Australian Stock Horse


PetMD Editorial

. Reviewed by Courtnee Morton, DVM
Updated Aug. 30, 2023
Australian stock horse

Reviewed for accuracy January 31, 2023.

The Australian Stock Horse, once called a Waler, is actually a riding horse. But throughout history, this horse has been used mainly for work rather than riding. It’s good for both purposes and is quite a common breed.

Physical Characteristics

The ideal Australian Stock Horse has an alert head, sloped shoulders, well-defined withers, and deep chest. Standing between 14.2 and 16 hands high (56-64 inches, 142-162 centimeters), the Australian Stock Horse powerful quarters and straight legs. Additionally, all colors are accepted in the Australian Stock Horse.

Personality and Temperament

The Australian Stock Horse is a docile creature and very reliable, making it especially suitable for work in rough terrain and sports activities such as jumping.

History and Background

There was little difference between the Australian Stock Horse and the more popular "Waler" during the First World War. In fact, they were considered one and the same until 1971, when the Australian Stock Horse Society was formed and it became an official breed.

As its name implies, the Australian Stock Horse was developed or bred in Australia. The breed first started as horses were being brought over in the First Fleet in 1788. The breed developed using Thoroughbred and Spanish stock, with the later addition of Timors, Welsh Ponies, and Arab bloodlines. It was popular as a work horse and was used mostly in farms and some other industries. With the mechanization of primary industries, however, the use for this horse breed lessened, and so people’s interest in them waned. It was only in the 1960s when the Australian Stock Horse became widely used for leisure riding that the breed was revived, and its registry established.

Nowadays, the Australian Stock Horse dominates most jumping contests, and is a popular mount for riding and for sports

Health and Care

Luckily, the Australian Stock Horse has few known health issues specific to its breed. Due to its common use as a sports horse, however, it is important to provide adequate nutrition, exercise, and routine care. Because they lead active lives, joint care and supplementation may be recommended by your vet to prolong the onset of arthritis.  


Featured Image: Bloom


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