Support For A Wild Idea

American Saddlebred Sport Horse. Why not? I have been impressed with the friendliness and spirit of the saddlebreds I have met at Stepping Stone Farm. Even the ones too advanced for me to ride are friendly and interesting. At least it wouldn’t be yet another brown Thoroughbred, nor one more bog-standard European Warmblood.

Yes, we’d take flack in the dressage and hunter rings. For a fun and safe cross-country trip, I’ll put up with breed snobbery. My current thinking on horse shopping, subject to change without notice:

a) Something sane and reliable, not necessarily hyper-talented and gorgeous. Although, who doesn’t want both. Young & silly & cheap would be fine. Maybe I attend low level events, do okay in dressage, jump clean and come home with a pastel ribbon. A year or to of this and either my hyper-talented competition horse will have pulled his socks up, or I will be able to face looking for another one.

b) I’m kinda on hold with everything until I get my tooth fixed or pulled [Hi, Safe]. Not fighting a constant, low-grade infection in my head has got to make a difference in my ability to deal with the world. It did last time. I tell you, my teeth are a mess.

When I ran the ASB idea past friends, I anticipated virtual eyerolls. However, my horse hunt fairy godmother had this to say:

BTW, I actually love Saddlebreds as sport horses. What I love about them is they’re uphill, an excellent quality in a horse you want to gallop and jump. I’ve ridden a few and would never turn one down. Their backs can be a little weird to fit a jumping saddle to, but other than that they are very cool.

Having said all that, I’m going to look at a Thoroughbred this weekend.

Any other saddlebred sport horse supporters out there?

[Posts on horse shopping & on saddleseat]
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First Contact

First Contact

Categories: Horse Shopping

4 replies »

  1. I’ve always been a huge proponent of the breed. If you dig back into their history, they were bred to be comfortable; slow gait and racking are all about being able to hang out in the saddle all day and ride around your plantation. I *love* that they are built uphill, there’s no reason an athletic one can’t jump, and in general, I think for the lower levels a well put together individual is a great choice.

    As for bred snobbery in dressage/eventing; I don’t believe it exists at the lower levels (except anecdotally-occasional outlier judges do pop up). In general, if you are riding the training scale correctly, you are rewarded correctly. If your Appa-Quarter-Icelandian shuffles around with its nose in the air and you get a 55 at Training Level Test 1, that’s not breed snobbery. No idea what goes on at the local level in the hunter ring, so we’ll leave that one alone.

  2. Love it. My childhood hunter pony (14.2 h) was half saddlebred, half quarter horse. She was brilliant – smooth as silk to ride (she had 3 gaits), lovely long neck that was beautiful over fences, and a compact, strong body. We won over fences, under saddle, and on the line (because of her, not because of me!!!), so no snobbery, at least in TN! I’d take another similar crossbred any day of the week. If a class ever went to a sitting trot we had it locked up. Saddlebreds rock!!
    K, I hope you feel better soon! Elizabeth

  3. There were quite a few saddlebreds around back in the dark ages when I was a kid in PA. The local buzz was that they were gentle, sane, comfortable, and could snap their knees over fences like crickets.

  4. Never met a saddlebred in person. They’re all too tall for me (4’10”).
    I thought your horses were bay, not brown. The couple i knew were bay.
    Hope the teeth are better. That’s the only part of me that works right!

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