It may seem a bit premature to be talking about the traditional uses of the Quarab since the first registries for this cross bred horse have only been in existence since 1989 and the Painted Quarab Index added just a few years ago in 1991. In reality the Arabian and Quarter Horse breeds are some of the most important foundation breeds for horses worldwide, so their historical uses are well defined. As breeders began to see the highlighting of various characteristics in the Quarab, the emphasis on using these cross bred horses to enhance traditional types of uses continues to be a focus for many Quarab owners and breeders.
Endurance is one of the major events that the Arabian type of Quarab excels at. The extra size and muscling of the Quarter horse enhances the Arabians natural endurance and stamina as well as their sure-footed ability to travel through rough terrain. Many larger riders also feel more balanced on the slightly stockier body frame of the Quarab over the pure Arabian and the calmer temperament of the Quarter horse has made the Quarab a more suitable cross for many novice riders or the slightly more competitive and high strung temperament of some of the Arabians.
As with any type of Quarter Horse cross a good amount of the nimbleness and agility of the breed is passed into the Quarab. In addition, the Quarter Horse's natural ability to work as a stock horse and his or her ability to seem to be able to understand and anticipate what livestock will do next has proven to hold true in the Quarab. Many Quarabs are now seen competing in traditional Quarter Horse events such as reining, roping, penning, and even in cutting competitions. The Arabian influence has added an additional flair to the presentation of the horse and has also improved speed and competitive nature. This combination of additional speed, natural agility, and a good understanding of what will happen next with regards to the livestock have had a big impact in competitive circles.
Driving, a sport or event that Quarter Horses and Arabians are not considered traditionally used in, has become popular in many Quarab shows. These driving events may be single horse or teams, and the wonderful color variations of the Quarab combined with their natural showy gaits makes them ideal for pleasure or competitive driving.
Dressage, show jumping and hunter events have traditionally not been part of the Quarter Horse usage, but they are typical of the Arabian. The Quarab is a good balanced horse for these types of events, particularly at the lower and beginning levels of competition. The generally good disposition and temperament of the Quarab makes it an ideal transition horse for a younger rider in these disciplines that is moving up from pony classes to horse classes. Some of the Arabian lines are amazing jumpers for their relatively small size and the Quarabs really can excel in these types of competitions.
There are a great many other types of events that Quarabs are being used in and short track racing, eventing and even gymkhana are all popular competitions to find a good number of Quarabs placing in top spots at most shows and events.