Various ideas surround the ancestry of the American Saddlebred, with popular consensus placing it in colonial America in the 1700s. Believed to combine Morgan, Thoroughbred, Canadian Pacer and Narragansett Pacer influence (because of its extensive inclusion in the breeding program, the Narragansett Pacer subsequently went extinct), the American Saddlebred was once known as the ‘Kentucky Saddler,’ having been transported to Kentucky during the mid-19th century.
Initially used as a plantation horse because of its stamina and comfortable gait, the American Saddlebred quickly became a cavalry mount during the American Civil War, fearlessly carrying Americans into battle and earning itself the name ‘peacock of the horse world’ for its poise and daring.
Today, the Saddlebred maintains its early popularity and is widely seen in performance and pleasure riding. Originally developed in the United States, the Saddlebred was exported to Great Britain and South Africa, amongst other countries. Many even credit the breed’s development to Galloway and Hobby horses of the British Isles, which were introduced to American by early settlers.
Generally speaking, the American Saddlebred has a height between 15-17 hands, is well balanced and conformed, and is observed in a variety of colours from pinto, to chestnut and palomino. The American Saddlebred is a gaited breed.
The American Saddlebred is a popular horse amongst the rich and famous and has featured in many films and television programmes, including a version of Black Beauty and Star Trek Generations.