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Arabian Horses and Beauty Standards
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Arabian Horses and Beauty Standards

Recently, something has been brought to my attention. I don't own Arabians, and I've only ever seen a couple, mostly from a distance.

So I knew about the dished faces, but only from other sources. Friends gossiping about whether or not the face was beautiful or harmful, and since I'm not a veterinarian, I never dropped my two cents in. But it's been making waves on some of the forum communities I poke and prod through on the daily, and I thought to myself that I'd finally look into it.

First of all, the Arabian's iconic look is a standard of beauty to many. Owners will believe that unless your horse looks like the quintessential Arabian, it's worthless. That bothers me on a horse lover's scale, but I suppose I can see the way they're thinking; they've staked their livelihoods on raising and selling "beautiful" horses. If those horses aren't selling, they now have an animal with needs and no room for it.

From what I can tell, the dished face, the arched neck, and their proudly waving flagpole tails are desired because they scream elegance. Be elegant, that could be the motto of an Arabian owner. Their gait, coupled with their looks, gives off the impression that the horse is delicate and fancy. Sometimes this is all the horse is wanted for, a beautiful, ethereal image, and sometimes it's not. Sometimes that horse is loved and adored, worshiped like a god.

It's similar to dogs. They're bred specifically to increase the qualities that people find favorable in them, often to poor health, and all for the image they give out. That said, some dogs are bred for their demeanor and things such as stamina and strength, something that you'd find much more understandable. It's how the animal kingdom works, after all; females choose their mates based on similar traits.

I'm sure you've heard of El Rey Magnum, the horse that took the Arabian world by storm last November. I'm sure I don't have to tell you my own opinion of this horse, aside from that I'll love him unconditionally for his entire life through my computer screen. The look is unique, eye-catching, attention-grabbing. So, to say the least, it's likely a success in that regard.

But my question to you all today is what makes something beautiful? Why is it that we find a curved line so much more #aesthetic than a straight one? I've heard studies say that humans are attracted to people who look similar to us, or that we find beauty in things that are symmetrical and average.

I'd like to know what you think. Tell me your feelings on the Arabian's dished faces.

Photo by Tambako on Flickr.

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  1. Hiplainsdrftr
    The extreme dished faces of some Arabians is about the ugliest thing there is. Totally ruined the natural beauty of the horse, not to mention the health aspects of doing this to them. It's bad enough we are trying to turn cow horses like the Quarter Horse and Iberian Horse into 17 hand Dressage horses. I guess humans didn't learn any lessons from breeding "Designer" dogs.
    1. Hey Kaye
      Hey Kaye
      We probably didn't. Thanks for your input!

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