A misconception confuses the topline of the croup with the angle of the "hip" (the pelvis or ilium), leading some to assert that Arabians have a flat pelvis angle and cannot use their hindquarters properly.However, the croup is formed by the sacral vertebrae.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.
The breed standard stated by the United States Equestrian Federation, describes Arabians as standing between 14.1 to 15.1 hands (57 to 61 inches, 145 to 155 cm) tall, "with the occasional individual over or under." A common myth is that Arabians are not strong because they are relatively small and refined.However, the Arabian horse is noted for a greater density of bone than other breeds, short cannons, sound feet, and a broad, short back, Only horses with a naturally good disposition were allowed to reproduce, with the result that Arabians today have a good temperament that, among other examples, makes them one of the few breeds where the United States Equestrian Federation rules allow children to exhibit stallions in nearly all show ring classes, including those limited to riders under 18.Sabino coloring is characterized by white markings such as "high white" above the knees and hocks, irregular spotting on the legs, belly and face, white markings that extend beyond the eyes or under the chin and jaw, and sometimes lacy or roaned edges.Studies at the University of California, Davis indicate that Arabians do not appear to carry the autosomal dominant gene "SB1" or sabino 1, that often produces bold spotting and some completely white horses in other breeds.The USEF breed standard requires Arabians have solid bone and standard correct equine conformation. Some individuals have wider, more powerfully muscled hindquarters suitable for intense bursts of activity in events such as reining, while others have longer, leaner muscling better suited for long stretches of flat work such as endurance riding or horse racing.
and the superiority of the breed in Endurance riding competition demonstrates that well-bred Arabians are strong, sound horses with superior stamina.
At international FEI-sponsored endurance events, Arabians and half-Arabians are the dominant performers in distance competition.
Mounted skeleton of an Arabian horse, showing underlying structure of breed characteristics including short back, high-set tail, distinction between level croup and well-angulated hip. A quality Arabian has both a relatively horizontal croup and a properly angled pelvis as well as good croup length and depth to the hip (determined by the length of the pelvis), that allows agility and impulsion.
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.
These animals are believed to manifest a new form of dominant white, a result of a nonsense mutation in DNA tracing to a single stallion foaled in 1996.