Mustang vs Arabian Horse: Unveiling Key Differences History and Origin

Are you curious about the differences between mustang vs Arabian horse? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll dive into the history and origin of these two magnificent horse breeds and uncover the key differences that set them apart. So, saddle up and let’s explore the world of mustang vs Arabian horse.

History and Origin

American Wild Mustang

Mustang History

The mustang is a free-roaming horse of the American West, descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Throughout history, these horses have adapted to the environment and developed unique characteristics that define the mustang breed. Although mustangs are often referred to as wild horses, they are more accurately described as feral horses due to their domesticated ancestry (America’s Mustang Story).

Mustangs found across the Western United States showcase a diversity of sizes and coat colors. Interestingly, their versatile and hardy nature often gives them an appearance of neglect, highlighting their resilience in the face of various environmental challenges (Its Animal).

Arabian Horse History

As one of the world’s oldest and most recognizable horse breeds, the Arabian horse has a long history that dates back 4,500 years. The breed was developed in the Arabian Peninsula, where it was highly valued for its speed, stamina, beauty, intelligence, and gentle temperament (Britannica). The Arabian horse’s distinct head shape and high tail carriage are key features that set them apart from other breeds (Wikipedia).

Many modern light horse breeds exhibit traits contributed by Arabian horses, demonstrating the breed’s lasting influence on equine genetics. The Arabian horse has been closely associated with the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula for thousands of years, and its pedigree is traditionally passed down through an oral history focused on the female line (Quora).

Physical Characteristics

Mustang horse roaming wild in Mexico

Mustang Features

The Mustang is a small, compact, and powerful horse. Its size typically ranges from 1.40 to 1.58 meters, and it is known for its wild appearance that demonstrates its origins(source). Mustangs come in a wide variety of colors, including painted and speckled patterns.

Since the Mustang breed has been influenced by various types of horses over time, there is no specific set of overall features that are distinct to all Mustangs. However, they often stand 14 to 15 hands tall (56 to 60 inches) (source).

Arabian Horse Features

The Arabian horse is known for its unique and identifiable characteristics. Its average height is about 15 hands (60 inches, or 152 cm) with an average weight ranging from 800 to 1,000 pounds (360 to 450 kg) (source). This breed has strong legs and fine hooves. Their coat, tail, and mane are made up of fine, silky hair.

The Arabian horse originates from the Bedouin tribes of the Arab Peninsula, and its breeding has been influenced by thousands of years of tradition(source). While many colors can be found within this breed, gray is the most prevalent.

Temperament and Personality

Beautiful brown arabian horse

When comparing Mustang and Arabian horses, it’s essential to consider their temperaments and personalities, as these traits significantly impact their behavior, trainability, and suitability for various equestrian activities.

Mustang Temperament

Mustangs are known for their strong, independent nature, largely attributed to their wild origins. They possess a resilient and adaptable spirit, making them suitable for a wide range of disciplines and environments. Despite their robust constitution, Mustangs are generally intelligent and levelheaded, capable of forming deep bonds with their owners when given proper time and attention.

Due to their wild heritage, early socialization and handling are crucial for taming and training Mustangs. Although some individuals may initially be wary or aloof towards humans, once a relationship of trust is established, these horses typically demonstrate loyalty, curiosity, and enthusiasm for learning.

Arabian Horse Temperament

Arabian horses, on the other hand, are acclaimed for their kind and calm disposition. As one of the oldest and most revered horse breeds, Arabians are renowned for their strong bonds with their owners and their sociable nature. They are typically gentle, making them suitable for beginners or riders seeking a calm mount. Additionally, they’re known to interact well with children, further solidifying their reputation as a family-friendly breed.(source)

Although Arabians boast a more mild-mannered temperament relative to their Mustang counterparts, they are not exempt from potentially developing aggressive or stubborn tendencies. It is vital to treat these horses with kindness and respect, as mistreatment or harsh training methods can result in undesirable behaviors.(source)

In summary, both Mustang and Arabian horses have their own unique traits when it comes to temperament and personality. The wild Mustangs exhibit strength, adaptability, and independence, while the elegant Arabians are known for their gentle and sociable demeanor. Thorough understanding of their temperaments enables owners to make informed decisions when selecting the horse that best suits their needs and preferences.

Uses and Disciplines

Brown arabian pony horse

Horses serve various purposes, and their breed plays a significant role in determining their suitability for specific disciplines. Each breed exhibits unique characteristics that are ideal for particular activities or sports. This section discusses the disciplines and uses of Mustang and Arabian horses.

Mustang Disciplines

The Mustang is a versatile breed known for its adaptability and endurance. Mustangs have primarily been used for ranch work, where their compact size, strength, and stamina make them ideal for long days in the saddle. They are also suited for:

  • Trail riding
  • Pleasure riding
  • Competitive activities, such as western riding and endurance events
  • Therapeutic riding programs

Mustangs are not limited to these activities, as their versatility enables them to excel in various disciplines, depending on the individual horse’s temperament, training, and athleticism.

