American Saddlebred Horse Facts And Information – Breed Profile

The American Saddlebred is a popular American native horse often referred to as the “horse America made”. It is beautiful, a perfect riding horse, and most admired for its gait and friendly nature.

The calm saddle horses have sculpted and sloping necks and are muscular in nature, which makes them ideal for competitions and shows. They are multi-talented, obedient, and intelligent animals.

American Saddlebred

These horses have a long, rich history and are believed to have worked as war horses decades ago. Now popular as riding horses, these animals can be commonly seen in saddle seat riding competitions as well in several other modern disciplines.

The common uses of these horses are eventing, dressage, pleasure riding, and show jumping.


The American Saddlebred riding horse is said to have originated in the early 1700s. The horse breed was developed by crossing the Thoroughbred with the amazing Narragansett Pacer. This popular breed was also the favorite of many generals in the civil war. The horse finally got the name ‘Kentucky Saddler’ when it reached Kentucky after the revolutionary war.

Serving in the military, however, was not the only calling for the Saddlebred. In the 1800s, this horse breed was chosen to work on plantations, since it possessed an extraordinary gait and incredible balance. Eventually, breeders began crossing these horses with Thoroughbreds and Morgans to bring further refinement to the Saddlebred.

Also called the American Saddler, this slow gait horse has today become a wonderful show mount when driven and under saddle.


The American Saddlebred horses are lively and noble. They are gentle and friendly and can adapt to the trainer or a family very easily. They are willing in nature which makes them the perfect choice for shows and events.

The show horse has a strongly built body with a neatly chiseled head and a deep girth. It is robust and large with a lean jawline and stunningly expressive eyes. The saddle horses have beautifully shaped sharp ears, an arched neck, and a short, strong back. They have attractive straight legs, a flowing tail, and strong feet. These horses are built with strong hips and level croup.

The Saddlebred has inherited its effortless gait from the Narragansett Pacer, and speed and agility from Trotters. Its endurance and athleticism are believed to have come from the Canadian horses and Morgans. The result, the American Saddlebred is a blend of capability, function, and beauty.

These gaited horses are either five-gaited or three-gaited, and absolute fun to watch when they are in motion. While the five-gaited horses perform trot, Canter, animated walk, rack, and slow gait, the three-gaited ones perform the walk, trot, and canter moves. The five-gaited horses are full manes while the three-gaited saddlers have a roached mane.


Each horse has specific nutrition requirements so does the American Saddlebred. This horse breed requires hay, grass, and a feed concentrate to stay in good health. Show mounts as well need to feed on additional grains, fat, and fiber to put up a magnificent performance in the show ring.

If you are considering getting an American Saddlebred, we suggest you consulting a vet for more information on the diet specifications. The vet will give you a diet chart customized to your horse, after taking into account the horse’s health condition and medical history.

Breeding And Uses

The American saddle horses possess great vigor. These pleasure horses are very popular in the United States.

This American horse breed is a mix of the qualities of the Morgans, Thoroughbreds, Pacers, Standardbred, and others. These stylish horses being versatile are also found everywhere, from the trails to the show rings today.

The Saddlebred horses are used for combined driving and pleasure driving. They excel in hunt seat classes and saddle seat classes, as well as are the first choice for eventing competitions. They are also great harness horses, and you can often notice the horses are shown with beautiful carts.

To sum up, whether you are looking for an elite competitor or a backyard companion the horse for you is certainly the American Saddlebred. Get the competitor to the backyard today and enjoy years of togetherness.

Colors, Markings, And Size

The Saddlebred horses are typically found in black, gray, chestnut, brown, and bay colors. They are also rarely found in palomino and pinto.

Their average height is 15-16 hands, and they weigh around 1000-1200 pounds. Typically, they are a light breed. Stallions however are large with muscled bodies and higher weights.

What Is Their Health Like?

The American Saddlebred horses are generally friendly and calm. They are easy to domesticate and train however these horses are prone to certain health issues.

Stifle And Hock Lameness

This horse breed’s moves are no doubt mesmerizing to watch but this characteristic of theirs can cause lameness on their hind end or hock. Owners and trainers of this breed need to carefully watch out for the symptoms and provide immediate medical care and attention when needed.

Sidebone And Ringbone

These are health conditions often seen in a Saddlebred breed. Since this breed takes high steps, extra calcium may get deposited in the front hooves, causing lameness and pain.

Like all animals, the Saddlebred horses too suffer from some health conditions. The long tails in particular need extra care.

Where Do They Live?

The American Saddlebred horses are domestic. They live in stable yards and on farms under domestic living conditions.

If you own a horse of this breed, ensure to provide proper care and shelter to the animal.

What Is Their Lifespan?

Except for a few health concerns, the American native Saddlebred horses are healthy and make a great companion to their owners for years.

Generally, these horses live for about 25-30 years. If properly cared for, they can live even longer.


The long, full manes and tails of the American Saddlebred are a treat to watch. At the same time, however, they need regular grooming and care to retain their health. While regular brushing with a curry comb is advised to remove the dirt and debris, it is crucial to condition the mane often to prevent tangles and knots.

For many horse owners, grooming their horse’s tail is a challenging task. This is because some horses grow their tails very long. It is for this reason horse owners choose to braid or tie the tail. You can follow these options for the Saddlebred horses too but with caution.

If the tail is left unattended for a long time after braiding or tying, the hair could lose its charm. Whatever option you choose, ensure to remove it regularly to avoid damaging the hair. We recommend you use your hand to untangle the tail. Most importantly, use a good conditioner to retain the beauty and health of the tail.

How Much Do Saddlebred Horses Cost?

The American native saddlers are available in a range. Their price starts at $1800 and can go up to $100000, depending upon the individual horse’s capability, training, performance records, health condition, and age.

You can consider buying a low-priced Saddlebred horse if you are looking to get one for pleasure riding or simply because you have a passion for the breed. If you are however considering buying a show horse, you might need to spend more.

Show horses with record performances cost more, so you need to determine the qualities you want your new horse to possess and plan a budget before actually searching for one.

Are American Saddlebred Horses Good For Beginners?

Absolutely! These horses are elegant and gentle. They are sweet, graceful, athletic and a great choice for beginners. They are people-oriented horses and come with a pleasing and willing attitude.

Is The American Native Horse Right For You?

The American native Saddlebred is calm, friendly and an ideal option for riders, both beginners and professionals. They excel both as school horses and show horses while they are quick learners and highly intelligent.

It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a horse to drive or an elegant horse to ride on, the American Saddlebred is for you.

If you are going to buy one, take a vet along to evaluate the health condition of the horse. As a professional, he/she can detect potential issues you might have missed. This enables you to be fully aware of the horse before bringing him home.

You can become a member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association for news and more information about Saddlebred horses. Right from promoting horsemanship to competitions, breeding, and Saddlebred training, you can find everything related to this breed under one roof. However, no part of their content can be published, broadcast, or redistributed in any form without the express written consent of the association.


The American Saddlebred is integral to the American culture. The breed has served its nation during wartime and now it is one of the top performers (an ultimate show horse) in the show ring.

These equines are impressive regardless of whether they are used as pleasure horses, backyard assistants, or show contestants.

There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.