The National Show Horse originated as an Arabian / American Saddlebred cross and has been a separate breed since the formation of the National Show Horse Registry (NSHR) in 1981. As of 2009, the only requirement for NSHR eligibility is that the horse must contain at least 50% Arabian blood.


The National Show Horse is an athletic, beautiful, and refined animal with both natural presence at rest and extreme brilliance when animated. The small, refined head features large eyes, small ears and a straight or slightly concave profile. The neck is very long and shapely, set high on the shoulder with pronounced withers. The short back has a relatively level topline; the legs have long forearms and short cannon bones in front with long pasterns front and back; the flowing tail is naturally high-set.

In motion, the National Show Horse displays high head carriage, balanced power from the hindquarters, and an elevated front end. Some are five-gaited, performing an additional slow gait and rack. The breed can be found in a variety of colours including black, bay, grey, chestnut, and occasionally pinto or palomino, and range in size from 14.3-16.2 hands.


Primarily used in saddle seat competitions, the National Show Horse is also suitable for pleasure driving, under-saddle English and western pleasure classes, dressage, show hack, halter classes and sidesaddle.

For more information, visit:
National Show Horse Registry