American Saddlebred

American Saddlebred horses were bred in Kentucky, USA, in the 19th century.   

Originally known as the Kentucky Saddler.

It stands between 15-16hh (152-163cm) and various colours – Black, brown, bay, chestnut, palomino, grey and roan.

American saddlebred horse photos

It is well-proportioned horse and presents a beautiful overall picture, with a small elegant head carried very high. 

Large, wide-set expressive eyes and gracefully shaped ears set close together are positioned on a well-shaped attractive head.

The neck is long with a fine, clean throatlatch and is arched and well flexed at the poll.

Well-defined and prominent withers, while the shoulders are deep and sloping.

The legs are straight with broad flat bones, sharply defined tendons and sloping pasterns.

The horse carries his tail higher than usual. Nicking the dock muscles does this.

The modern saddlebred is a gaited horse, either three or five gated. 

The five-gaited horse has two extra paces.

Three gaited horses perform walk, trot and canter with high steps, both four-beet, lateral paces and is shown with a hogged mane and trimmed tail. 

The horse is shod with heavy shoes and the feet are grown long to accentuate the action.

The five-gaited horse is shown with its feet trimmed normally and has two extra paces: the “slow gait”, which is a four beat prancing movement, and the full speed “rack”, a high, four-beat gait free of any lateral or prancing movement, and is shown with a full mane and tail.


Today, in the horse show world, they are most commonly seen under saddle in Saddle seat style riding, and in various types of driving, including pleasure driving and various types of fine harness competition.They are great crowd pullers at any horse show.

They are occasionally seen in other disciplines including dressage, hunter/jumper, and western riding, and popular parade mounts  for trail riding due to their comfortable gait and steady temperament.

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