On the origin of the Bedouin Horse

By Matthias Oster

Posted on November 30th, 2017 in General

Different theories on the origin of the Arabian horse exist. The range is from a wild Proto-Arabian that lived in Arabia and is said to have been domesticated by the Bedouins, to theories that an already domesticated horse reached Arabia from outside. Some authorities maintain that the Arabian horse came from Egypt and compare the pictures of horses in ancient Egyptian art with petroglyphes (stone carvings) in Arabia and the modern Arabian horse. But except from the resemblence of those three groups no other proof can be found.

The Arabian vocabulary concerning horses and horse-gear (saddles and so on) is on the other hand derived from Arameic or Persian words. Furthermore genetic findings, especially on maternal DNA (mtDNA) suggests that the Arabian horse has its origins from different sources. On the latter I have attached an excerpt from my book BEDOUIN HERITAGE. Click here for more: science

Assyrian horses on the so called Lachisch relief

Stallion Musannan Awaad (Rabdan Baher X Musannah Ghazwa) 2011 in Bahrain at the stables of Prince Mohammed

3 Responses to “On the origin of the Bedouin Horse”

  1. ” The purity of the Arabians that is questioned in the scientific paper cannot be demonstrated by genetic research”, let me agree to disagree ^^ It cannot be demonstrated by mtDNA genetic research (and this is not limited to Arabian horses), which means horses were not selected for their mitochondrial “phenotype” (this does not make much sense anyway). Nuclear DNA on the other hand show a very clear cluster for Arabian horses 😉 You may be surprised in the future how much we will learn about the history and selection process of modern breeds, including Arabians 😀

  2. ” A high similarity is found in german and polish draft horses and shires.’ Exactly because we know just from perusing articles like the asil clubs’ piece on Skowronek that Polish country breds – or native mares if you will were essentially top crossed for a couple of hundred years to give us ta da the modern Polish arabian. Edouards article on Polish arabs clearly states that the few asil Polish arabs were sold off to england in the early to mid 1970’s So the basic questions for the scientific researcher mentioned by Matthias would be how large was your sample, how many cradle country asils were included if any. Which breeding groups were included, and for the fun of it how extensive was Judy Wentworths pony breeding program?
    best
    Bruce Peek

  3. I might be wrong here-but i believe that the Mideastern lands were many many years ago more pleasant in tempeature and more abundant-possibly less desertlike…much archelogolical evidence is coming forth that very old verdent cultures were plentiful in these desert areas-lakes and pasturelands..These horses maybe older than we can trace back into the far reaches of older friendlier climates..but one thing is for sure-they are the Kings and Queens of Horsedom…and continue to share their precious heritage.

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