Australia had almost NO horses until about 200 years ago. Settlers from Europe imported horses from Europe and South Africa including the English Thoroughbred, Arabs, Shire, Percheron, Clydesdale, Norfolk Roadster, Welsh and Dartmoor ponies, Fell ponies, Cleveland Bay and others. Imported into New South Wales they were bred and developed into the breed which later became known as 'The Waler'
Initially used for pulling coaches, transporting goods and people the breed had great stamina and endurance. The harsh environment of Australia had selected horses able to survive with little food and an unpredicatable climate.
Exported and used by the British Indian Army in the cavalry and to transport artillery they were used in the Boer war and World War I. They were popular due to their ability to endure with little food and their action in the Middle East earned them a monument in Sydney, Australia. Walers were again used in World War II but this time for surveillance due to the increase in mechanisation within the army.
Walers were also used by the police and as stock horses. Unfortunately the breeding of Walers declined after WWII and their numbers fell. The re-establishment of the breed started in the 1980's, registered horses must be descended from original bloodlines.
Height: 13hh - 17.hh but the average is 14.2hh - 16.hh
Colour: All solid colours
Conformation: Alert and well set head with kind eyes and a strong neck. The chest provides plenty of room for the heart and lungs and the girth is deep. Good sloping shoulders with a strong back and powerful legs. The joints are big and clean with strong feet.
Temperament: Hard working and intelligent they can be spirited but are quick learners.
Walers are good all purpose riding horses.
The Waler Horse Breeders Association: http://www.walerhorses.org/
Waler Horse Society of Australia: http://www.walerhorse.com/?page_id=2
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