The Saddlebred resource centre of the internet: Trot.org Forums - Powered by vBulletin American Saddlebred Dressage - Harry Callahan American-Saddlebred.Com Saddlebred - Information, Art, Gifts, American Saddlebred Sculpture by Patricia Crane Saddlebreds Unplugged - Home Five-gaited Saddlebred horse
Just a good example of the breed: Saddlebreds really CAN do anything! - Trot.org Forums
This is a VERY informative page: History Of The American Saddlebred Horse
Same here, with pictures. Far Field Farm - History of the American Saddlebred Horse American Saddlebreds At Work and Play American Saddlebred Horse Guide to Training Techniques, Care, and Conditi
Elmer Bandit, the late competitive trail mileage record holder had to beat, that's right, an American Saddlebred by the name of Wing Tempo. The Horse | Whose Record is Elmer Bandit Trying to Break? More on Wing Tempo
Saddlebred Pictures from the ASHA - American Saddlebred Horse Association Saddlebred Moments
Now that the links are out of the way.... American Saddlebreds are highly intelligent, very personable horses. They are expressive, athletic, and require a slightly different touch than say, a Quarter Horse. You really must take their personalities and abilities into consideration when deciding what they are suited for. Really, every horse is different, and it is hard to say what they will be like as a whole. Pleasure horses are MUCH different from Performance Horses for example. Attitudes, build, movement, etc. all determine what the horse is suited for.
They are very expressive horses that are easy to read, once you know them.
I have about 20 Saddlebreds right now. I must say, I have to wholeheartedly disagree with the "Heart of a mouse" sentiment. Having spent my entire life with them, I know them as brave and intelligent. I know them as alert and energetic, ready to go, ready to please, ready to do. I have never known one to freak out for no reason. I have known many who would carry a child safely through a fire on the fourth of July. I have met every "type" of Saddlebred you could find. Dumb ones, smart ones, mean ones, goofy ones, show horses, fun horses, hard-headed incredibly frustrating horses, alligators, and teddy bears, fighters and ones who would rather hang out... I know A LOT of Saddlebreds. LOL.
One of my favorites growing up, the mount I chose for all of my adventures in the woods, the horse I rode everywhere, through creeks, over logs, through anything, the horse fit for the Princess I was pretending to be, was a different horse when we would go to shows. This was a horse who would never let me fall. At home we'd race through the fields on adventures. At shows, every foot was placed precisely. He would have cantered in a tea cup. He was great. His sire was my royal mount as well. He was a gentle, but hard headed soul who taught me so much. He was brilliant.
My beloved, and most wonderful friend who died last year was the BEST horse anyone could have asked for. Made my childhood friends look wild. He loved to be a part of things. He loved to learn. He loved to do. Mellow. Laid back. That good friend who was always there to play a game with or go for a walk, or . . . anything. God I miss him.
Right now in my barn, I have show horses, yearlings, stallions, retired horses, broodmares, kid's horses and trail horses(some cross over). I live for the breed. They are strong, brave, intelligent, fun, loving, fun-loving horses, that come in all types.
I do not have a dumb one in the bunch(unless you count my bay three year old who has the attention span of a gnat). I don't have a horse that is unpredictable. I only have one that is so sensitive, you'd almost call him fearful. But he gets over it so long as I do not make a big deal about it. I have never had one fret for days over an incident. I have had to UNDO some things that *I* have caused, but that is all a part of learning.
As for your prospect being thin, this is a double edged sword. A thin horse can become a different horse entirely when he is in good health. Just ask the folks at Welcome to Saddlebred Rescue Inc.
They are definitely people I would go talk to if you are looking into a Saddlebred. They are owners, trainers, exhibitors and angels who live for and love the breed as I do.
Good luck! I hope you find the right Saddlebred for you!