American Saddlebred

American Saddlebred photo
Photograph by John Goetzinger. Some rights reserved.


Other Names
Kentucky Saddler

Known initially as the “Kentucky Saddler”, the American Saddlebred is one of the most graceful horse breeds ever. Due to its attractive demeanor, it is also called the “peacock” in the world of horses. When you see these horses pulling the carriages, you will realize that this animal is elegance personified.

The height of the American Saddlebred can vary between 15-16 hands. The walk of this horse has a deliberate motion and is very smooth. This animal that does not tire easily carries genes of multiple horse breeds. Narragansett pacers, Spanish horses, Morgans, Canadian horses and totter stocks all contributed certain traits to give birth to this stylish breed.

The eyes of the American Saddlebred are set wide apart and are bright. The delicately beautiful ears are very sharp. The well chiseled head is blessed with a smooth jaw. The neck is neither very long nor very short and is slightly arched. The body which is compact and has a deep girth has a short back which is very strong. The tail of the American Saddlebred is set high and flows very beautifully. The legs are straight and flat boned and the feet are well formed.

These animals are gentle and obedient. They are also smart and intelligent. They are even tempered creatures that are very friendly. This horse will be a possession of pride to its owner.

15 - 16 hands

Though the American Saddlebreds can come in a number of colors, the most common colors are black, chestnut, grey, palomino, bay, pinto and roan.

Suitable for
These gentle and obedient creatures are best suited for work. They are horses that can be ridden for pleasure too. These horses are best horses for dressage competitions and as show horses. Thanks to their even temperament and balanced walk, they are used for trail riding too.

The history of the American Saddlebred can be traced back to the 18th century. In the 1800s the colonists in American cross bred the Narragansett Pacers and the Thoroughbred. The resultant horses, called the American horses, were sure footed creatures. They were used during the Revolutionary War. This is when they entered Kentucky and got the name “Kentucky Saddlers”. It was here that they were developed into horses that were splendid for harnessing, quick enough to participate in racing and also sturdy and strong to help on farms.

These horses were further cross bred with the Morgan in the 1830s that added to the development of this breed. This gave rise to the “American Saddlebred”. In the 1840s, these horses enjoyed wide spread popularity. Denmark, the stallion born in 1839, is the foundation sire of more than 60% of the saddlebreds in existence today.