Horses are one of the most popular domestic and companion animals in Australia. Moreover, Australia is the largest inhabitant of feral or wild horses. More than 400 thousands of wild horses live in the Alps mountain in New South Wales(NSW) and many parts of Australia. Horses played a vital role in developing Australian culture, civilization, economy, and transport system. Most of the horse breeds of the world found in Australia. At the same time, few horse breeds developed or originated in Australia. In my article, I shall highlight the most common Australian horse breeds.
Most Common Australian Horse Breeds
Australia is a continent like a big island. The country has developed a lot in the last two centuries. Horses played an essential role in the development of agriculture, civilization, and the transport system. Australia is the horst of almost all common horse breeds in the world. Most of the horses were imported from different countries. Australian horse breeds are also an interesting topic to many horse lovers. I shall discuss the eight most common horse breeds that originated or developed in Australia in my article.
1. Australian Pony
Australian Pony was developed by the selective breeding of imported pony horses. The selective Pony was crossbred with sire and dams to develop as an Australian Pony. The Pony should not exceed more than 14 hands in height. The average weight of the Pony is 400 kg(900 pounds). All available horse colors are acceptable for the breed. The Pony has a good conformation, temperament, and no hereditary defects. Australian Pony is an ideal harness or riding pony.
2. Australian Draught Horse
Australian draught horse is the only draft horse breed that originated in Australia. The horse was developed in 1854 by crossbreeding of four draft horses like Clydesdale, Shire, Percheron, and Suffolk Punch. The horse was also bred with some lighter bloodlines. The horse is calm, quiet, and even temperament. The average height is about 16 to 17.2 hands (64 to 70 inches), and body weight is about 1500 to 1900 pounds. The horse having almost all colors of horses, and the white color is less desirable. The horse is a famous working horse in Australia and is also used in riding, endurance riding, and eventing.
3. Australian Riding Pony
Australian Riding pony was developed by the selective breeding of Arabian, Thoroughbred, and pony bloodline horses. Australian Riding Pony is a smaller version of Hackney Pony. The average height of the Pony is 12.2 to 14.2 hands (50 to 58 inches). The Pony is essentially a quality animal with superb conformation. The Pony is intelligent, free straight actions from shoulder to the knee, and impeccable manner—the pony ideal for kids and children, and as a show pony.
4. Australian Brumby
Brumby is the feral or wild horse in Australia. The horse is the largest wild horse on this continent. Australian Brumby’s population is about 400,000 in Australia, especially in NSW, Australian Alps, Queensland, and Northern Territory. The horse was descended at the early age of colonization and is not a native horse breed. The horse adapted to the harsh environment of Australia and started increasing. The horse is widespread in Australian literature, culture, TV show, and movies.
5. Coffin Bay Pony
Coffin Bay is a semi-feral horse of South Australia developed by the English Settlers in 1847 AD. The Coffin Bay pony ancestors was Timor Pony, imported from Indonesia in the Coffin Bay, at the Southern tip of Australia. The average height of the Pony is about 14.2 hands. The Pony is found in the bay, brown, grey, chestnut, blue, roan, dun, or solid colors. The Pony is confused with the Brumby horse of Australia, which is a truly feral horse.
6. Waler Horse of Australia
Waler horses originated in Australia during the 1880s. The horse has initially been sired by Thoroughbred, Anglo-Arabs, and Arabian horses with local mares of undetermined breeding. Many of these mares would have had heavy horse influences.
Ranging from 14.2 to 16 hands (58 to 64 inches), Walers have a general characteristic suited to a strong Warmblood-type horse with a docile, kind, and intelligent temperament. The head of the horse is proportionate to body size, the eyes are large, the legs are strong, canon bones are short, and large flat knee tending to slope pastern. They have a short back compared to height, a sloping croup, and a low-set dock and tail. The horse has a deep girth and wellspring ribs. There are three categories of Waler horses like light, medium, and heavy horses.
7. Australian Stock Horse
The Australian stock horse has been evolved over the past 150 years as Australia’s horse. Early Australia’s harsh condition and vast open space demanded a tough, durable horse with a mild manner and a comfortable canter. Infusion of Thoroughbred blood has added to the versatility of the breed.
The horse’s ideal height is 15 to 15.2 hands (60 to 62 inches), but 14 to 16 hands also acceptable. The color of the maybe any but solid horse colors are preferable. Apart from its primary role as a working stock horse, the Australian Stock Horse is now also used for camp drafting, polo, dressage, hicking Pony, show jumping, rough riding, pony club, tent pegging, and endurance riding.
8. Australian Stud Saddle Pony
The Australian Stud Saddle pony is developed from any registered pony breeds and horses with Arabian blood. It is recognized for its quiet temperament under saddle, its ability to learn, and its affectionate and loyal character. It is hardy and healthy, with strong hooved, and has a maximum height of 14.2 hands (58 inches). The horse must be of full or solid color. These ponies have achieved excellent success in all facets of show rings.
9. Australian White Horse
Their color rather than their breeding classifies Australian White horses. There are two varieties of White horses, Cremillo and Perlino. Both of the horses are termed genetically as pseudo-albino. They differ from the true albino in that they have blue eyes and little pigment in their skin.
A cremello is born of Palomino parents and has 100 percent pink skin, light blue eyes, white feet, white feet, off-white to cream body hairs, and a mane and tail were lighter than the body coat color.
Perlino horses, on the other hand, are born from Buckskin parents, or occasionally a Buckskin crossed with a Palomino. They have blue eyes, pink skin, cream body hair, and a mane and tail darker than their body hair.
10. Australian Saddle Pony
The Australian Saddle Pony is derived mostly from Australian Pony, Welsh Pony, Thoroughbred, and Arabian bloodlines. The horse is slightly heavier in bones and slightly calmer in temperament than the Australian Riding Pony. The height of these ponies varies from 11 to 14.2 hands (44 to 58 inches). The Pony color includes bay, black, grey, brown, palomino, Palouse, pinto, and buckskin. A very versatile pony, the Australian Saddle Pony is particularly suited to pony club competition.
Concluding Remarks on Australian Horse Breeds
Austalia is the hub of many horse breeds and equestrian sports. Horses played a vital role in the development of Australian culture and economy. Australian horse breeds are not so popular in other parts of the world. However, the topic is discussed and studied in Australia and many universities. In my article, I have highlighted almost all Australian origin horse breed in brief.