View Full Version : Would You Consider a Saddlebred?

Tiffani B
Oct. 2, 2010, 07:30 AM
I'm working on a paper for school about the acceptance of Saddlebreds in non-traditional disciplines. Your honest response to the poll question would be most appreciated (I have identical polls in different forums, so please only answer one). Thank you!

Oct. 2, 2010, 07:55 AM
Maybe it's not too late to add a 3rd choice: "Only if it didn't look or move like one"? I've seen a couple such Saddlebreds, and would have loved to take one home.

Tiffani B
Oct. 2, 2010, 08:07 AM
The question is would you CONSIDER one. Meaning - when you're shopping, if you see a Saddlebred advertised that fits your criteria, would you go look at it, or would you immediately dismiss it solely due to the breed, reputation, bias, your past exposure to Saddlebreds, etc.

I realize there are always "maybes" but I purposely left that response OFF of this poll. Simply yes or no - would you consider a Saddlebred.

Oct. 2, 2010, 09:14 AM
Absolutely! I worked with saddlebreds for years and they are very smart, willing and trainable. The ones I have known are naturally forward and well balanced. They are a breed that likes to please and as you can imagine, very tolerant. Of course, like any breed they don't all have perfect conformation or movement for every sport (not too many in reining) but with proper training and development they can excell in everything from endurance to dressage. I known a few good jumpers too. And if UPPER LEVEL dressage keeps moving in a certain direction, even the 5 gaiters will fit right in.

Oct. 2, 2010, 12:18 PM
My instructor took her ASB to 4th level with good success. She learned that 2 day shows were typically better. Day 1 the judges were a little WTH, Day 2 they noticed her movements, not her movement.

her sole complaint was her changes were never really 'good'- she'd be late behind. That long back and brain delay, perhaps.

No, I would not- unless it magically looked more 'like' a dressage horse with the more appropriate back.

Oct. 2, 2010, 12:37 PM
Without a doubt! There is a lovely pair that regularly shows in Region 3 in the upper levels with a paint Saddlebred. I myself have a National Show Horse (Saddlebred/Arab cross) that I love! They are great show horses. Very smart. I would caution against one that has been rundown by main ring gaited classes. For those of you who wouldn't dare consider one, you can enjoy all those hair-brained warmbloods I've seen at shows that don't seem to develop a brain until aged 8:)

Oct. 2, 2010, 12:43 PM
Now, now, DianneEJ -- my WB came with a fully functional brain installed!

I looked at SB's after my Arab died. Two were conformational trainwrecks, unsuitable for anything I can imagine. A third one was lame the day I went to look at him. There was one little brown fellow that I wish I'd purchased. Ah, well, hindsight is 20/20.

Oct. 2, 2010, 12:50 PM
I have two saddlebreds, one is probably the most elegant mover I have ever seen or ridden. the other, no, teaching him how to relax, so he can collect.

So, I guess it depends.

Oct. 2, 2010, 02:19 PM
I'd LOVE to have one one day...but with good conformation (no sway back!) and movement ;) I am pretty picky about my Saddlebreds.

Oct. 2, 2010, 03:20 PM
Not any around here :)

But Ive seen some pretty amazing ones on video and pics that the cothers who own them have, seems I would be interested if I could find some like that.

Its just not the case at the barns here, and I think where I lived last also was pretty dry on ones that werent pretty typey.

Oct. 2, 2010, 03:26 PM
If it fit my criteria and had three good gaits, absolutely.

Buy the horse, not the breed.

A mustang was just Reserve Champ at Devon.

Oct. 2, 2010, 03:37 PM
I bought a saddlebred/Arab cross last year for a lesson horse. Fabulous attitidude on this horse when it comes to most things. He is a bit of a conformational frankenstein (way too short in the back; 15.3 tall & wears a 72" blanket), but he does show some attributes that I would look for in a dressage horse, and I definately like him for the jumpers and as a lesson horse. Because of him, I would consider buying a pure or part Saddlebred again in the future.

Oct. 2, 2010, 04:22 PM
For dressage, yes.

Oct. 2, 2010, 09:46 PM
I had the priviledge of riding a saddlebred gelding that was an AMAZING dressage horse. He epitomized elegance!

Oct. 2, 2010, 09:52 PM
Many years ago, one of my instructors (and an interesting character he was, too!) had a little SB mare in his school horse string. She was small, stretching to make 15 hands I'd bet, jumped like a deer and danced like a little ballerina.

The good ones are wonderful animals!

