The Bedouins are credited with initiating selective pure breeding
of the Arabian horse. To size up the horse, a Bedouin checks the
structure of its head, its proportions, and quality of the skin,
eyes, nostrils, ears, jaws, and the motion.
Pace and stride are subordinated to “endurance” with
emphasis on devious, unpredictable movements called for in unfriendly
Buzkashi or historical
Buzkashi game in Afghanistan
The most unique and invaluable characteristics of the Arabian horse
are patience and the pleasant temperament. The Bedouins breed and
nurture their horses as if they are valued family members. They live
in the same tent with the owners, and never used for tasks such as
carrying or pulling loads.
The Bedouins believe that austerity breeds discipline and refines
the horse performance. Arabian horses and specifically the mares
are known to go without food and water for several days and endure
hardships and temperature extremes from day to night along with the
biting winds of the desert.
The Arabian horse is ridden never driven. The Arabian horses are
talented with quick responses allowed the rider to dispense with
the use of the bit. It is considered an insult to its intelligence
by the Bedouins. Arabians' sensitivity and intelligence enable quick
learning and greater communication with their riders, a flick of
the reins, some nudging with the knees and thighs are all it needs
by way of signal.
For a bridle, the Bedouin uses a woolen halter and a single long
woolen rein. Spurs are unknown and considered an outrage.
Pure breeds are never branded as it inflicts pain and diminishes
their worth. To the Bedouin identification is never a problem.