After years of admiring the dashing Arabian horse from afar, or enjoying one from a local stable, you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and become an Arab owner. Congratulations! There’s nothing like the thrill of riding your own royal Arabian horse and going for a ride, just you and your new companion.
However, finding the right horse to suit your needs, interests, and personality can be quite overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming. There are many things to consider when choosing the right Arabian horse, but most experts agree, a horse’s conformation, condition, training, temperament, and personality are the most important things to consider.
Conformation: Arabian horses are known for their physical attributes: those wide eyes, short, arched back and a high-tailed bearing. But don’t be fooled by the beauty of this horse. It is important when selecting an individual horse to observe its general body structure and the way it is balanced. At the most basic level, you want to look for an athletic body build. Next, you will want to carefully study each part of the horse’s makeup to determine how well it will be able to perform the tasks that are asked of it. When considering purchasing any Arabic, it is important to check the following:
The forehead – should be wide, full and flat. Head – should have well-proportioned ears: well-placed, short and soft eyes. This generally means intelligence and good behavior.
Throat: the throat should be of medium thickness with no accumulation of muscles in the lower part of the neck. Look for a nice natural roundness at the top of the neck.
Nostrils: Arabian horses are known for their flared nostrils, which help them absorb more oxygen. Make sure they have a wide dilation.
Muzzle: look for firm lips, without sagging of the lower one.
Chest – Beware of a narrow chest that can cause foreleg interference.
Forearm: should extend from the elbow to the knee and be well muscled.
Condition: Arabian horses are known to be a solid breed. Their strong, elastic legs and dense, compact bone free them from most lameness. Of course, any horse can have physical ailments that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. That is why it is important to study the horse’s conformation carefully to get a good idea of its general condition. As a potential horse owner, it is also important to understand the purpose of owning your horse to determine what condition is acceptable. If you plan to display your newly purchased Arabian horse, then you will need to consider its overall appearance more closely to ensure it meets the display requirements, as opposed to horses purchased for recreational riding only. Never sign any sales agreement without first having a veterinarian of your choice carefully examine a prospective horse to make sure it is truly strong and healthy. Once you’ve received a good health report, you can refer to it for these other important features:
Training – While young horses have more energy, they can also be more difficult to train. Unless you have horse training experience, or are willing to pay for someone who does, it is generally best to stay away from horses under the age of six. Unless you are a horse trainer or hire a horse trainer, they can be overly excitable, nervous, and even difficult to control. However, older horses may also require a bit of work, as they often come in poor clothing or poorly trained and built.
Temperament and Personality – Loved for their disposition and loyalty, Arabian horses are a wonderful choice for just about any horse lover who wants a true companion for years to come. The best recreational mount is one that is smooth to handle and has an attitude that is willing to please. Be sure to visit prospective horses several times to get a real sense of their temperament and personality before making any purchasing decisions. A horse may look perfect in every way, but if your personalities collide, you’ll be sorry for your purchase in no time! Avoid vendors who are unwilling to give you the time and space to really get to know the animal. They may be trying to hide a physical flaw or an unpleasant personality trait. While a horse’s conformation, condition, training, personality, and temperament are the most important factors in choosing the right Arabic for you, there are a few other factors to consider:
Your experience. The experience you have with horses can make a big difference in which one you ultimately choose as yours. Arabians are beautiful horses that can be easily chosen from the crowd, making them very attractive to many horse lovers. They are strong and loyal and well suited for many purposes, including showcasing: 50-100 mile endurance runs, bad weather conditions, and of course recreational horseback riding. Alert and curious, the Arab is quick and intelligent, making him a wonderful companion.
However, they can also be flighty and tense, making them difficult for less experienced riders to control. As is the case with most horse breeds, the Arabian stallion can be difficult to control, while the mares are usually calm and show better dispositions. They are more expensive, however, often making the softer-tempered gelding (or male gelding) the best option for many horse buyers who are not interested in breeding. The size of the horse is also important. Since the Arabian horse can be slightly smaller than other breeds, you may need to consider its size relative to the horse before deciding on a specific animal.
Choose one that is large and strong enough to support your height and weight to avoid unnecessary injury in the future. While it is important to pay particular attention to the factors explained above when choosing your next Arabian horse, the most important factor in purchasing any type of horse, including an Arabian horse, is taking your time. Pick the one that best suits your own personality, style, and experience and you can’t go wrong.