The Anglo Arabian horse, also known as the Anglo-Arab or the Arabian Cross, is a unique horse that is appreciated for its strength and speed. So how did this horse, carefully selected for its strengths, come to be? These horses are the result of breeders identifying the desirable strength, speed, and temperament of both the Thoroughbred (often the Selim Mare or Selle Français variety) and the Arabian horse and cross-breeding them.
This Anglo-Arabian breeding may come from an Arabian stallion and a Thoroughbred mare, or through a Thoroughbred stallion and an Arabian mare.
Any horse bred of a Thoroughbred and Arabian can be considered Anglo Arabian, so long as the offspring has no more than 75% and no less than 25% Arabian blood.
Despite its name, the Anglo Arabian horse has come into prominence from western Europe – specifically, France. Its history traces back so far in history that it is the third oldest stud book in France and the third oldest recorded horse breed on Earth. Throughout the 11th-13th Centuries, the Crusades took soldiers from Europe and on extended tours through the Middle East.
During these travels, soldiers acquired foreign-born Thoroughbred horses and brought them back to Europe with them. These mares, because of their original location, carried with them Arabian blood that would be carried down to the Anglo-Arabian horse.
These horses were desired due to their stamina and temperament. The Thoroughbred side of the Anglo Arabian horse was solidified in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were highly desired due to their long legs and fast running speed. Numerous breeders and equine aficionados have been attributed to the development of this breed, though the first serious attempts to grow the bloodline came about in the mid-late 1880s in France, under the French National Stud Service.
Despite this, even by the 1860s, the Anglo Arabian horses had races that were exclusively dedicated to their specific breed. These horses, prized for their slim, athletic build and the speed and scope of the Thoroughbred lent themselves well to racing.
The crossbreeding with an Arabian horse made logical sense to establish a horse that would perform well and with considerable stamina. The two breeds of horses that comprise the Anglo Arabian come from the same genetic pool. As such, the previous Thoroughbreds carried traces of Arabian blood. The speed of the Thoroughbred is bolstered by the stamina, intelligence, and agility of the Arabian horse.
Due to their relative genetic closeness, their continued breeding has been successful. This closeness mixed with plenty of genetic diversity led to minimal health impacts within the Anglo Arabian that often afflict other purebred horses.
The Anglo Arabian horse is beloved because of its temperament and physical attributes.
Both the Thoroughbred and the Arabian horses are known for their big hearts and friendly dispositions. They are known to be manageable and relatively easy to train. While these two breeds come together and highlight these friendly qualities, there is an energetic undercurrent that should not be ignored. The Anglo-Arabian horse is hard working and very energetic. Due to their stamina, they manage heavy riders and endure riding for long distances.
While these horses are always ready to work and quite intelligent, they are also great for competition. Anglo-Arabian horses are also well known for being friendly and quite easy to train. They are suitable for both riding for pleasure as well as equestrian shows and programs.
Certain attributes of these horses vary slightly due to the variety and flexibility of designation. However, there are some certain traits that are consistent across the breed. Most of these horses will grow to be between 15.2.-16.3 hands tall and will grow to around 950 pounds.
This makes the horse slightly smaller on average than other comparable sporting breeds, but typically larger than the average Arabian horse.
As previously mentioned, the Anglo Arabian is slightly smaller than the average racehorse.
However, it is typically larger than the typical full-bred Arabian horse, with distinguishing physical features that separate it from its purebred peers.
These horses are known for their long, elegant necks. The heads are smaller, more like an Arabian horse than a Thoroughbred. Their heads are often described as “chiseled”, “refined”, or even “angular”. However, an Anglo Arabian horses’ head should not be too “dished” in its profile. This is a term that refers to the degree of curvature, or how concave, the horse’s profile is in relation to its muzzle.
The eyes of this horse are often quite bright and alert. When observing the neck, it should be long and slightly arched. The chest on this breed of horse should be strong and barreled, and its withers prominent.
Their bodies are relatively compact, and as they are well-suited to running, they have long, strong legs. Their feet are also notably strong for their size.
The acceptable colors of the Anglo Arabian horses are solid. They are found with deep chestnut, grey, brown, or “bay”.
Bay is a term that refers to a horse’s coat that is reddish-brown in color. The most common colors for this mixed breed are bay and chestnut.
This horse breed is friendly and easily trained. As such, it is well suited to a variety of domestic and show tasks as well as equestrian sports.
They are pleasant to ride, and they have a comfortable gait and shorter gallop for casual rides. Due to their long legs and stamina, these horses also make excellent contenders for racing and are active sport horses.
In showmanship, the Anglo Arabian horse competes well because it can be well trained. They jump well, have plenty of energy, and can perform for longer durations than other breeds.
