American Saddlebred breed information
American Saddlebred horse general information
COLORSaddlebreds come in almost all colors because registration is based on pedigree alone, with no color restrictions. Usual colors that this breed possesses are mostly bay, brown, black, grey and chestnut colors. Often, white markings are also visible.
SIZERanging in height from 15 to 17 hands height.
WEIGHTAverage weight of breed is from 1000 to 1200 pounds (454 - 545kg).
LIFE EXPECTANCYIt is usual for breed to live more then 25years (up to 35 years).
ORIGINBreed was developed in America (Kentucky & Missouri), but has it's roots in the English Gallaway, Palfrey and Ambling bloodlines, as well as the early Thoroughbred (through Messenger & the Darley Arabian) and Morgan bloodlines.
USESThe Saddlebred is seen as the peacock of show horses. It is usual to see him in jump shows and dressage. Breed is also used as pleasure horse and parade horse.
Saddleseat is a promdomanatly Saddlebred horse infused style of riding. It is an american english form of riding and showing in which Saddlebred horses are able to show off all five gaits as well as perform in driving classes and several others.
INFLUENCEThe Narragansett Pacers and the Thoroughbreds are the biggest influences in this breed. The Morgan and the Canadian also gave their contributions to the improvement of the Saddlebred.
TEMPRERAMENTThis horse is a superb riding horse with great presence and a gentle and charming nature. Saddlebreds are extremely intelligent and very people-oriented, intelligent, fun.
American Saddlebred description
The breed has a willing and "can do" temperament and genuinely like to be around people. Appearing fiery to the casual observer, they are the ultimate riding horse and can excel in any discipline. The ideal American Saddlebred is well-proportioned and presents a spectacular picture. Its head should be well-shaped with large, wide-set expressive eyes, with a long graceful neck and a tail carried high. Ideally, their ears are set close together with a “hook” at the tip. They are lightweight in build with fine chiseled features, clean through the throat and level on the croup. Renowned for having 5 gaits, in addition to walk, trot and canter, some bloodlines excel in two additional gaits, the slow gait and the rack. Both are lateral 4-beat gaits offering little movement to the ride in the saddle.
American Saddlebred history
The American Saddlebred is descended from the Narragansett Pacer, a breed that is technically "extinct" in the United States. In the early 1700s, Narragansett mares were crossed with imported English Thoroughbreds, and their descendents were known simply as the "American Horse." Horses of this type had the size and refinement of the Thoroughbred, but retained the ability to learn the pacing gaits that were the forte of their Narragansett ancestors. American Horses were particularly popular as riding horses, since their smooth gaits made them much more comfortable over long distances.
The American Horse played an essential role in the American Revolution, and by the early 1800s these sturdy horses were prized for their endurance and style. They became particularly popular in Kentucky, which claimed the breed as its own. The addition of Morgan and Standardbred blood helped to further refine the breed, and by the Civil War the American Saddlebred was one of the most popular riding horses in America. General Robert E. Lee rode a racking Saddlebred (Traveller), and so did many other Civil War generals.
Today, the American Saddlebred enjoys popularity all over the world, in such diverse places as South Africa, Holland, Australia, and Japan.
American Saddlebred health and genetic issues
Saddlebreds may be prone to stifle and hock lamenesses due to the way they carry their back ends when they move. They also may be prone to ringbone and sidebone in their front feet, which are both characterized by the formation of calcium deposits, due to the increased concussion caused by the high-stepping action.
Epitheliogenesis imperfecta (EI) is a hereditary junctional mechanobullous disease that occurs in newborn American Saddlebred foals.
Lordosis has been found to have a hereditary basis in the American Saddlebred breed, transmitted via a recessive mode of inheritance.
American Saddlebred fun facts
There was an American Saddlebred used in popular film "Gone with the Wind," its name was "Anacacho Revel."
Davy Crockett owned a Saddlebred, just like the movie character. His name was "Fury".
American Saddlebreds were famous for being used as warhorses in the civil war, many under the command of famous generals; such generals were General Lee, John Hunt Morgan, and Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Information for American Saddlebred contributed by
Many thanks to Rachael for more complete explanation of breeds uses.