About Arab and African Horses

Bedouin Legends
"My treasures do not click together or glitter. They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night."
"Horses fly without wings and conquer without swords."

Besides mythological and religious accounts of the Arab's origin, records show that the breed existed as long as 5000 years ago. The Arab has been very carefully bred throughout its history. The Arab is called "Kehilan" in Arabic, which means "Thoroughbred" a name passed on to the breed of that name due to its Arabian progenitors. The Arab is the "purest" of all breeds of horses. There are many types of Arabs which descend through 5 different lines of females: Kuhaylan El Adjus, Siglavy, Habdan, Hamdani and Obajan. Each of these types has distinct physical characteristics.

The Arabian has greatly influenced other breeds of horses. Perhaps the most famous Arabian to come to Europe was the Darley Arabian. He became one of the three foundation sires of the Thoroughbred breed. Arabian blood has proved a significant influence on other breeds. In addition to the Arabian native to the Middle East, there are also distinct strains of Arabs in France, Germany, Poland and America. The Arabian horse also had major influence on the African horses asdid the Barb. The close proximity of the Arab horses and the African horses was a natural for cross-breeding.

Arabian Horse
Arabian or Arab Horse Breed
Five Arabian Horse Female lines: Kuhaylan El Adjus, Siglavy, Habdan, Hamdani and Obajan
Bedouins and Their Arabian Horses
Caspian Horse Breed/Iranian aka Persian/Not Arab; however, in Middle East

African Horses

Abaco Barb Horse/The Barbary Coast, or Barbary of North Africa - Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia
Abyssinian Horse aka Oromo or Gala Horse/Ethiopia
Baladi/Egyptian Horse
Barb Horse aka Berber Horse/North Africa
Basuto or Basotho Pony A Gaited Breed/South Africa
Djerma/Niger/West Africa
Dongola, Dongolowi Cameroonian Foulbés Horse Breed/Cameroon and Sudan
Fleuve Horse/Senegal
Fouta or Foutanké/Senegal
Kirdi, Cameroon, Lakka, Logone, Mbai, M'baye, Pony Mousseye, Moussey, Mussey, Nigerian Pony, Pagan and Sara Pony/Chad and Cameroon
M'Bayar/Senegal
Mali and the Equid (Horses and Donkeys)
Namibian Desert Horse/Feral
Nooitgedacht Pony, Nooitgedachtperd, Nooitgedachter/South Africa
Sahel West Africa Horses Mules
Somali Pony aka Dor, Nugali, Mijertinian, and Daror/Somalia
Sudan Country-Bred/Sudan
Tawleed Horse Breed/Sudan
Vlaamperd aka SA Vlamperd or Vlamperd Horse Breed/South Africa
West African Barb or Arab-Barb Horse Breed/Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania
Western Sudan Pony aka Darfur Pony, Gharkawi or Kordofani Breed/Sudan

What is the Sahel Region of Africa?
Sahel Region of Africa

The Sahel Region of Africa is "a belt up to 1,000 km (620 miles) wide that spans the 5,400 km in Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the southernmost extent of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. The Arabic word...literally means 'shore, coast', describing the appearance of the vegetation found in the Sahel as being akin to that of a coastline delimiting the sand of the Sahara. The Sahel covers parts of (from west to east) the Gambia, Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria and Niger, northern Nigeria and Cameroon, central Chad, southern Sudan, northern South Sudan and northern Eritrea.

Durbar!-Nigerian Style
Hausa Folk-Lore
The Horse in West African History
African military systems to 1800
History of Horse Domestication in Africa
Global Horse Culture/Humans and Horses Observed

African Horse Sickness

Tsetse fly "...Animal Trypanosomiasis: Animal trypanosomiasis, also called nagana when it occurs in bovine cattle or horses or sura when it occurs in domestic pigs, is caused by several trypanosome species. These diseases reduce the growth rate, milk productivity, and strength of farm animals, generally leading to the eventual death of the infected animals. Certain species of cattle are called trypanotolerant because they can survive and grow even when infected with trypanosomes although they also have lower productivity rates when infected. The course of the disease in animals is similar to the course of sleeping sickness in humans. Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax are the two most important species infecting bovine cattle in sub-Saharan Africa. Trypanosoma simiae causes a virulent disease in swine. Other forms of animal trypanosomiasis are also known from other areas of the globe, caused by different species of trypanosomes and transmitted without the intervention of the tsetse fly. Tsetse vector ranges mostly in the central part of Africa...."

Trypanosoma evansi Infection in Horses "...Trypanosoma evansi is the etiological agent of the disease known as Mal das Caderas (Latin America) or surra (Asia, Africa, and Europe) in horses. This parasite, which has been reported in domestic and wild mammals, can cause considerable economic losses. The trypanosomes reproduce in the blood of the vertebrate host, and the trypomastigote forms are transmitted mechanically by bloodsucking insects from infected to uninfected animals. Hot and humid climatic conditions may contribute to outbreaks of trypanosomiasis, due to higher proliferation of insects, the main vectors of T. evansi...." "Trypanosomiasis in horses is characterized by anemia (low red blood cell count), edema (fluid swelling) of the limbs and dependent regions, anorexia, dehydration, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, abortion, and incoordination, followed by paralysis of the hind limbs. Researchers divide these clinical signs in two or three stages of the disease: subacute, acute, and chronic. In the chronic stage, horses usually exhibit cachexia (chronic wasting) associated with neurologic signs and limb paralysis. Neurologic signs are the result of the parasite travelling to the brain, where it causes an inflammatory response leading to encephalitis and cellular necrosis. ..."

Note: Interestingly, this fairly rare pony mainly lives in the area around the river Logone, notorious for the tsetse fly that produced sleeping sickness. The "Kirdi Pony" appears to be resistant to this, while other equine breeds are not.

First posted: Dec 17, 2014
Last update: Dec 20, 2014