Oct. 2, 2010, 10:52 PM
Yes I would. I had a Pinto Saddlebred that I bought for my daughters 1st horse. Although he was an unbroke 2yo stallion when I bought him I sadly gelded him and after a few months of bonding started training him. We did local shows and a whole lot of trail riding, riding in the gulf, pulling boggie boards, used as a diving platform, ride through McDonalds drive through window,double bareback, pack rank beginners around and jump anything you asked him to. I have a photo of Mary Phillips,German bronze medalist on him doing passage/piaffe....never trained for it...she asked...he offered! He is living in fl where he comes out his retirement once a year to ride in the reenactment of the civil war, where he is the general horse! So again yes I would! I myself would never make it to upper levels but Chrissa Hoffmann took the saddlebred Harry Calahann to GP and last we F/B each other she is bringing another saddlebred along! Check out all her videos on youtube! Saddleberds rock!..Bet if you cross one with a WB it would be great!;)

Oct. 3, 2010, 01:02 AM
My barn owner blew me away today. I went to the barn to ride my gaited horse, and of course, socialize. The BO has been in the gaited horse business for years, (not padded). He's about 74, and will not retire-he doesn't trust anyone running the barn but him and his wife.

He asked me if he could borrow my dressage tapes (OMG doesn't everyone have a closet full?). And asked if I had something about training!!!!! He said he's just interested. My gosh, blow me over!!!!!

Oct. 3, 2010, 01:42 AM
I did consider an ASB, and passed on him for reasons that had nothing to do with his breed.

Oct. 3, 2010, 04:13 PM
Just for background info, that might be useful for anyone? Chuck Grant was very much a proponent of Saddlebreds for dressage. Ditto Arthur Konyot and his Son (whose name I sadly have forgotten). I have no clue if Tina Konyot agrees with them, but there have been some other well-known names in horsedom that have recognized their potential. Susan Harris (of Grooming To Win and Visible Horse plus Centered Riding instructing fame) also has said positive things about the breed for dressage, as has also Jessica Jahiel, and Walter Zettl (a comment which I was present to hear him make, at a USDF clinic held at WWU in 2004).

Oct. 3, 2010, 04:16 PM
Some move like Park horses, some like Sport horses. Obviously, I would only want one that moved like a sport horse for dressage. They're less expensive than WBs yet some move really well and they are lighter, so they are often an easier ride (ie, don't need to be as strong a human to move them over).

Oct. 4, 2010, 01:01 AM

Oct. 4, 2010, 09:22 AM
No, only because I love Irish Draughts. I would look at an RID/ASB cross.

In college I rode at a barn with a lot of ASB's. I wasn't impressed with their dispositions, probably a result of their training and environment

Oct. 4, 2010, 09:56 AM
I rode saddleseat for a while as a child and think that ASBs, in general, have really good brains and a "look at me" aura about them. Of course, there are excellent and poor examples in every breed, but I would include ASBs in my horse search.

Oct. 4, 2010, 12:59 PM
Bet if you cross one with a WB it would be great!;)

Whaddya mean, "if"?? You don't think there aren't a bunch of people who have already discovered this fantastic cross?

Check your pm's! :cool:

Oct. 4, 2010, 06:27 PM
YES! I have one, in fact :). He's the best horse I've ever had the honor of owning. Huge heart, great brain and 3 fabulous gaits. We're just starting our journey togeter in dressage... showed this past summer with 3 scores over 70%.

Oct. 4, 2010, 06:41 PM
I had a lovely saddlebred cross for my program. I would definately consider a cross again.

Oct. 5, 2010, 12:30 AM
Countrygal, that's fantastic! I want to see this horse of yours! Got pics?

Tiffani B
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:52 AM
countrygal, you have a PM/email.

Oct. 5, 2010, 09:34 AM
I'm partial to arabians myself. My exposure to saddlebreds was limited, the only ones I have ever been exposed to were sort of goofy looking. Thats not to say they are all that way though.

Oct. 5, 2010, 10:49 AM
Beasmom- I do have pictures! I'm not really sure how to post them here...

Tiffani B- Responded :)

Oct. 5, 2010, 11:59 AM
I don't actually use breed as a deciding factor at all besides knowing all Walkers, Paso Finos, etc., will have conformational differences from what I want which allow them to gait or if breed somehow means a horse is ruled out for other characteristics I require.

I care about temperament, size, movement, etc. So if a breed means either too large or too small for me, that will rule a horse/pony out. Otherwise, I look at the individual. I'm unlikely to check into a saddlebred claimed to be a great dressage prospect with no photos or videos showing this fact, but then I didn't look at any warmbloods with ads which did that either. I even know a half percheron who would meet my requirements if he were younger - great mover, very forward thinking and elegant when he goes, not too big... because the TB side is dominant for him.

Oct. 5, 2010, 05:54 PM
I certainly would!:)