Sinosheep.com - Full Article
By admin | December 9th, 2009
The Australian Stock Horse evolved through selective breeding in response to the demands of the environment. The history of the breed began in 1788 with the arrival of the First Fleet which brought the first horses to the colony of N.S.W., as the whole of eastern Australia was then known. These horses were of English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock; later importations included more Thoroughbreds, Arabs and Timor and Welsh Mountain ponies.
Horses arriving in the colony needed strength and stamina - not only to survive the long sea voyage (which took between nine and twelve months) - but also to work in foreign, untamed environment which had become their
home. After the crossing of the Blue Mountains as settlers ventured inland, strong and reliable horses became a necessity. Explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers all relied on horses which could travel long distances day after day. Weak horses were culled, and only the stronger types were used to breed the sturdy saddle horses essential for the colony's development.