Disciplines

When motor vehicles diminished the utility of horses, man looked for another avenue to continue his relationship with the horse. The creation of structured competition started with horse shows becoming organized events, instead of casual gatherings of people with an opportunity to show off to one another. Horse shows became one of the most popular forms of entertainment around the turn of the 20th century. With their exceptional beauty and outstanding athletic abilities, American Saddlebreds dominated the saddle seat and elegant, high-action driving disciplines.

The American Saddlebred is the personification of the ultimate show horse. He carries himself with an attitude he is alert, with his neck arched, head up and ears forward, every movement saying, "Look at me!" The ideal American Saddlebred is well-proportioned and presents a beautiful overall picture. Large, wide-set expressive eyes and gracefully shaped ears set close together are positioned on a well-shaped head. The neck is long with a fine, clean throatlatch and is arched and well-flexed at the poll. The American Saddlebred sports well-defined and prominent withers, while the shoulders are deep and sloping. Well-sprung ribs and a strong level back also characterize the breed. The legs are straight with broad flat bones, sharply defined tendons and sloping pasterns. Masculinity in stallions and femininity in mares are important qualities to be expressed. The American Saddlebred has a clean, rhythmic and fluid action, which is straight and true.


American Saddlebred dressage competitor Harry Callahan.

The American Saddlebred with its conformation, personality, and stamina is well suited to accomplish any task requested. Following is a look at the traditional American Saddlebred in the show ring, as well as other disciplines.


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