This breed of horse is well suited to most climates and can be found worldwide. It is most popular in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
When raising an Anglo Arabian horse, proper consideration given to all breeds of horse should be taken.
Follow the tips below for horse care.
1. Horse Health
The Anglo Arabian horse, as it is more genetically diverse than other horses, tends to live soundly well into its twenties and beyond.
When looking into acquiring an Anglo Arabian, be prepared to make a commitment to its care for its lifetime. Anglo Arabians tend to have legs and bones that are stronger than full Thoroughbreds. They can still be susceptible to genetic diseases carried by their Arabian lineage.
Just like all breeds of horse, the Anglo Arabian requires regular grooming sessions. Through brushing and washing your horse, you help stimulate circulation, increase your bonding, and promote a deeper cleaning of its coat and skin.
The ideal grooming procedure is multi-step. It includes an initial brushing to remove any loose hair, debris, or dirt. Follow this with a soft finishing brush (particularly around sensitive areas such as the face and legs), and then wipe down your horse’s face with a soft, damp cloth.
This horse will also require regular maintenance of its mane and tail. This can be done through brushing, combing, and if necessary, shampooing. While completing this grooming process, ensure you check your horses’ hooves and skin for any signs of infection or debris that may need to be removed.
3. Food And Water
Horses need to have access to at least eight gallons of clean, fresh drinking water each day. They will also need to have access to a pasture, grain feedings, and at least 20 pounds of food per day.
Horses have small stomachs and delicate digestive systems and will need to be able to graze and access their food all day long rather than adhering to prescribed feeding times.
4. Hoof Care
As mentioned in generalized health, horses’ hoof health is paramount to their overall well-being. In addition to regularly clearing debris and checking the overall health of the hoof, horses need to have their hooves shoed or trimmed by a professional blacksmith every six to eight weeks.
5. Veterinary Care
Like any pet, horses will need regular check-ups with a veterinarian. You may need to seek out an equine veterinarian who specializes in horse care. You can anticipate an annual visit for vaccines and dental care.
6. Common Infections
Horses are susceptible to parasites because they graze on the ground. Here, it is not uncommon to find intestinal worms that infect the horse. Be sure to check with your veterinarian for an appropriate anti-parasite regimen.
Horses need protection from all-weather types. For days that are sunny and warm, horses will need shade and a place to avoid insects. For cold weather, this shelter will provide insulation and keep them comfortable. All shelters should have a minimum of three sides and will need to be cleaned of manure daily.
Horses need plenty of space to be able to exercise in addition to your daily rides. They will require an open area to relax. This area should be surrounded by safe fencing (barbed wire is not advised) that will keep the horse secure while it grazes.
Maintenance costs of veterinary visits and hoof care are one thing, but you will first need to acquire your horse. If you are interested in adopting a young Anglo Arabian horse who has not competed, your price may range from $4,000-$10,000, depending upon the horse’s pedigree.
If you are interested in purchasing a horse who has an established show career and is an active competitor, the price may increase five times ($50,000) or more. As with any large investment, research your purpose and what horse would be the best fit for your objective.
Is The Anglo Arabic Horse For Me?
Before deciding on acquiring a new horse, it is best to reflect on what your goals are with the horse. Anglo Arabic horses are suited to farm work as well as casual riding.
The Thoroughbred and the Arabian breed qualities make these horses best suited to those interested in equine competition. Due to their easy-to-train nature, they may be well equipped to compete in unique events but are also considered “hot-blooded”. This means they can be occasionally hard to handle and quite energetic.
With these considerations, these horses may not be best suited for beginners. However, all horses are individuals, and these horses are not completely standardized due to the wide range of acceptable breeding options. It is possible to register your Anglo Arabian horse (with proper documentation of its lineage) and receive a Certificate of Registration. This certificate indicates the horse’s breed status as “universally accepted” within the equine community. This registration also increases your horse’s value.
These horses are typically a great fit for riders who are willing to develop a trusting, hard-working relationship. Anglo Arabian horses are a good fit for those who are interested in athleticism and performing equine sports.
They are particularly adept at dressage, show jumping, and cross-country events. Annually, they are shown in hundreds of recognized events, including coast-to-coast competitive trail rides.
Through this guide, you have explored the history of the breed of the Anglo Arabian horse, learned its physical and personal qualities, how to best care for your horse, and whether or not this horse is a good fit for your life.
You have also learned which skills and performance tasks are best suited for this breed. Again, it is important to remember that the Anglo Arabic horse is not highly standardized, and its breed can range from 25%-75% Arabian. This results in highly distinct personalities with several of the loyal, friendly attributes and athletic qualities mentioned throughout this guide.
It is best to meet with a trusted breeder before making your final commitment. Overall, the addition of an Anglo Arabic horse to your life is sure to be fulfilling, whether it’s a trail ride through the woods or winning events.