Here's a blog I found that deals with some of the same things we're talking about. The Greenbelt: About time - yet way too late
The author talks about how Saddlebreds were always bred to be "high and flashy" and Walkers were always bred to be "long and low." That's what makes them so smooth. Now suddenly BOTH breeds are "high and flashy."
Here's a picture of the 1945 and 1946 WGC Walker:
Here's a picture of the 2007 WGC Walker:
I couldn't find a picture of the WGC Saddlebred from 1945 and 1946, but here is the one from 1948 - 1953:
Here's the WGC Saddlebred from 2008:
HUGE difference between the Saddlebreds, right? : |
Here are some quotes from the blog:
"I also remember going to a gaited-horse show when I was in college - would have been '72 most likely; I was in the Equestrian club, and I owned a Walker, so I thought I might enjoy it. It was sad and bizarre, is what it was. There were both Walkers and American Saddlebreds at the show, which to my mind is a huge mistake for TWH people..... The main thing is, the saddle classes. You'd have a TWH class, with these horses loping ponderously around the ring, prone to breaking gait around the corners because their balance was so precarious, working so hard to maintain the gait. And then the next class would be Saddlebreds, and they'd skim around the ring, light-footed and joyous-looking. The contrast was absurd. I can't imagine any spectator leaving that show and wanting to buy a TWH based on what he'd just seen."
"Back in the 70s I wondered why TWH showers didn't just buy Saddlebreds if that's what they wanted - I still do. You'll note that that breed doesn't have these problems at their shows - because their horses do what they've been bred to do, not what they've been forced (even if not tortured) into doing. It's a vicious cycle that could only be broken by allowing decades to breed the gait into the horses - and that's a solution which will never be adopted."