August 06, 2008 | | Comments 0

Australian Stock Horse

The Australian Stock Horse: Answering Every Horse Owner’s Needs

Along with the Waler, the Australian Stock Horse is a source of enduring pride. Both horse breeds maintain similar origins along with the Brumby but are now distinct breeds. Throughout the years, the Stock Horse breed has risen from being the product of other breeds into a recognized international breed.

The Birth of Australian Stock Horses

Horses were not born on the early untamed expanse of Australia. They were instead, introduced. The introduction of horses in Australia was in 1788 when the first shipment of horses arrived. Of course, only the best and strongest breeds were considered for the voyage. Even with the natural hardiness of such breeds as the Thoroughbred and the Arabian however, there was still a recognized need for an even more special horse. It was then that the breeding of the Australian Stock Horses began. These horses were bred to withstand not just the Australian environment but the demands of multiple work tasks as well.

Many Australian Stock Horses exhibit dominant Thoroughbred traits. In recent decades however, the Quarter Horse has also been introduced to help improve the Stock Horse breed.

Although the Stock Horse was already well-known, it was only in 1971 that they received proper international exposure. The Stock Horse came to be known as a separate breed when the Australian Stock Horse Society was formed. Experts evaluated horses for inclusion into the Stock Horse stud book. Today, the organization is focused on ensuring the purity of the Stock Horse line and encouraging its popularity as a true Australian breed.

Australian Stock Horse Traits

Australian Stock Horses were bred to endure. Although the horses do not carry excessive bulk, they can grow up to 16 hands and have solid muscles, wide backs and deep chests. Their apparent ability to withstand strain and pressure was borne out of the practice of removing weak horses during breeding. After all, strong horses were what the early settlers could afford to keep. The movement into the inner sections of Australia required horses that could move fast and work hard. Stock Horses were initially put to work to clear fields, carry people, pull loads and herd cattle.

Today, horses are rarely used for farm work. Mechanized farming has taken over many of the functions of the farm Stock Horse. Nonetheless, stock horses have retained the bravery and stamina which they were bred for. They are also noted for their intelligence, agility and quiet disposition.

It is because of their enduring traits that they have excelled in a variety of activities. Stock Horses have shown great aptitude in dressage, polo, endurance riding, show jumping, campdrafting and a variety of other horse sports events. It is in events like polo in which these horses display their commendable agility. Of course, Stock Horses remain perfect for plain riding and display events as well.

From humble beginnings, the Stock Horse has truly become a source of tremendous Australian pride. Owning one and being a member of the Australian Stock Horse Society is a great privilege that is also a sign of refinement and taste.

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