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Which Arabian Horse is Right for You? Tips to Choosing Your New Horse
After years of admiring the gallant Arabian horse from afar – or enjoying one from a local stable – you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and become an Arabian owner yourself. Congratulations! There’s nothing quite like the exhilaration of mounting your very own regal Arabian horse and heading off for a ride – just you and your new companion.
But, finding the right horse to meet your needs, interest and personality can be quite daunting, not to mention time consuming. There are a lot of 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 be considered.
Conformation- Arabian horses are known for their physical attributes: those wide-set eyes: short arched back: and high tail carriage. But don’t be fooled by this horse’s beauty. It’s important when selecting an individual horse to look at its overall body structure and the way it’s balanced. At the most basic level, you want to look for an athletic body structure. Next, you’ll want to carefully study each part of the horse’s conformation to determine how well it will be able to perform the tasks it’s asked to. When considering any Arabian for purchase, it’s important to check the following:
Forehead – should be broad, full and flat Head – should feature well proportioned ears: eyes that are located correctly and are short and soft. This usually signifies intelligence and a good demeanor.
Throat – the throat should be of average thickness with no muscle buildup on the underside of the neck. Look for a nice natural roundness on the top side of the neck.
Nostrils – Arabian horses are known for their flared nostrils, which help them take in more oxygen. Be sure they feature wide dilation.
Muzzle – Check for firm lips, with no sagging of the lower one.
Chest – watch for a narrow chest which can cause interference with the front legs.
Forearm – should extend from the elbow to the knee and be well-muscled.
Condition- Arabian horses are known for being a sound breed. Their strong resilient legs and dense compact bone makes them free from most lameness. Of course, any horse can have physical ailments that may go unnoticed by the untrained eye. That’s why it’s important to carefully study the horse’s conformation closely to give you a good idea of its overall condition. As a potential horse owner, it’s also important to understand the purpose of owning your horse in order to determine what condition is acceptable. If you’re planning on showing your newly acquired Arabian horse, than you’ll need to consider its overall look more closely to be sure that it meets showing requirements, as opposed to horse’s purchased for recreational riding only. Never sign any sales agreement without first having a prospective horse carefully examined by a veterinarian of your choice to be certain that it is indeed strong and healthy. Once you’ve received a good health report, you can check it out for these other important features:
Training- While young horses have more energy, they can also be harder to train. Unless you have experience training horses – or are willing to pay for someone who does – it is generally better to stay away from horses under six years of age. Unless you are a horse trainer /or hire a trainer, they can be overly excitable, nervous and even hard to control. However, older horses too may take a bit of work, since they often come with bad habits or poor training and structure.
Temperament & 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 which is gentle to handle, and sports an attitude that is willing to please. Be sure to visit prospective horses several times to get a true feel for its temperament and personality before making any purchasing decisions. A horse may appear to be perfect in every way, but if your personalities clash, you’ll regret your purchase in no time! Avoid any sellers who aren’t willing to give you the time and space to really get to know the animal. They may be trying to hide a physical flaw or uncomely personality trait. While a horse’s conformation, condition, training, personality and temperament are the most important factors when choosing the right Arabian for you, there are a few other factors to consider:
Your Experience. How much experience you have with horses can make a big difference in the one you ultimately choose to call your own. Arabians are beautiful horses that can be easily picked out of a crowd, making them very appealing to many horse lovers. They are strong and loyal and are well suited for many purposes including showcasing: endurance rides of 50 to 100 miles: harsh weather conditions and of course, recreational riding. Alert and curious, the Arabian is quick and intelligent, making it a wonderful companion.
However, they can also be flighty and high-strung, making them hard to control for the less experienced rider. As is the case with most horse breeds, the Arabian stallion can be difficult to control, while mares are often calmer, and showcase better dispositions. They are more expensive though, which often makes the more mild-tempered gelding (or neutered male), the best choice for many horse buyers who aren’t interested in breeding. The size of the horse is also important. Since Arabian horse can be slightly smaller than some other breeds, you may need to consider your size in relation to the horse before settling on one specific animal.
Choose one that is large enough and strong enough to handle your height and weight to avoid unnecessary injury in the future. While it’s important to pay particular attention to the factors explained above when choosing your next Arabian horse, the most important factor to buying any type of horse – including an Arabian horse – is taking your time. Pick one that best suits your own personality, style and experience and you can’t go wrong.
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