In the late 20th century, saddleseat riders wanted to competitive horses that could compete in the half-Arabian classes. Arabian breeder Gene LaCroix noticed that Saddlebred-Arabian crosses seemed to win consistently, so in 1980 he decided he would start crossing the two breeds. The result was a flashy, graceful horse with lively gaits and a lot of stamina. In August of 1981, the National Show Horse Registry was founded.
|National Show Horse doing the hack. credit|
Over the past thirty years, the horse has gained popularity among saddleseat riders, earning it the title the National Show Horse(NSH). Now, more than 15,000 National Show Horses are registered. Though at first it was a cross-breed horse, several generations has caused it to develop into it's own unique breed.
Breed Description and Uses
The National Show Horse has traits from both the Arabian and Saddlebred. It's stamina comes from the Arabian, while it inherits it's flashy, animated gaits from the Saddlebred. The NSH's face is often slightly concave, like an Arabian's, and comes complete with large, expressive eyes. The neck is crested and almost upright, which comes from the Saddlebred. The withers are prominent and the shoulder is sloping. Also like the Arabian, the tail is usually high-set. National Show Horses come in every color, even pinto.
The National Show Horse excels at saddleseat, which it was bred for, and can execute the rack, a fast, four-beat gait with lots of knee action. In addition to saddleseat, the NSH does well in equitation classes, Western pleasure, and dressage.