Prized since earliest times for its superior beauty, spirit, speed, grace of movement, stamina, and intelligence, the Arabian has served as parental stock for such light-weight horses as the American saddlebred horseAmerican saddlebred horse,
breed of light horse with great beauty, easy gait, and stamina; also known as the American saddle horse and the Kentucky saddler. It was developed primarily from the Thoroughbred and the Naragansett pacer.
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, quarter horsequarter horse,
American breed of light horse that originated during the colonial era, partly from Arabian ancestry (see Arabian horse). The name refers to the horse's reputation for speed at the quarter-mile distance.
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, Standardbred horseStandardbred horse
or trotter,
American breed of light horse developed especially for harness, or sulky, racing. Of Thoroughbred ancestry, it is similar in appearance to a thoroughbred but has shorter legs.
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, and the ThoroughbredThoroughbred horse,
breed of light horse more properly known as the English running horse. As its name implies, it was the first pedigreed, or "thoroughbred" horse. It originated in England from crosses between imported Turkish and Arabian horses and existing English lines and
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. Intercrossings of these and other light and draft horsedraft horse
or work horse,
any breed of horse that is suited to or used for drawing heavy loads. Draft horses originated in central Europe, where their domestication preceded the Roman invasion.
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 breeds with Arabians is still common. The Arabian's most characteristic color is bay with white markings; grays, chestnuts, and browns are also common. It averages 14 to 15 hands (56–60 in./140–150 cm) high and weighs about 1,000 lb (450 kg).

Arabian Horse


one of the oldest saddle horses, bred by folk selection in the first millennium A.D. on the Arabian Peninsula. In the Middle Ages it was widely imported into Europe, where it was used mainly to improve the stock of the local horse, with the goal of breeding a light cavalry horse. In the countries of the East it was used as a saddle horse. The Arabian horse played a major role in developing valuable racehorse breeds, including the English Thoroughbred and the trotter (the Orlov trotter, for example). The Arabian horse is small and of a pronounced oriental type. It has a slender build, its legs are strong and well placed, and its movements are light and graceful. Its coloring is gray, bay, or chestnut. The height at the withers is 150–52 cm, the girth of the metacarpus is 18–19 cm, and the oblique length of the body is 149–50 cm. The Arabian horse is not capricious and has great endurance for long journeys. Its speed in the USSR is 1 min, 8.2 sec, for 1,000 m; 2 min for 1,800 m; 2 min, 41 sec, for 2,400 m; and 4 min, 42.3 sec, for 4,000 m. Three types of Arabian horse are distinguished: the Khadban, Kukhailan, and Sighlawi. Breeding of the animal is directed toward improving its speed and perfecting inbred types. In the USSR the Arabian horse is used to improve the stock of the local horses of the mountains and foothills of the Carpathians, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. The main breeding establishment is the Terskii Stud Farm in Stavropol’ Krai. The Arabian horse is also raised in India, Pakistan, the United Arab Republic, Turkey, South Africa, Great Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, West Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the USA, and Canada.


Kniga o loshadi, vol. 1. Edited by S. M. Budennyi. Moscow, 1952.
Gosudarstvennaia plemennaia kniga chistokrovnykh arabskikh loshadei, vol. 1. Moscow, 1965.
Rukovodstvo po razvedeniiu zhivotnykh, vol. 3, book 1. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from German.]


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Another thesis is that the Arabian horse originated in the Sabean kingdom of what is now Yemen.

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