American Saddlebred Sport Horses–awesome athletes!
presentation given at the American Saddlebred Horse Association Convention, 2.18.12
The quality and correctness of head, neck, saddle position, frame, back, forehand, hindquarters, angulation and formation of legs and joints.
Predisposition to unsoundness or limitations in quality of movement caused by weaknesses or conformation faults, potential for trainability and performance. Emphasis on function, not fashion. Blemishes are not to count unless resulting from conformations faults. Good harmonious conformation suitable for dressage performance.
How should a sport horse look?
Please take a look at the horses on the following slides — they include some of the most popular and high quality stallions that the European breeders have produced. Next to each one, we have an American Saddlebred sport horse. Please look at the SIMILARITIES between these horses. There will always be differences, especially with warmbloods of this quality — but, the American Saddlebreds certainly can compare!
Four even beats, straight and even strides, correctly aligned steps, articulation of joints, freedom of shoulders an haunches, balance, elastic and swinging back, overstep reach, ground covering with marching quality.
Purity and quality (judged mainly in profile). Correctness (judged mainly coming to and going from the judge).
Two even beats, straight and even strides, correctly aligned steps, articulation of joints, freedom of shoulders and haunches, balance, elasticity, swinging back, natural engagement and impulsion from hindquarters, power from upward thrust and roundness.
Above: This is a video clip of American Saddlebred stallion Borealis showing the kind of balance, suspension, and elasticity that is characteristic of the breed.
Purity and quality (judged mainly in profile), Correctness (judged mainly coming to and going from judge). Movement should be big, light and springy.
Above: This is a video of Rob Byers long lining an American Saddlebred sport horse prospect. Rob is a trainer of World Grand Champion American Saddlebred show horses, who has a foundation in dressage work. This filly is being presented in a manner which translates beautifully to the sport horse buyer–simple lines, allowing her to stretch down, and lift her back. This filly found a home in the sport horse world just days after the video was posted online. The filly shows three lovely gaits–and is a super dressage prospect.
Includes impulsion, balance, harmony and development related to age and typiness. Alert expression and well mannered.
Riding horse type