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.
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.Wild horses or burros are free-roaming equines of the North American west that the BLM manages and protects to ensure they will live in perpetuity on the western public lands.
These horses and burros have been living in the west for hundreds of years and are most recently influenced by the settlement of the West. You will see hints of various breeds in the wild horses, but 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.
The Morgan horse is one of the earliest horse breeds developed in the United States. Tracing back to the foundation sire Figure, later named Justin Morgan after his best-known owner, Morgans served many roles in 19th-century American history, being used as coach horses and for harness racing, as general riding animals, and as cavalry horses during the American Civil War on both sides of the conflict. Morgans have influenced other major American breeds, including the American Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse and the Standardbred. During the 19th and 20th centuries, they were exported to other countries, including England, where they influenced the breeding of the Hackney horse. In 1907, the US Department of Agriculture established the US Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury, Vermont for the purpose of perpetuating and improving the Morgan breed; the farm was later transferred to the University of Vermont. The first breed registry was established in 1909, and since then many organizations in the US, Europe and Oceania have developed. There are estimated to be over 175,000 Morgan horses in existence worldwide as of 2005.
The breed origin can be traced to medieval times when writings told of an Oriental breed of horse found in the Southern Tyrolean Mountains of present day Austria and northern Italy. Many of the villages and farms in the Tyrol were accessible only by narrow paths requiring agile and surefooted horses for transportation and packing. The specialty of the Haﬂinger lies, of course, in its unique golden chestnut coloring with a long, ﬂowing white mane and tail. But more unique is the people-loving, willing and forgiving temperament that was established over centuries of living alongside and working with the mountain peasants, serving all purposes for all family members. The modern Haﬂinger is now found all over the world, active in such varied disciplines as dressage, jumping, vaulting, packing, pleasure driving, CDE, western, trail riding, CTE, endurance riding, hitch work and therapeutic riding programs. Haﬂingers hold their own in competition with other breeds, often showing surprising athleticism and strength for their size. The Haﬂinger continues to capture hearts and enrich lives as it has for over two centuries. Horse lovers desiring an equine companion that is safe, versatile, dependable, and beautiful have discovered the Haﬂinger. Intelligence, character, willingness, grace, stamina, athleticism, and long life make the Haﬂinger a wise choice for everyone.