American Saddlebred Horses
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About American Saddlebred HorsesAbout American Saddlebred Horses



American Saddlebred Horses originated from Galloway and Hobbie horses imported from Britain. These two breeds were crossed to create the Narragansett Pacer, which was crossed to the Thoroughbred in the 1700s to produce the elegant American Horse, used for both riding and driving. Arabian and Morgan blood was later added to create the American Saddlebred. The American Saddlebred is considered the ultimate show horse. Horses are exhibited in driving, English - most notably saddleseat - and western classes.

American Saddlebred horses averaging 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches, 152 to 163 cm) in height. They are known for their sense of presence and style, as well as for their spirited, yet gentle, temperament. They may be of any color, including pinto patterns, which have been acknowledged in the breed since the late 1800s. They are considered a gaited breed, as some Saddlebreds are bred and trained to perform four-beat ambling gaits, one being a "slow gait" that historically was one of three possible ambling patterns, and the much faster rack. The breed does have a hereditary predisposition to lordosis, a curvature of the spine, as well as occupational predispositions to upper respiratory and lameness issues.

 Since the mid-1800s, American Saddlebred horses have played a prominent part in the US horse show industry, and are called the "peacock of the horse world". They have attracted the attention of numerous celebrities, who have become breeders and exhibitors, and purebred and partbred American Saddlebreds have appeared in several films and TV including:
  • My Friend Flicka
  • National Velvet
  • Fury
  • Black Beauty
  • Mr. Ed
  • Giant
  • Star Trek Generations (William Shatner, an actor and Saddlebred breeder, rode one of his own horses, a mare named Great Belles of Fire, in his role as James T. Kirk in Star Trek Generations)

Saddlebreds are mainly known for their performance in the show ring, but can also be seen in competition in several other English riding disciplines and combined driving, as well as being used as a pleasure riding horse. 

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