National Show Horse

National Show Horse 1
© Howard Schatzberg



The National Show Horse is a relatively new American breed whose registry was not founded until 1981.

Representing the epitome of the modern day show horse, a National Show Horse was originally a combination of the best of two breeds, the Arabian and the American Saddlebred. Beginning in 2011, the National Show Horse will expand its influence and will accept to its registry a horse representing a combination of Arabian and any other breed as long as the resulting offspring possesses a minimum of 50% Arabian blood.


Breed Standard

The National Show Horse shall strive to produce an athletic horse which retains size, beauty and refinement.

Class125 - $3750 NSH English Pls Grand Champ - Jonny B Goo (c)Howard Schatzberg
© Howard Schatzberg


Specifically, the following traits are desirable:

A. Motion. Balanced and obvious power from the hindquarters flowing into an elevated front end, the front legs showing both flexion and extension;
B. Neck. Very long, set high on the shoulder and relatively upright with fine throatlatch. The neck should be shapely but without a pronounced crest;
C. Head. Relatively small, short and refined with large eyes and small, well placed ears and a straight or slightly concave profile (a "Roman nosed" or convex profile is not desirable);
D. Pronounced withers and a very deep and well laid back shoulder;
E. Proportionately short back closely coupled with a long hip and relatively level top line (moderately sloping croup not to be penalized);
F. Legs. Correct from all angles with long forearms and short cannon bones in front and long, well angled pasterns front and rear;
G. Refinement of bone but not lacking in substance, especially in the chest, girth, shoulder and hip;
H. A relatively high set tail, natural and flowing;
I. When observed at rest or in motion, the horse must exhibit a natural presence and, when animated, extreme brilliance. The horse must exhibit high carriage when showing or relaxed

The Breed Today

A typical National Show Horse stands between 14.3 and 16.2 hands in height and can be grey, bay, black, chestnut, and even palomino or pinto in color. 

NSH Finals 2008
© Howard Schatzberg


Due in large part to their natural upright carriage and lofty animated action, the National Show Horse is predominately ridden saddle seat in English pleasure and gaited classes, or driven as a fine harness or pleasure driving horse.

However, their inherent dynamism, athleticism, and willing disposition make this extremely versatile breed equally successful in a wide variety of classes, including hunter pleasure, Western pleasure, show hack, and dressage. The combination of beauty, stamina, agility, grace, charisma, and flowing athleticism results in the versatility of the National Show Horse, a trait that underlies its popularity and makes the breed particularly appealing as a show horse with which every member of the family can become involved.


About the National Show Horse Registry

National Show Horse 2
© Howard Schatzberg

The National Show Horse Registry (NSHR) was created to meet a growing need within the equine industry for beautiful show horses with athletic ability. This triggered a new excitement including substantial prize money incentives in the show ring and developed a broader base for the show horse industry. We have fulfilled our original mission and adapted with changes to assure our future growth.
The National Show Horse was originally based only on the Arabian and Saddlebred cross. In our almost 30 years of existence we have evolved into a multi-discipline USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) recognized breed. The NSHR offers considerable prize money in multiple show ring disciplines. The expanded NSHR permits ALL Half-Arabian crosses to compete for these notable monetary awards. A National Show Horse is only required to possess 50% Arabian blood. The other half can be of any other breed. This means that ALL Half Arabians are welcome. The NSHR has also streamlined the registration process.

The National Show Horse Registry believes our members deserve a fun and rewarding experience in exchange for their hard earned money. We are committed to providing this for all our exhibitors and have a long track record to prove it. We would be thrilled to have you join us!


Additional Information

For additional information contact:

    National Show Horse Registry
    PO Box 862
    Lewisburg, OH 45338
    (937) 962-4336
    [email protected]