The Arabian Horse Subcullture

Essay by mophatUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2009

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As I stepped onto the show grounds, I could feel the excitement swirling in the air. This show touts itself as one of the biggest gatherings of the Arabian horse in the world. This breed of animal has enjoyed fame and admiration through history like no other. Arabians had graced the stables of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and George Washington. The prophet, Mohammed, (700 AD), proclaimed that Allah had created the Arabian and those who treated this horse well would be rewarded in the afterlife. (History) Current owners include the Ruler of Sharjah and the Sheikh of Dubai. (Sharjah) This group of horse owners distinguishes themselves from others in that the Arabian is considered to be of superior intelligence, beauty, loyalty, and versatility. Taking an Arabian into the show arena takes a considerable financial commitment. The Arabian’s inherent characteristics coupled with the economic realities sets this group apart from other equine owners.

To understand the origin of this love affair, you have to travel back in time to a nomadic tribe that lived on the Najd plateau of the Arabian Peninsula.

As I journey back in time in an attempt to understand why this animal is held in such high esteem, I discover that its origin represents a zoological mystery. Some believe that the ancestral Arabian roamed wild in northern Syria and southern Turkey. Still others present a convincing argument that they grazed along the Fertile Crescent comprising part of Iraq and running along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. One point upon which all historians agree is that a small nomadic tribe, known as the Bedouins, who lived on the Najd plateau of the Arabian Peninsula, were the first to domesticate the Arabian horse circa 2500 B.C. (History)The Bedouins’ travels took them to central Arabia where...