The Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc. was established in 1986 in memory of the soldiers that fought for our freedom and to honour the horses that carried them.

The Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc. was established in 1986 in memory of the soldiers that fought for our freedom and to honour the horses that carried them. In 1989 the first horses were recorded in a Waler Horse Studbook to ensure the recognition and preservation of this uniquely Australian breed once known only as a type which has become an integral part of Australian History. Soon after the society began, it was established by foundation members that a number of the properties from where horses were being culled were actually old remount properties which had maintained the original breed lines of horses used in the various wars but by 1946 the need for remounts was phasing out and the export trade drastically reduced. After the horse trade to India came to a standstill in the 1960's, Walers ceased to be commercially bred and many were simply abandoned to run wild on outback stations and breeding in other parts of Australia was scaled down.

Walers running wild on these outback properties, those horses descendant of remounts became the chief source of retaining and re-establishing Australian horses, not as a type, but as a breed with over two hundred years of breeding. The crusade to save these horses became the work of The Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc, its aim to procure enough of the horses from these old bloodlines to begin a Studbook for the Waler horses. This happened at a crucial time, for the eradication of all feral animals was well under way (Government decreed) and another five years would indeed have seen the extinction of the Waler as they have probably all gone from the bush

During the initial years of the WHSA it was only through the tireless, dedicated and costly efforts of early members that several truckloads of Walers were saved from eradication and relocated to securer homes throughout Australia which has developed to form the basis of our breeding stock today.

From the mid 1940's no new blood, that is no other breeds, were crossed to these existing Walers. Therefore, all Walers today must be from bloodlines that came to Australia before 1945. Horses that are crossed with any other breeds arriving after 1945 will be registered as Part Bred Walers. This has been done to ensure that the breed has an uncompromising future and legendary Waler horses can live on.

In subsequent years Members have joined from all States within Australia , becoming a devoted group of enthusiastic people committed to the wellbeing and breeding of Walers. With the establishment of a Studbook, this Australian horse faces a bright future with members actively involved in demonstrating its talent, versatility and beneficial contribution to the equine world.

Defining the Waler

A handsome outstanding horse showing remarkable bone and robustness, the Waler has many excellent attributes. Its jumping ability is well known and can be seen in the length of gaskin, splendid quarters and well-formed hocks. His comfort as a riding horse shows in his long ground-covering walk coming from a good, well sloped shoulder, strong back, powerful legs, big clean joints and correctly sloped pasterns, at an angle corresponding to the shoulder. His stamina and endurance are unsurpassed, his chest spaced for plenty of heart and lung room, his girth deep and his ribs well sprung. A strong head with an alert appearance, wide set kind eyes, well positioned onto a graceful but strong neck with a good length of rein. As befitting a cavalry horse, some carry their heads high, to protect the rider. His make-up originates from a diverse mix of pony, draught, coach and riding horse.

  • From the pony he has gained agility and hardiness.
  • From the draught, mighty bone and strength, a big gut so he can do well, broad back and magnificent hindquarters.
  • From his coaching predecessors he gained good wind, hard hooves and iron legs.
  • From the thoroughbred, he inherited speed, grace, courage, a good shoulder, deep girth and well-formed joints.
  • From his early breeding days on huge stations, and subsequent years in the wild, he has learned to survive, as few horses can, to live well and prosper on the basics and does not seek nor need the soft life.

Colouring is predominantly solid bay, chestnut, black, brown and grey. Some taffy colouring may be seen in the mane and tail. White leg and facial markings and some feathering are not uncommon however a darker colouring, skin pigment and hooves are preferred to ensure the horse remains sound, strong and minimally affected by harsh environmental conditions. His feet are tough and open, with a well defined frog, not flattened underneath to avoid stone bruising or sliding in sand and mud. Perhaps heavier than is fashionable, intelligent, versatile, with an easy flowing movement, a quiet friendly temperament that takes kindly to humans, the Waler is truly a horse for all seasons.


WHSA Membership/Waler Registration

Anyone can join the Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc., you don't need to own a Waler to become a member, but if you do own Walers you will need to become a member to register your horses or to compete with them in Waler breed classes at Agricultural Shows. When you become a member of the WHSA you will receive a Information Kit, a bi-monthly newsletter, providing more privileged information about Walers and the WHSA, and you will be helping in maintaining a future for this truly Australian breed.

To join the WHSA, update existing membership, apply for Waler registration or foal recording please contact WHSA Secretary for the relevant forms.