Last week, we talked about the history, popularity, and impact — either indirectly or directly — of the Arabian horse breed on every riding horse in the world.
A 2003 survey found that 67 percent of purebred Arabian horses are owned for recreational riding. Arabians appear in almost every part of the equestrian field. Their average size is on the smaller end of the spectrum (between 14.1 to 15.1 hands). Nonetheless, Arabians have incredible bone density that allows them to work in a number of fields despite their lightweight and size.
In fact, the desert-bred Arabian horse’s bloodlines have played a part in the development of nearly every modern light horse breed.
The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) writes, “Arabians today are virtually the same as those ridden in ancient Arabia. Arabians now display their athletic talents in a variety of disciplines from English to Western, with the Arabian positioned as the undisputed champion of endurance events.”
Arabians are used in pleasure riding, trail riding and working with ranch horses. They dominate the sport of endurance riding because of their incredible stamina. For example, Arabians regularly win The Tevis Cup, a 100 mile-single-day trail ride. Arabians compete in many other equestrian fields, including racing and the four horse show disciplines taught in the William Woods University equestrian programs: Saddle Seat, Western, Hunter/Jumper and Dressage.
Well-known Arabians have been in popular culture from movies like The Black Stallion, which used over 40 Arabians in the film to teams with mascots like the University of Southern California Trojans or The Denver Broncos’ Arabian gelding Winter Solstyce nicknamed Thunder II.
After thousands of years, The Arabian remains among the most beloved riding horses in the world.