North America

Photo supplied by N.A.S.H.S - New South Wales

The Saddlebred was developed in the southern states of North America by settlers in the early 19th century and was formerly known as Kentucky Saddler. Horses of  various breeds including the Thoroughbred and the Narragansett Pacer from Rhode Island were crossed to create a quality utility horse for the plantation owners who spend long hours on crop inspection tours and required a horse that was comfortable to ride and also suitable for carriage work. In the Civil War the Saddlebred became the preferred mount of the Confederate cavalry showing tremendous endurance and dependability on long marches and under fire.
Most Saddlebreds are naturally gaited going in walk, trot and canter. The rack and slow gait can often be trained and the ability is sometimes already present in a foal. In the United States some showing classes require that the hooves are grown to an unnatural length and shod with heavy shoes. This is not practised in Australia. In all open breed show classes the Saddlebred is presented with normal feet and shoes.
In 1891 the American Saddle Horse Breeders Association was establish and a Saddle Horse Registry was set up.
Today Saddlebreds can be found all over the world including Canada, England, Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Greece, Italy, Australia, Japan and South Africa.

refined, well proportioned
Head: refined, well shaped head; large eyes; small, alert ears; wide nostrils
Neck: long, elegantly arched
Shoulders: sloping; well defined withers, higher than in most breeds
Body: short, strong back; well muscled hindquarters; long, level croup
Legs: strong limbs; long, sloping pasterns
Feet: sound, strong, open at the heels
Tail: high set
Color: any color, predominantly chestnut, bay, brown, black or grey, no color restrictions
Height: 15 to 17hh, average 15.3hh
Temperament: intelligent, pleasant nature, alert, curious, friendly
Qualities: natural balance, easy to train, good jumper, fast runner, great stamina

The Saddlebred is a popular all- round riding horse and well suited to competing in dressage, jumping, harness and endurance events. In the show ring it is classified as three-gaited horse, shown at walk, trot and canter or as a five-gaited horse shown at walk, trot, canter, slow gait and rack.

Photo supplied by N.A.S.H.S - New South Wales