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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: American Saddlebred (Saddlebred) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
From the "American Horse" to the "American Saddlebred":
The development of the American Saddlebred began in the 18th century, when Thoroughbreds that were imported from Europe were crossed with Narragansett Pacers (a now extinct breed). The Narragansett Pacer was a gaited breed, and the Thoroughbred x Narragansett crosses combined the gaits of the Narragansett with the size of the Thoroughbred. These crossbreds became known as "American Horses", and served as riding and carriage horses.
Further crossings between American Horses and Thoroughbred horses, which took place in Kentucky, added size and elegance to the American Horse. Additional breeds such as Morgan, Hackney, and Canadian Pacer were also added to the mix to a lesser extent. The "improved" American Horses became known as Kentucky Saddlers, and served as riding and show horses. Their excellent performance as show horses made them famous outside of Kentucky.
In addition to being show horses, many Kentucky Saddlers also served as cavalry horses. During the American Civil War, many notable military commanders and generals rode Kentucky Saddlers to the battlefield. Furthermore, the fact that, during this war, Kentucky Saddlers were able to cross vast distances in a short time, added to the fame that this breed had already enjoyed.
After the Civil War ended, Kentucky Saddlers no longer served as cavalry horses. Instead, they were mostly used as show horses, and as such they were bred to have an elegant conformation and stylish movement.
By the end of the 19th century, the breed became known as the American Saddle Horse, and it was only in the second half of the 20th century that it was renamed American Saddlebred.
The American Saddlebred today:
The American Saddlebred is among the most famous show breeds worldwide, and is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. These horses are usually used for pleasure riding and harness shows. Horses in these disciplines usually exhibit the high knee-action and the upright posture of the neck that is so characteristic to this breed.
The American Saddlebred is usually regarded as a gaited breed, because many Saddlebreds are able to perform an ambling gait. However, not all American Saddlebreds are gaited, and the breed itself is divided into two groups: three-gaited horses who don't gait but perform only the walk, trot, and canter gaits; and five-gaited horses who, in addition to the regular walk, trot, and canter gaits, can also perform two supplementary gaits, usually the rack and the stepping-pace (not to be confused with the "regular" pace which is a different gait).
In Horse Isle, the "gait" genotype of non-gaited American Saddlebreds is coco, and the "gait" genotype of gaited American-Saddlebreds is AmAm. Crossing 'coco' horses with 'AmAm' ones will result in a foal who can't amble nor canter, and which therefore will be heavily penalized.
As mentioned above, American Saddlebreds have an iconic conformation and a distinct posture. The ears are small and can be curved, the high-set neck is long and visibly arched, the withers are prominent and are often higher than the croup, giving an uphill impression to the horse. The croup is flat, the tail is high-set, the chest is wide, and the legs are long.
When it comes to their posture, generally speaking, American Saddlebreds often hold their necks in an upright position and stretch their hind legs behind their body while leaning a bit forward.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered American Saddlebreds in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 15.1-17.2, 16.2 (0.5), 0.1.
Sprint: 47-59, 54 (3), 0.54.
Accel: 0.94-1.12, 1.04 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 0.91-1.03, 0.97 (0.03), 0.01.
Jump: 5.05-5.36, 5.24 (0.06), 0.01.
Pull: 1.77-2.59, 2.12 (0.21), 0.04.
Turning: 54.28-65.88, 60.21 (2.7), 0.53.
Reverse: 2.7-3.3, 2.9 (0.1), 0.03.
Stamina: 45.48-53.64, 49.68 (1.73), 0.34.
Reaction: 0.74-0.85, 0.79 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
Colors: all except for mushroom.
Additionals: all except for mealy, leopard, and manchado.
Height: 14hh to 17.1hh.
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