Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: South of No-where
There are distinct breeds and sometimes there are multiple registries for the same breed - usually due to a difference in philosophy and how open they are to accepting new blood. There are also just registries that have certain requirements to join, but multiple breeds can be found within the registry.
For example - there are 3 registries for the "Mountain Horses". The Rocky Mountain, The Kentucky Mountain, and the Mountain Pleasure. The Mountain pleasure ONLY registers horses with registered parents so it is a closed registry and also has the fewest registered horses. The Rocky Mountain is mostly a closed registry, but does let a few new individuals in that meet certain requirements. I don't know the details, but my understanding is its mostly mares that show the proper gait are allowed to be bred to purebred studs to get offspring that can be registered. The Kentucky Mountain Saddle horse is a more open registry and will accept a wider range or horses that show the appropriate gait and conformation, etc. Some people think a closed registry is best as it keeps a tight control over blood lines and keeps them "pure" while others think a more open registry is best to prevent too much inbreeding and keep the gene pool wider. So pretty much the same breed, but 3 different registries with 3 different philosophies.
Tennessee Walkers are a breed with a registry that also has a closed stud book. There are no horses being added so a walker must be bred to a walker to get a registered walker. Same with the Fox Trotter - they are a closed registry now so if you have a fox trotter it had to be fox trotter X fox trotter breeding.
Spotted Saddle - they are more of a gaited color registry. The horse must gait and exhibit the proper amount of white and it can be registered the last I heard. So they really are not a breed per se, but just a registry. Similar to the Palomino registry or the pinto registry.
You can't lump them all together. Just because a horse is a spotted saddle does not mean its also a TW. Its understanding the difference between "breeds" vs. "registries" and the difference between open vs. closed registries. There are just so many for the gaited horses it can get confusing.
All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!