American Saddlebred

American Saddlebred Horse

.   The American Saddlebred horse can trace its roots to the easy gaited Galloway and Hobbie horses which were shipped to North America from the British Isles in the 1600s. These hardy little horses thrived and grew in the new environment; through selective breeding the Narragansett Pacer was developed and named for Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay area where many were raised. These were also found up and down the eastern seaboard, including Virginia where they were also produced in large numbers. These animals moved their legs in concert on the same side of their bodies, contacting the ground in a broken cadence. The ride was comfortable, compared to the jolt of a trot. These horses are now "extinct" in the U. S. and in mane, because they were exported to the West Indies by the thousands. The Paso Fino is a direct descendant of the Narragansett and is probably almost the same horse.
   Before they were all gone, Narragansett mares were crossed with Thoroughbreds, which the colonists began importing from England in the early 1700s. By 1776 during the American Revolution, a horse simply called the American horse had become a recognized type. It had the size and beauty of the Thoroughbred, but retained the ability to learn the easy riding gaits. These animals were used for riding, to pull the plow during the week, the carriage on Saturday night and for other work. They were prized for a pleasant temperament, eagerness, strength and stamina.

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