The Arabian Horse – Beauty and Versatility – You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

Today, people love, admire, and depend upon Arabian horses for their superior versatility and athleticism, just as the ancient Bedouin tribesmen of the Middle East did so many centuries ago. The Bedouin put their loyal mounts to the ultimate athletic tests as beasts of burden and a means of transportation.

As encampments moved, Arabian horses carried heavy loads over miles of hot desert sand with little food or water. Often quieter than stallions, mares served as war horses, allowing their masters to sneak up on the enemy during tribal raids. These animals were cherished, honored, and loved. Arabians were so crucial to the Bedouin way of life, that they often slept in the family tent on chilly nights. The horses returned the love to their masters, developing an intense protective loyalty and willingness to please. Centuries of close interdependence with man helped this equine evolve into a horse with sensitivity, intelligence, and an ability to bond with humans.

The Arabian has the distinction of being the oldest living breed of horse. Equus Agilis, one of the four original species of horse has been identified in modern times as the Arabian horse. While other breeds disappeared or were mixed with different breeds, the Arabian horse has remain virtually unchanged. Although the first recorded history of the horse was from 3,000 years ago, some archaeologists believe the breed existed as long as 40,000 years ago.

Beauty Meets Athleticism

The purebred Arabian is known for its elegant features. Its dished head, large eyes, arched neck, and high tail carriage precede its reputation as the most beautiful of all breeds. An old Arab expression was used to describe this look: “A neck curved like a crescent moon and a nose that could fit into a teacup”. This refinement, however, is more than just cosmetic.

The Arabian’s natural physical characteristics have helped it perform exceptionally well in today’s equine activities. The short, dished head and wide, flaring nostrils allow for maximum oxygen intake. The arched neck keeps the windpipe defined and clear to carry air to the lungs. There’s plenty of room for lung expansion because of well-sprung ribs and a deep chest cavity. Through careful breeding, strong, resilient legs are free of most lameness problems that are common in other horse breeds. Some scientists believe the Arabian horse has one less vertebra in its back, allowing it to carry greater weight. It is qualities like this that give the Arabian horse superior athleticism and versatility. Basically, Arabian horses can excel in any activity that people enjoy doing with horses.

Genetic Strength That Lasts

The amazing beauty, intelligence, strength, and endurance of Arabian horses, still endures today. This is greatly due to the Bedouins careful breeding and recording of bloodlines. Since the bloodlines have remained so pure and have been carefully cultivated over the years, a strong genetic stability, known as prepotency has resulted. This ability to pass on traits allows Arabian qualities such as beauty, intelligence, endurance, and temperament to become quite evident in crosses with other breeds. For thousands of years, people bred Arabian horses to their own stock to pick up the famous Arabian qualities. In fact, the Arabian horse is the genetic predecessor of every light horse breed in existence today.

The Horse For All Uses

The Arabian is considered one of the best breeds for distance. This is due to their superior endurance and stamina which enable him to consistently win competitive trail and endurance rides. Arabians are known to excel in many facets including:

o Recreational riding – the most popular activity with all horse owners.

o A perfect family horse – they have a loyal and willing nature

o A great horse for children – they have very affectionate personalities

o Driving and reining events – a combined high intelligence and skillful footwork make them more than capable in these events.

o Any events that require speed, agility, and gracefulness

It is also noteworthy that the Arabian horse was the original racehorse. Arabian horses race distances that are similar to Thoroughbreds, with more than 700 all-Arabian races held throughout the U.S. annually.

The Arabian is not just another pretty horse. These beautiful animals are an all-around family horse, show horse, competitive sport horse, and work horse. They are loyal and have such a peaceful nature that you might even call them a friend. How’s that for versatility.

Are Your Beauty and Personal Care Products Toxic?

Years ago, I discovered that the cosmetic and skin care products I was using contained parabens and that they were harmful to our health. I did some research and learned that there was a link between parabens and breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Fund reports that parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue. Also, I learned that they can interfere with our hormones and are toxic to our immune system.

I then started to read all of the ingredients that were in my beauty and personal care products and researched them. I discovered that there were many more chemicals in my products, in addition to parabens, that were harmful to our health. Other common chemical ingredients such as triethanolamine (TEA) and triclosan, which is an antibacterial ingredient and a preservative, are toxic. Even fragrances derived from chemicals, which are found in thousands of products, can be toxic.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of health risks involved with being exposed to the chemicals that are in cosmetic, skin care and personal care products. I realized that continual exposure to them was just as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

Because these products are not regulated by the FDA, companies are allowed to put harmful chemicals in their products. Also, companies are not required to list harmful chemical byproducts or contaminants in their ingredients.

1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate processing, among others, is a known toxin found in personal care products such as soaps, cosmetic cleansers, shampoos and toothpaste. Nitrosamines are toxic chemicals found in cosmetic and personal care products. Since, both of these toxic chemicals are considered as byproducts, they are not required to be listed as ingredients.

Also, it is easy to be fooled by the labels on products that say “natural”, because what is considered “natural” is not regulated by the FDA or the USDA. The USDA does regulate what is organic and USDA certified organic. If a product is 100% USDA certified organic, then you know that you have a true organic product. If a product is not 100% USDA certified, the best thing to do is to research the ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization, has their Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com. Cosmetic and personal care products can be searched by company, product name or ingredient. The site provides a safety score between 0 and 10, with 0 being the safest. This site has been very helpful for me to determine which products are safe to use.

At first, it was very challenging for me to find truly chemical free organic and natural products that were affordable. The best way to ensure that the products we use are safe is to research the ingredients or purchase 100% USDA certified organic products. Finding reputable companies that are dedicated to providing only truly natural and organic products is a good idea, since you will have a trusted source to buy from.