The Arabian is commonly believed to be the oldest horse breed in the world. According to the Arabian Horse Association, archaeological evidence suggests that Arabian horses were domesticated around 2500 B.C. and present on the Arabian Peninsula long before this. However, there is some debate as to this timeline.
It is unknown whether early Arabian horses were first used for work or riding. As of 2014, the breed is a common choice for endurance riding. Its adaptations to desert life, which include large nostrils, large eyes and deep, well-angled hips, make them well-suited to endurance riding's demands. The Arabian has contributed to the development of many other light horse breeds, including the thoroughbred, American Saddlebred and Morgan.