The Majestic Arabian Horse
By Michael Russell
Bedouins believed that the horse was a gift from Allah. It was to be cherished, revered, almost worshipped. The Arabian horse has been bred for centuries, with its beginnings in the oases around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the countries known in our modern history as Iran, Iraq, and Syria, as well as other parts of the Arabian Peninsula.
Because the Bedouins cherished their horses, the bloodlines were a jealously guarded family treasure within the different tribes. There are records which indicate that the nomads began breeding these superb horses as early as 3000 to 2500 B.C. However, the modern Arabians trace their roots back to five mares which were owned by King Solomon around 1600 B.C. Those five mares were known as “Al-Khamesh”, literally “the five”. Those five bloodlines were Kehilan, Seglawi, Abeyan, Hamdani and Hadban. As substrains were developed in each of the bloodlines, those would be named for celebrated mares and/or sheiks who significantly contributed a substantial branch to the strain.