Now located at the world-class Murieta Equestrian Center, the Western States Horse Expo offers you a unique experience that even the pickiest of horse owners will embrace. Bring your show horses, breeding stallions or latest foal crop and introduce them to tens of thousands of horse owners from all over the world while driving up exposure for your breeders and show managers! Stop singing to the choir and meet individuals who are eager to learn about the variety of breed options available to them.
As an attendee, you can learn more about your favorite breed directly from the associations or fall in love with a new breed and see them in action as they demonstrate their athletic ability, trainable minds and diverse natures. Take a stroll through the Breed Barns and meet the horses and the people that love and care for them. See the slider below to discover the breeds who will be participating in this year’s program!
The Arabian originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.
The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people, often being brought inside the family tent for shelter and protection from theft. Selective breeding for traits including an ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. The Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war. This combination of willingness and sensitivity requires modern Arabian horse owners to handle their horses with competence and respect.
The Arabian is a versatile breed. Arabians dominate the discipline of endurance riding, and compete today in many other fields of equestrian activity. They are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the world. They are now found worldwide, including the United States and Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, continental Europe, South America (especially Brazil), and their land of origin, the Middle East.
The Gypsy Horse, also known as a Gypsy Vanner or Gypsy Cob, originates from the UK and Ireland. They have the appearance of a small draft type, standing generally between 13 and 16 hands in height and characterized by a “sweet” head, well-muscled, powerful build, a well-rounded hip that is commonly referred to as a “Apple Butt”, abundant mane and tail and long hair/feather on the lower legs. They possess an incredibly gentle and willing temperament making them the ideal choice for many youth and amateur riders. Gypsy horses are commonly known for their eye catching black and white tobiano coloring but they also come in a variety of colors and patterns such as appaloosa, buckskin and blue roan. They are descended from a combination of Shires, Clydesdales, Friesians, Fell and Dales Ponies with their origins in the Romany gypsy community of the UK and Ireland. These horses were originally bred by the Romany people to pull their wagons or “caravans” known as Vardos. Today, the Gypsy Horse is excelling in nearly all riding disciplines as well as driving.
The mustang is a free-roaming horse of the American west that first descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Mustangs are often referred to as wild horses, but because they are descended from once-domesticated horses, they are properly defined as feral horses. The original mustangs were Colonial Spanish horses, but many other breeds and types of horses contributed to the modern mustang, resulting in varying phenotypes. Most contain a greater genetic mixture of ranch stock and more recent breed releases, while a few are relatively unchanged from the original Iberian stock, most strongly represented in the most isolated populations.
They are bred by Mother Nature to survive in a tough desert environment. Strong, intelligent, with good bone, and very hardy, wild horses can be trained to do anything their domestic cousins do. Wild burros are gentled and often trained for livestock guardians, riding, packing, and driving. These lovable animals make wonderful companions for horses.
In 1971, the United States Congress recognized wild horses and burros as living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.
The beauty of the Morgan horse lifts the heart. The breed exists solely because they please people. It’s their heritage.
The Morgan is easily recognized by his proud carriage, upright graceful neck, blended with soundness of limb, athleticism, and stamina. In addition, Morgan thriftiness and longevity have made this breed a good bargain for more than 200 years—easy to love and affordable to own.
The Morgan horse is free moving and calm under western tack or elegant and aristocratic when ridden in English style. A tractable temperament allows the Morgan to excel when driving in single or multiple hitches.
Companionable and comfortable on a quiet pleasure ride anywhere open skies beckon, working as a sensible partner in a long day of ranch work or endurance riding, waiting alert and ready to enter a show ring, or performing in formal riding disciplines, the Morgan is a versatile horse within a versatile breed. The Morgan horse agreeably adapts to his owner’s lifestyle. This first American breed can be found worldwide.
Reliable, loyal, tireless, and versatile, a Morgan becomes one with people with of all ages and walks of life and shares the mutual enjoyment in every equine pastime.
The Haflinger is an old breed of small horse that originated in the Tyrolean mountains of Austria. Originally the family farm horse of the peasants who resided in this region, the Haflinger was called-upon to perform reliably, capably, and cheerfully under harsh conditions. Whether the job was to plow steep fields, provide transportation in the worst winter storm, pack heavy loads or pull fallen trees, Haflingers did it all.
The attributes of the modern Haflinger are its beauty, disposition and versatility. Years of careful breeding have resulted in a small, sturdy, sure-footed horse that does well on minimal pasture, is hardy to cold weather and has a dependable, affectionate temperament.
The combination of these breed traits makes the Haflinger ultimately suitable for all equine disciplines–truly the all-around family horse. This breed is equally at home doing farm work or dressage, competitive trail riding, Pleasure driving and driving competitions, jumping, therapeutic riding or cattle work. The Haflinger is strong enough to be comfortable mount for adults.
The Haflinger’s chestnut coloring ranges from light blonde to dark chocolate, with thick white or flaxen mane and tail. They vary in height from 13 to 15 hands and weigh from 800 to 1300 lbs. Haflingers are well-muscled, with a powerful build, sturdy bone, and large hooves. The overall impression is of a breed of exceptional conformation and beauty, with a kind eye, an intelligent expression and bearing of great vitality and nobility.