Spotted Saddle Horse
The Spotted Saddle Horse is a breed of equines that developed in the United States. Known for their good looks, this is a ‘saddle-type’ horse that moves in an ‘ambling’ gait, in addition to the common ‘walking’ and ‘cantering’ gaits. The breed standards of this horse recognize only the ones that have pinto patterns.
Spotted Saddle Horse Pictures
|Behavioral Characteristics||Willing, docile, brave; overall noble temperament|
|Physical Traits||Has a straight to slightly convex profile; the head is refined and medium-sized, with wide-set eyes and long, curve-tipped ears; the muscular neck is medium, muscular and arched, while the long shoulder is slightly sloping; they have a broad, muscled chest and legs ending in proportionate hooves|
|Coat Colors||Breed standards allow all colors, but pinto markings must be present|
|Height/Size||14.3 – 16hands (adult)|
|Weight||900 to 1,100 pounds (410 to 500 kg)|
|Common Uses||Dressage, Endurance, general riding, pleasure riding|
|Health Problems||Generally healthy|
|Type||Riding Horse, Sports Horse, Show Horse|
|Ancestors (Bloodlines)||Morgan Horse, Standardbred Horse, Peruvian Paso, Missouri Fox Trotter, Paso Fino, Tennessee Walking Horse|
|Popular Traits||Ambling gait, multi-talented, even personality, easy trainability, durable|
|Feeding/Diet||General horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.|
|Country of Origin||USA|
|Associations and Registries||National Spotted Saddle Horse Association
Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association
Video: Spotted Saddle Horse Championship Show
History and Development
The SSH originated in the central Tennessee as a cross between the Spanish small gaited pinto ponies and the other larger gaited breeds like the Morgan and the Standardbred horses. This selective breeding was purposely done to increase the size while still retaining the coloration and the gait. Initially, these new horses began to be used for trail and pleasure ridings.
After 1865, a few of the other gaited equine genes, including Peruvian Paso, Missouri Fox Trotter, Paso Fino, and Tennessee Walking Horse, were also added to the breed so as to bring additional smoothness in their movements.
Two registries, with one being the ‘National Spotted Saddle Horse Association’ (NSSHA) and the other – ‘Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association’ (SSHBEA), were founded in 1979 and 1985 respectively. They were formed to promote the breed, safeguard their natural gaits and coloration, as well as to prohibit the cruel practices against them.
- Every year, in January, the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association hosts an annual open meeting and awards banquet where 15 members of NSSHA are also elected from the general members to serve on the current Board of Directors.