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The Arabian Horse Subcullture Essay

1797 words - 7 pages

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 they discovered a prototype of the modern day Arabian horse and took them back to their homeland. The Bedouins considered these horses to be a gift from Allah. They were revered, cherished and almost worshipped. The Arabian became a necessity for survival for these people. They were used for work, war, and travel. The headmen of the tribes were responsible for relating a verbal linage of the breed which was passed down to each generation. (Preserving) The romance of the breed grew with each passing century with stories of wealth, courage and intelligence. The physical characteristic of the breed, its shape as well as its color, lead to religious beliefs, superstitions and traditions that passed through many generations. (History)The Bedouins believed that the bulging forehead or “Jibbah” of the Arabian held blessings of Allah. (Preserving) The larger the Jibbah, the greater the blessings carried by the horse. The “Mitbah”, or great arching neck with a high crest, denoted a sign of courage. A high tail carriage demonstrated a sense of pride. These conformational attributes influenced the breeding process and created a high esteem for...

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