Name of breed: Spotted Saddle Horse
Country of origin: United States of America
Breed origin: The Spotted Saddle Horse developed in Tennessee, when Tennessee Walking Horses and Missouri Fox Trotters were crossed with pinto ponies of Spanish ancestry. Eventually, these were crossed with larger American breeds such as the Standardbred and Morgan to increase their size while retaining the desired gait.
Two breed registries have been created for the Spotted Saddle Horse – the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association (NSSHA) was opened in 1979, and in 1985, the Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association (SSHBEA) was formed. Both have similar registration requirements, but one is more strict than the other in regards to parentage requirements.
Distinguishing features: Most often Pinto in colour, the Spotted Saddle Horse is known for their kind disposition and big heart, and they are incredibly gentle and excellent with children. Friendly and social with an endearing personality, they make wonderful companions to riders of all levels. This breed also displays an ambling gait – a four-beat gait with an extremely smooth motion in which they can travel anywhere from 16 to 32 kilometres per hour.
Modern day Spotted Saddle Horse: Seen out and about at horse shows, the Spotted Saddle Horse is also used for pleasure and trail riding.
Image credit: Equine Now