If you ask any horse owner or horse lover, they will all tell you their favorite breed and why it is better, more amazing,, and even more interesting than any other breed of horse. The National Show Horse really is special and unique from other breeds in several different ways. Probably one of the most obvious is that this breed was developed completely for one purpose based on the qualities seen in the two breeds selected as its foundation. Unlike many breeds that evolved through generations of breeding and adding in new stock for refinement and changes, the National Show Horse can only be either a Registered Arabian and a Registered American Saddlebred cross, or can be from a registered National Show Horse mare and stallion or any cross of the above. This eliminates any other breeds or horses from being considered or registered as a National Show Horse. Arabians and American Saddlebreds that are being used in breeding for National Show Horses must be approved by the National Show Horse Registry, thereby ensuring a uniformity and consistency throughout the breed.
The National Show Horse is one of the new breeds of designer type horses that have been bred for the show ring since with a separate registry since the early 1980's. These horses have the crowd pleasing gaits as well as the fire and spirit that truly draw attention to these horses in and out of the ring. They have, however, also inherited the loyalty, courage and personalities that have made the Arabian and the American Saddlebred such popular horses. Although primarily both the Arabian and the American Saddlebred are riding horses, they National Show Horse excel in driving competitions and events. The rack gait is the highly extended front leg movement seen in many of the driving horses, combined with the refinement and elegance of the breed standard for the NSH.
The National Show Horse is also unique in that the number of horses registered is dramatically increasing each year. These horses are highly valued as show horses, dressage horses, driving horses and even pleasure riding horses. Since the breed standard allows for horses from 14.3 hands all the way up to 16.2 hands, this is a breed that is ideal for smaller riders as well as taller riders. Most breeds have a very limited height range, which makes it harder to match very tall or very petite riders to a horse within the breed. The National Show Horse is a horse that requires experienced rider equitation as well as working with a well-trained horse a new rider certainly can ride a National Show Horse after they have gained experience. The National Show Horse Registry is one of the few registries that promote the development of amateur riding classes to allow new riders to have the ability to compete with other riders of the same level. These amateur classes are for children, young adults as well as older riders that are just getting involved with the breed.