“The Arab horse had emerged in the world of humans by at least 3000 BC. Its precise history remains a mystery, clouded by the many legends that surround this ancient breed, but it is the Bedu tribes of the Arabian desert that are most closely associated with the Arab’s beginning.
To the Islamic people the Arabian was considered a gift from Allah, and to the nomadic Bedouins the horse was both revered and a necessity for daily survival. They cherished their fiery desert animal, selectively breeding the best horses to fix the breed’s characteristics for the future. This, combined with their isolated geography, ensured that the Arabian remained ‘pure’.
The English animal painter Edwin Landseer often depicted the Arabian, drawn no doubt to its natural beauty. Here his elegant grey stallion embodies all the desired qualities of the Arab, with the exquisite beauty of the horse cloaking its steely resolve and great intelligence. Unusually, during the early development of the breed it was the mares that were more highly prized than the stallions–they were said to be ultimately loyal to their masters, and were silent during battle, which made them the Bedouins’ greatest weapon.”
—-Quote from “The Horse-30,000 Years of the Horse in Art” by Tamsin Pickerel.