Identification of the Desert-Bred Arabian

Header pic lists the ancient Classic Egyptian bloodlines of my Saba Kharazaarouf, which was his full registered name. His sire was Zaaris (dapple gray) and his dam was Kharoufa (chestnut); there was also strong black in his bloodlines, and my ultimate dream Arab was always a black – not that I didn’t dearly love my Z, mind you! But we hoped to get a black foal from him. He shared bloodlines with Cass Ole, the horse from “The Black” movies. I have a pic of HB standing on a step stool next to Cass Ole in his paddock – we went to a Lippizzan show at the Capital Center outside DC and he was in the lobby.)

When I posted some Arabian horse pics recently, I commented briefly about the physical characteristics and was going to go into a detailed explanation of all the others, then a little voice came to mind: “That would make a great open!” Yes, Pat – I hear you! LOL

So, here it is! These are all stock pics and all of the specific descriptions I am using are for this first picture. I’m going to test you to see if you can point out the similarities in the others!😉😉😉 Open the pic in a new tab and enlarge it, if you need to.

This is the pic of the blood bay Arabian I posted – spitting image of my Z:

Let’s start with the head: Look at the top of the ears, which are a scimitar shape, moving down to the forehead – see the bulge? Note the very broad jaws, rather short head, the foreward-and-wide-set, big eyes, quickly tapering to a dish-shaped, slender face and nose, ending with the huge nostrils (which is why they are called “Wind Drinkers”), yet a small, almost dainty mouth.

OK….moving on….go back to the top of the head/neck. Note that it is a short neck with a dramatic arch, set high into the shoulders, which are broad and well-muscled, set into the short barrel of the body. The concave profile and flagging tail are not the only peculiar features of the Arabian. Many also have one less lumbar vertebrae, pair of ribs, and tail bone than other horse breeds. Also note what is called the “tabletop back,” i.e., straight and level, with the tail set high up into the spine.

“Flagging” his tail

Back to the front: note the wide-set front legs, very well developed chest, straight and unblemished legs, wide and substantial knees, slender, almost fragile looking cannon bones (main bottom leg bone), clean, small ankle, with a short, straight, upright pastern (between the ankles and the hooves).

The knees of young Arabians do not “close” as early as other breeds. There is a gap in the center of the knee that does not fuse until around the age of 4. This is why it is wise not to do any strenuous training that will stress the knees until then; when Arabians age, the knees are often where the damage shows up first. Nine times out of ten, it is because they started training too soon. Trained and cared for properly, Arabians can continue to thrive and perform well into their 30’s!

Even newborn’s show the basic conformation – that nose would be called an “extreme” tea cup dish face)

As to the hooves of desert-bred Arabs, in a natural setting they rarely need a farrier to trim their feet. Given a “normal” pasture/grazing area with the occasional stones/rocks/gravel, and their clean, proper conformation, they wear off naturally. Under normal life, barring stepping on something and injuring the heel or frog of the foot or being out in wet, muddy ground for an extended period (which can cause a disease called “thrush”) or being a “working” horse, they don’t require intervention.

I had my Z for 17 years and not once did I ever have to call a farrier. That entire time, a farrier looked at his feet twice – I wanted to make sure Z was good and, since they were there anyway, they agreed to check him out. First guy, said nope, doesn’t need anything. Second guy looked, shook his head, dropped Z’s hoof in disgust, and said, “These damned Arabs!!! I’d go broke with just them!!!”

Note the difference in the conformation, specifically of the hooves, between the Arab and this one. You can clearly see the dropped heels, the long toes, the slightly slanted pastern. Of course, you can also see the difference in conformation overall.

I can’t identify which breed this is but it seems to be a pony of some type.

Most people not in the horse world have never heard the phrase “showing at liberty.” That means the horses are not on leads and are running free, oftentimes without even a halter. This is a video of a woman with her Arabians working at liberty:

Another Arabian show event that I always loved is the Costume competition!!!

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