Also known as "The American Horse," the Saddlebred Gelding combines impressive height and graceful athleticism with show stopping, comfortable gaits. Ridden in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the American Saddlebred has a long, proud history in the United States.
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Names - Saddlebred, The American Horse, American Saddle Horse
One of the most noticeable characteristics of the Saddlebred is its height. Saddlebreds are tall horses with many reaching 16 hands (64 inches) at the withers. However, Saddlebreds retain the grace and refinement of other light horses with long, slender legs and lovely, elegant heads. They come in Palomino, roan, chestnut, gray, black, and bay.
Only the very best stallions are kept for breeding, and many owners do not have the facilities, skills or desire to keep a stallion on their farms. For these reasons, stallions not intended for breeding are gelded (castrated). Gelding a horse eliminates bothersome stallion behavior, like fighting with other horses, screaming, mounting mares, and aggression. Some owners geld their horses at less than a year old, while others wait until the horse is more of his adult size, around 2 or 3 years of age. Gelded Saddlebreds cannot breed.
Saddlebreds Gelding horses are known to be intelligent, kind and curious. They have unusually good hearing and are very attuned to their surroundings. Saddlebreds are easily trained and display even temperaments.
Around the time that the 13 British colonies in North America were established, Galloway and Hobbie horses were shipped to colonial America. From these horses, breeders in Rhode Island created the Naragansett Pacer. Soon, breeders crossed these Pacers with Thoroughbreds to create the Saddlebred horse. Riders were attracted to Saddlebreds because they were naturally gaited, were suited for riding as well as driving, and were attractive, majestic horses. After the Revolutionary War, breeders introduced Morgan and Standardbred horses to Saddlebred bloodlines. By the time of the Civil War, Saddlebreds were one of the most popular horse breeds in North America.
Saddlebred horses can be found across the world, and they are especially popular in North Africa and Great Britain. The American registry contains about 250,000 horses, with 3,000 new foals registered every year.