ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] Arabs

Re: [endurance] Arabs

Eugenie (oogiem@dsrtweyr.com)
Fri, 26 Jul 96 08:38:28 -0000

>Firstly is this true and secondly are they registered with the
>Arab Horse Society or do they have their own Studbook.
There are both spotted purebed Arabians that can qualify as Pinto and
partbred Arabians that include Pinto bloodlines. The body spotted
Arabians seem to be of the older more classic desert lines and the spots
are frequently on the belly. The genetics of it seems to be related to
high white and lot sof leg and facial markings. As an interesting side
note this type of additional white is a characteristic correlated with
increased domestication and docilness in studies done in foxes and mice.
<g> As a breeder who prefers the older types and who loves the roaned
coats, white tails and high white of these animals I like to see it in my
foals. If you look at the pictures from the late 1800's of what horses
were sold out of the desert vs what animals (usually in the background of
the photos <g>) who the tribes kept, you often find that the solid
plainer colored animals were sold and the tribes kept the spotted ones.

It does not appear that there is either the tobiano or true overo gene in
the Arabian breed. Rather the Arabian body spotting is something else.
SOme researchers have called it splashed white but it's not quite the
classical splash white of the warmbloods.

You might also want to look at the pictures from teh British National
halter champions. No prejudice against high white or large spots there.
<g> One of the lovliest mares who was a multiple champion had a huge
white mark extending across her belly and halfway up her sides.

Now, what does all this have to do with endurance? <g>

Well... SInce the tribal breeders had to use their animals for war and
travel and since they prefered the ones with large white markings (for
reference read Lady Anne's journals or W.R. Browns book or the letters
from the Boer War) then perhaps there is something either in the
increased docility of horses with lots of white (unproven but implied
with the research in foxesand mice) or that is related or near to the
genes for lots of white that provide greater endurance. Why did the
Bedouin tribes favor horses with 4 white legs over solid colored ones?
Why did they prefer horses with huge blaze faces that could almost be
called bonnets?

I'd really like to see a study done including animals from all over the
world, not just the US where high white was considered bad, that compares
the markings of top endurance horses.

Anyone interested in compiling info?


Oogie McGuire - oogiem@dsrtweyr.com
Weyr Associates - Multimedia and Web Authoring Services & Consulting
Desert Weyr - CMK Arabian horses & saddle mules for endurance and show