Arabian horse

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Arabian horse

Arabian horse, breed of light horse 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 horse, quarter horse, Standardbred horse, and the Thoroughbred. Intercrossings of these and other light and draft horse 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).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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