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January 21, 2019     
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Arabian Horses in the United States and Their Origin

by General J.M. Dickinson

Reprinted by permission of his daughter Margaret D. Fleming

Part 8 - Economy

From the standpoint of economy of upkeep, the purebred Arabian horse is a most desirable possession in these days of high cost of supplies. Due to generations of hard life on the desert, the breed has become accustomed to light feeding and is able to thrive on less than most other strains.

For the purpose of substantiating the claims made for the Arab as a good keeper, a feed test was carried on for Bazleyd for 31 days during the winter of 1934. Bazleyd is a large and powerful Arabian, standing 15:2, and weighing 1,100 pounds. During the test, the horse was kept off pasture, and was ridden daily, so as to approximate the conditions under which a pleasure saddle horse is maintained. During the 31 day test period, Bazleyd consumed 125 pounds of oats, 90 pounds of bran, and 382 pounds of hay. The oats were of the usual low quality available in Tennessee, and the hay was grass hay grown on the farm. His average for the period was 4 pounds of oats, 3 pounds of bran, and 12 pounds of hay per day, which is substantially less than the army ration. He was weighed when the test was started and when it ended, and was found to have gained 5 pounds in the month.

Though short-haired even in winter, the Arab is readily acclimated and bears sub-zero weather without blankets, rugs, and other expensive equipment. Though newly purchased Arab breeding stock comes to us with all manner of equipment, we have found that they do best without it. It should go without saying that the breed stands up under hot summer weather that often prostrates other horses.



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