The unique American Saddlebred is both beautiful and versatile.
The American Saddlebred originated in the southern United States during the country's early days, descended from the Narragansett Pacer and the Thoroughbred. It became a popular riding horse due to its intelligence and smooth gaits, therefore the mount of choice for many generals during the Civil War.
The first breed registry was formed in 1891, and the modern American Saddlebred is easy to spot with its long neck and natural high-stepping gait. Though not truly considered a gaited horse, in addition to the walk, trot, and canter, Saddlebreds are able to perform two extra gaits, the slow gait and rack.
Today the Saddlebred is known as the "peacock of the show ring," because it makes the ultimate show horse. Saddlebreds are most often used for saddle seat competition, competing in four primary divisions: Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness and Pleasure. They also excel in dressage, eventing, show jumping, combined driving, and endurance, and make excellent trail horses.
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In-body image: McAtee Saddlebreds
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