COMMON HORSE BREEDS
|AUSTRALIAN STOCK HORSE
Photo supplied by the Australian Stock Horse Society Ltd - NSW ©
Horses are not native to Australia. The Ancestors of the Australian Stock Horse were
imported in small numbers at the end of the 18th century from South Africa and are
believed to be of Arabian and Barb blood. Eventually more horses where imported from
England, mainly Thoroughbred and Arabians who were tough enough for the rough conditions
in Australia. Due to the settlers keen interest in horse racing Thoroughbreds became very
popular at the beginning of the 19th century. The horses that developed had a good
temperament, were tough and reliable and able to work under saddle and in harness. They
were used to clear timber, plough the land and herd sheep and cattle. These horses were
known as Waler named after New South Wales. Walers were sought after by the cavalry due to
their courage, soundness and stamina.
In 1971 the term Stock Horse was introduced. The modern day Stock Horse is a descendant of
the Waler. It is believed that it was also influenced by Quarter Horses, Clydesdales,
Suffolk Punch and various pony breeds which were all imported into Australia.
There is no set type within the breed. The best horses are similar to the Thoroughbred.
The Arabian influence can also still be seen.
Head: intelligent head, broad
forehead, kind eyes, wide nostrils
Neck: good length for rein
Shoulders: sloping, well defined withers
Body: deep chest; medium length, strong back; well sprung ribs;
Legs: sound limbs; clean joints; clean, flat bone
Feet: sound, hard, straight
Color: any solid color
Height: 15 to 16.3hh
Temperament: good natured,
Qualities: tough, enduring, reliable, courageous,
The Australian Stock Horse is an outstanding horse for cattle herding and still in great
demand. It is a good general riding horse and suitable for competitions, rodeos, campdrafting,
show jumping, dressage, polo and polocrosse