The Barb of North Africa is the second of the world's foundation breeds, like its neighbour the Arab, it is a desert horse.
The Barb is a somewhat taller build than the desert Arabian, on longer legs and measures on average 150 cm (close to 15 hands) in the withers. The head of the Barb is less refined, seldom straight, mostly bulged either in the forehead only, or in the entire head profile (Roman nose/head). The eyes are smaller, not round but more egg shaped and the nostrils are not round shaped and wide like in the Arabian. The face structure is longer and the jaws are not as wide as the Arabian horse. The Barb’s neck is longer, lower set and often bent backwards (U-neck/Elk neck). The back is longer, with sloping hindquarters and lower set tail. It is quite obvious, considering the characteristics in the shape of the head that the Barb’s blood is mixed with the western horse.