Half-Arabian Horse Breeds: Quarab

The Quarab horse is an athletic combination of the Arabian and the Quarter Horse or Paint.


The Quarab is the cross of an Arabian with either a Quarter Horse or Paint. With American roots, Quarabs were bred starting in the 1960s.

Palomino Quarab Horse cantering
By Yellecaitlin [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
“About 20 percent of the horses registered with the American Half Quarter Horse Registry (AHQHR) are Quarabs, which equates to about 1,200 horses of the 6,210 registered with the AHQHR,” says Margaret Morris, AHQHR president.

To be registered with the AHQHR, the Quarab’s Quarter Horse or Paint Horse parent must be registered with the American Quarter Horse Association or American Paint Horse Association. Or, the foal of two AHQHR parents can be registered.

“With the AHQHR, it is not necessary for the Arabian parent to be registered, but a Quarab that has both parents registered is considered a distinct cross,” says Morris.

Quarabs range from 14 to 16 hands, come in all colors, and combine the intelligence and trainability of both breeds.

“Quarabs excel at western disciplines, including reining, cutting and team penning—not surprising considering their stock-horse lineage,” says Morris. In addition, their owners enjoy jumping, dressage, driving and trail riding. Many Quarabs also do well in endurance riding.

“The Quarab is such a popular cross because it combines the athleticism and highly sought-after bloodlines of the Quarter Horse with the endurance, refined look and beautiful head of the Arabian,” says Morris. “They generally have great temperaments while also retaining wonderful spirit and fire.”

Washington-based amateur owner Erin Blum sums it up when describing her Quarab gelding, Najahs Last Stand. “Since starting his career under saddle, he’s proved extremely versatile, level-headed, and pretty bombproof,” she says. “He gladly works cattle and enjoys ranch sorting, and he can easily get his head in the game in the dressage arena, where he is schooling Training and First Level.” Blum is expanding Najahs’ show repertoire with western pleasure and hunter under saddle divisions on the open circuit.

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This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. Click here to subscribe!



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