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Use and characteristics of the Spotted Saddle Horse
The two essentials for breed registry are pinto colouring of any base colour, and a comfortable ambling gait rather than a trot. Otherwise, the Spotted Saddle Horse has the familiar walk and canter common to all breeds. Individuals may also perform other gaits such as the stepping pace, fox-trot and rack, which will be displayed when a vendor sells a Spotted Saddle Horse. The breed is between 14.3 hands (59 inches/150 cm) and 16 hands (64 inches/163 cm) in height and weighs between 900 pounds (410 kg) and 1,100 pounds (500 kg). Being sometimes described as a stocky version of the Tennessee Walking Horse, opting to buy a Spotted Riding Horse works well for a family with riders of various ages, abilities and sizes.
Origin and history of breeding Spotted Saddle Horses
Although the Spotted Saddle Horse is a relatively recently established breed, its origins are firmly rooted in the history of America and some of its best-loved horse breeds. It’s believed that gaited Spanish pintos played a part in the creation of the Spotted Saddle Horse, as did famed larger American breeds such as the Standardbred and Morgan. The focus was on colour and gait right from the start, and so selective breeding was carried out with other suitably qualified breeds such as the Tennessee Walking Horse, the Paso Fino and Peruvian Paso, as well as the influential Missouri Fox Trotter. Like other breeds with a Tennessee origin, the Spotted Saddle Horse also has mustang blood. By the 1980s, this good all-round pleasure and show horse was recognised with the foundation of two breed registries, the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association (NSSHA), established in 1979, and the Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association (SSHBEA), established in 1985. One fundamental difference between the two registries is that the NSSHA stud book is open, which allows horses of other breeds to be registered as long as they fulfil the essential criteria of colour and gait. On the other hand, the SSHBEA stud book is semi-open, which means one or both parents must be in the registry for a foal to be registered.
Spotted Saddle Horse in equestrianism
Spotted Saddle Horses make great partners for pleasure riding. There are also plenty of show classes for the breed, including ridden, in-hand and utility. Whichever class they are in, the breed should exhibit flair and draw the eye. The flat walk should be active and stylish. For trail and pleasure riding, the ambling gait is an intermediate speed of between 4 and 8 mph (6.4 to 12.9 kmh), but in the show ring, the fast four-beat “show gait” reaches up to 10, or even 20 miles per hour (16 to 32 kmh)!