The American Saddlebred – Proud as a Peacock!
If you want a flashy, high-stepping show horse and you have the money to buy one, then you want an American Saddlebred, also known as the Saddle Horse or Kentucky Saddler. This horse has class!
By now, you’ve probably figured that the word “American” tagged to a horse’s official name means the horse had its origins in the United States. Such is true of the American Saddlebred. For a long time in its history, this breed was referred to as “the horse America made.” Starting with riding horses during the American Revolution, this breed has roots with the Morgan, Narragansett Pacer, Canadian Pacer, and Thoroughbred.
Throughout the 20th Century, the breed became popular in the United States, and since the formation of the US registry in 1891, almost 250,000 American Saddlebreds have been registered. Today the Saddlebred can be found in countries all around the world, and breed registries exist in Great Britain, Australia, Europe, and southern Africa.
The Saddlebred is a “taller” slim horse, averaging 15 to 16 hands (60 to 64 inches) in height. When this spunky equine prances into the show ring, he oozes a sense of presence and style. Although the Saddlebreds are very spirited, the breed is known for its gentle temperament. They may be of any color, including pinto patterns accepted since the late 1800s.
Something quite different about the Saddlebred is that’s it’s a “gaited” breed. Does that mean they have to be kept in fences with strong gates? Not so.
A “gait” is a step. Saddlebreds show in three-gaited or five-gaited classes, depending on the different speeds or steps each horse has. Saddlebreds are mainly known for their performance in the show ring, but they can enter hunter and driving classes, as well as just being a fantastic pleasure riding horse.
If you ever own an American Saddlebred, you might want to show him in one of five divisions: Five-Gaited, Three-Gaited, Fine Harness, Park, and Pleasure. In those divisions they are judged on performance, presence, quality, and conformation. But one thing is for sure. Whatever gait the horse is performing, he’s high-stepping it. No wonder he’s now called “the Peacock of the Horse World.”
Have you ever felt proud as a peacock about anything you’ve done or anything you might own? Do you brag about new stuff your parents buy you? Maybe you think your house is better than all your friends’ houses. Maybe you look in the mirror and think you’re the best-looking kid on the block.
“Is that a bad attitude?” you might ask.
The Bible says quite a bit about being proud of the wrong things. If you’re proud, thinking you’ve done something great or because of something you own or the way you look, God wants us to know that’s the wrong pride. He wants us to develop a humble, or respectful, attitude toward others, especially toward Him. A respectful person puts others first in his life and looks to serve them.
But I’m proud to be a Christian, you might be thinking. Is that wrong?
If you’re proud to be a Christian, it’s a good thing as long as you don’t gloat. To gloat means to feel smug or better than someone else. It’s important to let others know you are a Christian, but when you act like you’re better than others, they probablywon’t be interested when you want to tell them about Jesus. It’s much better to develop a sweet, helping attitude that others will love about you. Then they might want to know why you’re so different, and you can tell them all about your wonderful Savior.
“…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
PRAYER: Dear God, help me not to brag or be proud of the wrong things. Help me to have a humble, helpful attitude. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
SADDLE UP! (What would God have you do now?)
Can you think of any time you might have had the wrong kind of pride about something? Write it here and ask God to forgive you and help you develop a humble attitude. _____________________________________________________________________________
Take your ride: (Do you know?) Saddlebred horses that have won a lot of shows can cost $30,000 or more.
Dismount and cool down your horse! (Do you know?) “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2).
A HORSE TO LOVE
Foster kid Skye hates everyone and everything until she meets Champ, a gorgeous show horse, and she comes to live at Keystone Stables, a foster home and special needs riding academy.