Arab Berber (horse)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arab Berber
Arab Berber mare

Arab Berber mare

Important data
Origin: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
Main breeding area: mainly North Africa and France, few studs in Germany
Distribution: North Africa, Europe
Stick measure : 150-160 cm
Colors : 90% mold, some foxes, brown, fallow, black and all other colors
Main application area: in Morocco racing, equestrian ( Fantasia ) and work horses, in Europe riding horse (leisure, distance, western) and driving horse

The Arab-Berber is a breed of horse that arose during the French colonization of North Africa at the end of the 19th century by crossing imported Arabs or thoroughbred Arabs and native Berbers . The Arab-Berber stud book was established in the breeding countries after 1948 and is still open today, i. H. both pure breeding and combination breeding are permitted. For combination breeding, depending on the regulations of the respective studbook, both the Berber and the Arabian thoroughbred breeds are permitted with a differently regulated maximum percentage of whole blood.

Background information on horse evaluation and breeding can be found under: Exterior , interior and horse breeding .


Berbers are a breed of horses native to North Africa. They are of common origin with the Iberian horses and are very similar to them. They have great nerves, agility and an imposing charisma, which has made them the most sought-after war horses for close combat across Europe for thousands of years.

Arabian horses come from the Arabian Peninsula and are thoroughbred horses . They are bred for great endurance and speed, which has made them sought-after racehorses for centuries.

Arab-Berbers are very popular in Tunisia , Algeria , Morocco, France and Germany because ideally they combine the positive characteristics of both original breeds. Arab-Berbers are used for Fantasias . Their temperament is considered to be more balanced than that of the thoroughbred Arabs.


The Arab-Berber is said to combine the best of both of its original races. In Algeria, a maximum of 50% whole blood is a guarantee that the Arab-Berber is dominated by the Berber. In other countries (Tunisia, Morocco), high percentage Arabs are also permitted for Arab-Berber races. There is also no percentage limit in France and Germany. However, the description of the exterior shows that only a few deviations from the Berber's physique are desired. Like the Berber, the Arab-Berber should stand in the square type and give the impression of a rounded and harmonious horse. The head should be narrow and dry and have a noble expression. You want the profile to be slightly arched, ramsnoses can appear in the Arab-Berber as well as the typical pike heads of the Arabs. The neck should be longer than with the Berber with a more elegant head position. As with the Berber, the angle of the shoulder should harmonize with that of the croup, you want the chest muscles to be pronounced and the chest itself not as narrow as it is often with the Berber. The transition between the neck and the high withers should be flowing and harmonious in both breeds. The Arab-Berber, like his ancestor the Berber, has a large belt depth and his back is short and strong. The hooves are medium-sized and hard. The tendons and ligaments are resilient. The long hair is a little more sparse than that of the Berber. Like the Berber, the Arab-Berber comes in all colors. The height is 148–160 cm, and recently it has also been higher.


The desired interior characteristics of the Arab-Berber are similar to those of the Berber horse: They are particularly strong-nerved, gentle and willing to perform. The willingness to enter into a close human-horse relationship should be emphasized.

Breeding history

The history of the Arab-Berbers began in the Maghreb , a region that describes the Kingdom of Morocco and the surrounding North African countries. The Berber tribe lives here, breeding a war horse that has been legendary since ancient times: the Berber horse.

Thoroughbred Arabs first came to the Maghreb in significant numbers with the French colonization at the end of the 19th century. France demanded high tribute payments to cavalry horses, but had to determine the limited use of Berber horses for use as long-distance horses in the cavalry regiments among inexperienced riders. The military needed horses that were dark and therefore easier to care for, that could run long distances without breaking down fat pads in their backs and that had saddle pressure and that were not very loyal to their owners and that could be ridden by anyone. With the establishment of numerous state studs in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, France put the coastal population under pressure to be allowed to pair their Berber horses exclusively with imported stallions, initially on a trial basis of various breeds. Any private breeding was stopped. From the point of view of the French cavalry, the cross between Arabs and Berbers was best suited for military service. This crossing was intensely promoted and underpinned by the constant import of thoroughbred Arabian stallions. In the state studs, however, Berber stallions were also set up for crossbreeding, which made it necessary to import mares of other breeds. Inevitably, the breeding of the original Berber horses was pushed more and more into the hinterland and ultimately only practiced by rebels. This explains why the most typey Berber horses of the Maghreb have no "papers" to this day.

In 1948 Algeria was the first to establish the Arab-Berber breed book. Now Arab-Berbers were no longer just first-generation farm animals, but rather the carefully selected, largely homogeneous breed that has survived to this day in the coastal areas.


Arab-Berbers are not branded . Horses that are registered in the German Arab-Berber stud book of the Association of Friends and Breeders of Berber Horses (VFZB) receive a chip on the left side of their neck.

See also


  • Christiane Slawik, Susanne Geipert. Legendary Berber horses. Arabs, Arabs-Berbers and Berbers. Cadmos Publishing House. ISBN 3-86127-432-9
  • Abderrahman Kadri. Le barbe cheval de légende Zaki Bouzid Edition. ISBN 978-9961-771-10-5
  • Diana Krischke. "Selection in small populations using the example of the Berber horse" Georg-August University of Göttingen, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Livestock Sciences, April 8, 2011

Individual evidence

  1. Abderrahman Kadri. Le barbe cheval de légende , Zaki Bouzid Editions, 2008 ( ISBN 978-9961-771-10-5 ). Page 57 f.
  2. ZBO for download. (PDF) Association of Friends and Breeders of Berber Horses, March 14, 2015, accessed on February 27, 2017 .

Web links

Commons : Arab-Berber  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files