American Saddlebred

The American Saddlebred, formerly known as the American Saddle Horse, is a breed of horse that was developed in Kentucky by plantation owners. Today, in the horse show world, they are most commonly seen under saddle in Saddle seat style riding, and in various types of driving, including pleasure driving and various types of fine harness competition. They are also occasionally seen in other disciplines including dressage, hunter/jumper, and western riding. They also are popular parade mounts and used for trail riding due to their comfortable gait and steady temperament.

Characteristics:

The ideal American Saddlebred is well-proportioned and presents a beautiful overall picture. Large, wide-set expressive eyes and gracefully shaped ears set close together are positioned on a well-shaped head. The neck is long with a fine, clean throatlatch and is arched and well-flexed at the poll. The American Saddlebred sports well-defined and prominent withers, while the shoulders are deep and sloping. Well-sprung ribs and a strong level back also characterize the breed. The legs are straight with broad flat bones, sharply defined tendons and sloping pasterns. Saddlebreds are usually black, bay, or chesnut, but grays, buckskins, palominos, pintos and occasionally roans are also seen. The average height is 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches, 152 to 163 cm), but can range from 14.2 to 17 hands (58 to 68 inches, 147 to 173 cm).

Saddlebreds can also be five-gaited, performing not only the walk, trot, and canter, but also ambling gaits known as the slow-gait and the rack. The slow gait is one of three possible four-beat gaits performed at a relatively slow speed only slightly faster than the walk, with substantial knee action. The slow gait may be the lateral, even-tempo singlefoot, the lateral, asynchronous stepping pace, or the diagonal fox trot. The rack is a ground-covering lateral four-beat gait, and is much faster, with the horse snapping their knees and hocks up quickly.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: