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 terrain, Polo, Buzkashi or historical combat situations.

Buzkashi game in Afghanistan

Polo Chase

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.