Did you know that there are over three-hundred and fifty (350) breeds of horses recognized in the world today? Many of us only get to meet a few in our equestrian experiences. The Western States Horse Expo and various breed associations from around the country have, over the last twenty years, created a fun opportunity for Attendees to experience some of the more unique breeds of horse in an event known as the Breed Revelation. Attendees will get to see this unique and rare breeds in action in the arena as they demonstrate their athletic ability, trainable minds and diverse natures. Attendees can also stroll through the Breed Revelation barn and meet the horses and the Associations that love, care and promote them. Be sure to take time and experience and interact with these rare and unique breeds during your “Horse Expo Experience” and craft memories that will last a lifetime.
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 Andalusian, also known as the Pure Spanish Horse or PRE (Pura Raza Española), is a horse breed from the Iberian Peninsula, where its ancestors have lived for thousands of years. The Andalusian has been recognized as an individual breed since the 15th century, and its conformation has changed very little over the centuries. Throughout its history, it has been known for its prowess as a war horse, and was prized by the nobility. The breed was used as a tool of diplomacy by the Spanish government, and kings across Europe rode and owned Spanish horses. During the 19th century, warfare, disease and crossbreeding reduced herd numbers dramatically, and despite some recovery in the late 19th century, the trend continued into the early 20th century. Exports of Andalusians from Spain were restricted until the 1960s, but the breed has since spread throughout the world, despite their low population. In 2010, there were more than 185,000 registered Andalusians worldwide.
Strongly built, and compact yet elegant, Andalusians have long, thick manes and tails. Their most common coat color is gray, although they can be found in many other colors. They are known for their intelligence, sensitivity and docility.
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 Peruvian Paso breed traces its Spanish roots back over 475 years to when the conquistadors conquered the Inca Empire, including what later became recognized as the South American country of Peru. They carry the blood of the Andalusian, Barb and Spanish Jennet. By selective breeding, the distinctive gait, termino (swinging of the front legs in a swimming motion) and agreeable temperament were set into the horse that became the Peruvian Paso. The gait is a natural 4- beat lateral gait that produces the widely recognized smoothest ride which along with termino produces a spectacular, stylish action. Peruvian Pasos are used for trail riding, parades, exhibitions and shows. They come in most colors, and generally stand 14.1 to 15.2 hands. They usually weigh 850 to 1100lbs. The Peruvian Paso is also known for its brio, meaning its energy, arrogance and willingness to keep on going.
The Wine Country Peruvian Paso Horse Club was formed in 1991, is very active in Northern California and is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, enhancement and enjoyment of the Peruvian Paso horse. Activities of the Club include quarterly meetings/socials, a quarterly newsletter, trail rides, play days on horseback, seminars/clinics, parades and exhibitions.
NPS America promotes, supports and recognizes Mountain & Moorland and British Riding Ponies in the United States in addition to fostering the welfare of ponies in general.
The United Kingdom’s National Pony Society was developed to encourage the breeding, registration and improvement of British Riding and Mountain & Moorland ponies and to foster the welfare of ponies in general and is honored to have HRH The Princess Royal as its patron. The organization has continually recognized the importance of the Mountain & Moorland breeds – the Connemara, Dales, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Fell, Highland, New Forest, British/Scottish Shetland and Welsh ponies.
The Friesian horse is very charismatic. Their gentle and willing nature provides a strong base for versatile training. The intelligence of the Friesian leads to a rewarding partnership between horse and owner. Uses of the Friesian horse are limitless-dressage, saddle seat, trail, and pleasure riding, jumping, pleasure driving, combined driving, and more! The handsome appearance and naturally animated motion provide a noble “presence” in any show ring, parade, trail, or just in your own paddock.
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.
In life or legend, no other horse is quite like the magnificent Kiger Mesteño Mustang.
Their primitive markings and striking dun coloring are extraordinary. Their strength and spirit are outstanding, their versatility unequaled.
Descendants of horses introduced to the New World by Spanish Conquistadors, Kiger Mesteños are bold yet willing to please. They are both athletic and extremely intelligent. Add their fine qualities of stamina and sure-footedness and you have an animal that excels in many disciplines, including working equitation, endurance, driving, cow work, and dressage. Breyer Horses and movies such as Disney’s Spirit have been made about the Kiger.
Gentle, willing and intelligent, the origins of the American Bashkir Curly remains a mystery to this day! Now known to be the only HYPO-ALLERGENIC breed, those horse lovers who previously could not own a horse due to allergies, now can!! Originally found with the Mustang herds and gentled by the Damele family of central Nevada, the Curly has been used successfully in many disciplines ranging from trail and ranch work to Dressage and Stadium Jumping. They are hardy, easy keepers and people friendly. They also have been crossed with the Missouri Foxtrotter for those who prefer a gaited horse! They come in all sizes and colors!
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.
Akhal-Teke horses are known for their smooth grace, athleticism, slim, cat-like build, and their gleaming metallic coats. This breed originated from the region now known as Turkmenistan, where they were the pride of the nomadic Turkic people. These desert tribesmen cultivated the Akhal-Teke’s speed, willingness, and endurance, as the Akhal-Teke was a true part of their culture. In the 1880’s the Russian army invaded Turkmanistan and many of these exotic horses were destroyed in order to cripple the strength of the tribal warriors. Fortunately, both Russian and Turkic horsemen did what they could to save the remaining horses. Some were taken to state farms in Russia and other Soviet territories, some escaped notice in remote areas, while still others were simply set free in the desert to survive as best as they could. From these remaining horses, the modern Akhal-Teke emerged. The achievements and athleticism of Akhal-Tekes in Russia and Europe caught the eye of Americans and the first Akhal-Teke’s were imported into America in 1979. While the Akhal-Teke is still on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s threatened list, this horse is catching the attention of competitors across America. With a little over 600 purebred Akhal-Teke horses in America, many are being used as breeding stock. However, those horses that are being ridden competitively excel in their disciplines. The Akhal-Teke’s fast recovery rates, incredible stamina, smooth agility, and willing temperaments make them ideal mounts for endurance, eventing, jumping, and dressage. Akhal-Teke’s are currently being ridden for fox hunting, vaulting, and pleasure as well. Their diverse colors, metallic glow, and unique conformation make them stand out in any discipline. When speed and stamina are required, this desert breed has a natural advantage. They also thrive on variety and human contact, making them an excellent equine partner.
To learn more about the Akhal-Teke breed, please visit www.akhal-teke.org
The American Saddlebred breed has its roots back in the 18th Century when decendants of European ambling horses were crossed with Thoroughbred stock giving rise to a refined easy gaited horse – known as one of the best riding horses in the country. Throughout early American times the breed was enhanced – stamina, energy, intelligence, tractability, speed and beauty were characteristics that sold horses. The breed developed into a highly desired “family” horse that could plow a field, race for the doctor and give his rider a comfortable ride.
The breed played a big part in the Civil War, then after the war traveled back to the farm and out west. As horses became replaced by machinery, the American Saddlebred found itself headed off the roads and into the show ring. People who could not imagine a time without these horses continued breeding them and the modern Saddlebred come of age in the early 1900s. The same qualities are still there – a spirited horse with a bold disposition – trainers will say such a horse “thinks a lot of himself”. The breed has the oldest registry in the country (1891) but remains one of the smaller breeds in numbers. Fans of the breed love the horse’s athleticism, intelligence, versatility, spirit, trainability and personality. Whatever the discipline, you can’t help but feel good doing it on an American Saddlebred.