Arabian Horse Disciplines

Arabian horses are known for their agility, speed, and endurance. They are primarily recognized as distance racehorses and are top performers in these competitions. Some common disciplines where Arabians excel include:

  • Endurance racing
  • Show events (such as halter, western pleasure, and English pleasure)
  • Sport horse activities, like dressage, show jumping, and eventing
  • Racing

The Arabian breed’s grace and beauty also make them popular choices for activities like exhibition shows, parade performances, and theatrical events. The diverse skills and attractive appearance of Arabian horses contribute to their widespread use in various equestrian disciplines.

Care and Maintenance

Elegant Black Arabian Horse

Mustang Care

Mustangs are a hardy breed of horses, known for their adaptability and resilience. However, they still require regular care and maintenance for their well-being. It’s essential to provide them with sufficient space to move, graze, and interact with other horses. A clean and comfortable shelter should also be available, protecting them from inclement weather and predators.

When it comes to their diet, Mustangs should have access to good-quality hay or pasture throughout the day, as well as fresh, clean water. Grain feedings should be offered twice daily, ensuring their nutritional needs are met. Keep in mind that a healthy Mustang can weigh up to 800 lbs., so adjust their feed amounts accordingly.

Regular grooming is crucial in preventing skin infections or parasite infestation. Use a variety of brushes to groom the horse’s coat, mane, tail, and hooves. Don’t forget to check the horse’s ears and eyes, and keep them clean and free of debris. In addition, a Mustang’s hooves should be trimmed and cared for by a professional farrier every six to eight weeks.

Arabian Horse Care

Arabian horses are known for their grace and beauty, but proper care and maintenance are required to keep them in top condition. Providing these horses with adequate housing in barn stalls and ample pastures for foraging is a key part of their care. Ensure clean water is available for the horse and timely feeding is conducted, keeping the horse’s body weight in consideration as mentioned in Horsy Planet.

Like Mustangs, Arabian horses also require daily grooming. Brush their entire bodies, including the legs, knees, and hock. As these horses have more delicate facial features, use a soft brush to groom their faces gently, brushing the top of the nose, forehead, cheeks, and around the eyes as suggested by wikiHow Pet.

Regular exercise is essential for maintaining an Arabian horse’s physical and mental health. Ensure that they receive daily workouts to keep them fit and active. Lastly, establish a consistent schedule for visits to the veterinarian to monitor their health and address any potential medical concerns.

Accessibility and Availability

Arabian Horse Jumping in Joy

When comparing the accessibility and availability of Mustang and Arabian horses, it is important to consider both the market for these breeds and the specific traits that prospective buyers may seek. In this section, we will discuss the availability of Mustang and Arabian horses in the market and the factors that may influence a buyer’s decision.

Mustangs in the Market

Mustangs are known for their hardiness, versatility, and free-spirited nature. As descendants of horses brought to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors, Mustangs have adapted to various climates and environments across the United States. Their compact size, muscular build, and varied coat colors make them a popular choice among horse enthusiasts.

Due to their wild origins, Mustangs are often found through adoption programs run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the United States. These programs work towards the management of wild herds and provide a channel for enthusiasts to adopt a Mustang. BLM adoption events are held throughout the year, and the Modoc National Forest is one such location where these events take place.

Mustangs can also be found through breeders who specialize in breeding and training these horses. Prices for Mustangs can vary depending on factors such as age, training, and lineage.

Arabian Horses in the Market

The Arabian breed is known for its elegance, athleticism, and endurance. As one of the oldest and most influential horse breeds in the world, Arabians have played a significant role in the development of many modern breeds. Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, these horses are now bred worldwide.

Arabian horses are available for purchase through breeders, sales auctions, and private transactions. The value of an Arabian horse can fluctuate based on factors such as pedigree, conformation, and performance abilities. According to, Arabian horses typically stand at an average height of about 15 hands (60 inches or 152 cm) and weigh between 800 to 1,000 pounds (360 to 450 kg). Their coat, tail, and mane are characterized by fine, silky hair, with gray being the most common color.

Arabian horses are often sought after for their versatility and adaptability in various equine disciplines, such as endurance racing, show jumping, and dressage. Their loyal and sensitive nature also makes them excellent companions for those looking for a horse with strong bonding potential.


In conclusion, both Mustang and Arabian horses have their own unique characteristics and strengths. While the Mustang is known for its compact size and powerful build, the Arabian horse is revered for its speed, stamina, and beauty.

Arabians have been developed as a breed since the 7th century and have contributed their qualities to most modern breeds of light horses. They are highly intelligent and gentle, with distinctive facial features and a shorter stature compared to other horse breeds. This makes them ideal for endurance races and equestrian competitions.

On the other hand, Mustangs are known for their adaptability and resilience, having descended from the Spanish horses brought to the Americas. They have a wide range of coat colors and patterns and are well-suited for various environments.

Ultimately, the choice between a Mustang and an Arabian horse depends on the individual’s preference and their intended use for the horse. Both breeds offer exceptional qualities and can be excellent companions depending on the rider’s needs and experience.