Although my first loves in the equine world are the Thoroughbred and the Arabian, two breeds that have many of the same characteristics, I also greatly admire the American Saddlebred. The American Saddlebred is as much “America’s Horse” as is the Quarter Horse.
Long named the Peacock of the Show ring, the Saddlebred has always been a thrill to watch. My first opportunities to watch them in action occurred at the old Madison Square Garden in the ‘60s. Later on, after moving to Missouri, I became more familiar with them in their show ring setting. Sadly the American Saddlebred has not been one of the more kindly treated breeds in our history. And while the Saddlebred, as a registered breed, has been developed for the show ring from the beginning, it is far more versatile than it may appear.
I grew up in a riding program on Long Island that was based on a combination of Chamberlin and Littauer. I just want to be clear that I didn’t grow up riding saddle seat. Several of the horses in this lesson program were American Saddlebreds and I rode them frequently. They were solid over jumps, had lovely gaits and everyone of them was beautiful with an outstanding disposition. I think the Saddlebred disposition is one of it’s most awesome qualities. … Continue Reading