*This article may have affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links we provide (at no extra cost to you). For more details, please read our privacy policy/affiliate disclosure. Thank you for supporting the work we put into this blog!

The Ara­bi­an or Arab horse ( , DMG ḥiṣān ʿarabī) is a breed of horse that orig­i­nat­ed on the Ara­bi­an Penin­su­la. With a dis­tinc­tive head shape and high tail car­riage, the Ara­bi­an is one of the most eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­able horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the old­est breeds, with archae­o­log­i­cal evi­dence of hors­es in the Mid­dle East that resem­ble mod­ern Ara­bi­ans dat­ing back 4,500 years. Through­out his­to­ry, Ara­bi­an hors­es have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve oth­er breeds by adding speed, refine­ment, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Ara­bi­an blood­lines are found in almost every mod­ern breed of rid­ing horse. The Ara­bi­an devel­oped in a desert cli­mate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin peo­ple, often being brought inside the fam­i­ly tent for shel­ter and pro­tec­tion from theft. Selec­tive breed­ing for traits includ­ing an abil­i­ty to form a coop­er­a­tive rela­tion­ship with humans cre­at­ed a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and will­ing to please. The Ara­bi­an also devel­oped the high spir­it and alert­ness need­ed in a horse used for raid­ing and war. This com­bi­na­tion of will­ing­ness and sen­si­tiv­i­ty requires mod­ern Ara­bi­an horse own­ers to han­dle their hors­es with com­pe­tence and respect. The Ara­bi­an is a ver­sa­tile breed. Ara­bi­ans dom­i­nate the dis­ci­pline of endurance rid­ing, and com­pete today in many oth­er fields of eques­tri­an activ­i­ty. They are one of the top ten most pop­u­lar horse breeds in the world. They are now found world­wide, includ­ing the Unit­ed States and Cana­da, Unit­ed King­dom, Aus­tralia, con­ti­nen­tal Europe, South Amer­i­ca (espe­cial­ly Brazil), and their land of ori­gin, the Mid­dle East.