The American Saddlebred was developed in Kentucky. Given their beauty, agility and strength it is easy to see why they are such a popular feature of the showring and take a key role in town parades. But they have stamina as well as good looks as evidenced by their prominence in the racing and hunting arenas. These horses have a disposition which make them good for virtually any task in which they are needed.
The Saddlebred is very alert and keen. It is flashy and steps high, and they are referred to as the “peacocks of the horse show world.”
The preferred Saddlebred is one that has excellent proportions and is unquestionably beautiful. They have large eyes which are sharp and ears which have an excellent shape, a head which is in good proportion to its body, prominent withers and muscular shoulders.
Saddlebreds are also known for being five-gaited, and this is a trait which was passed down from their ancestors. This breed was first developed in the 18th century by Americans who bred the Thoroughbred with the Narragansett Pacer. The Pacer was a well known breed at the time, though many people have not heard of it today. Many people who lived on plantations enjoyed using these horses because they were comfortable and also had an excellent gait.
Saddlebreds work well with harnesses and have enough strength to perform work on a farm. They are also fast enough to be used in certain types of races. By the middle of the 18th century, the genes from the Morgan horse breeds were added to give the Saddlebred more power and speed. It was this combined with the Thoroughbred that allowed the American Saddlebred to be developed. These horses begin to become very popular after 1940. A stallion named Denmark was born in 1939, and about 60% of all American Saddlebreds today are descendants of this horse.
Saddlebreds are one of the world’s most popular horse breeds. They have lent their cachet to the reputation of presidents, generals, and other prominent people and have featured in many movies and t.v. series.
There was a wild stallion that featured on the t.v. series Lassie. He would appear thundering into the scene and capture the heart of everyone watching – that was Highland Dale, an American Saddlebred from Missouri. His screen credits included working alongside Elizabeth Taylor in Giant and also the movie My Friend Flicka.
Other famous Saddlebreds, include Mr. Ed, Trigger and Silver but it is not their movie star looks alone that makes the American Saddlebred such a popular breed, it is their versatility, intelligence and great disposition.