Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Harvey loves his shaky tail horses

When I first moved Harvey to Pennsylvania in 1998, we boarded at a farm that had once been a Saddlebred facility. There were still a number of "shaky tail horses" there and Harv bonded with one in particular that he was paired with for turnout. The horse was a dark chestnut with a blaze, and you could have tied them together with a lead rope and they would not have noticed, because they moved around the pasture "as one." At that farm, I grew to appreciate what marvelous animals Saddlebreds are. Like thoroughbreds and Arabs, they are sensitive, hard-working, and typey. A few of them scared me initially -- when I was turning them out, they seemed ready to explode! They would prance and blow and carry on -- but the lead rope was always slack in my hand. For all of their energy, they were polite and easy.

Coming full circle
This Spring, I moved Harv to a new barn. The barn owner has ridden a variety of disciplines and spent some time in Kentucky. In the barn there are a number of -- guess what? Saddlebreds! Harvey was turned out with two of them right away -- big chestnuts that looked very high energy. One night I monitored them for a bit -- wanted to make sure they weren't too much for my old weak-hocked Harv.

Hah! I shouldn't have worried. First of all, one of them -- a dark chestnut with a blaze -- is almost as old as Harv. Secondly, it's a laid-back group -- they graze within a few feet of each other and they move around the pasture like they're all joined at the hip -- they even drink together out of the same muck bucket container. Harv has totally bonded with the other oldster -- it's adorable.


  1. Had a Saddlebred for a while. He was honest to a fault with a wonderful disposition. I don't know if he was typical of the breed, but if so, I'd have another anytime! Glad Harv has some good friends to hang out with.

  2. My second favorite horse ever was a 17.3 saddlebred named Bud. Sweet, eager to please and quite a comedian. He was Val's bff at my trainer's farm - a true gentleman. Love me some saddlebred! :D

  3. I have known several Saddlebreds, and yes, they had wonderful personalities. I think they are pretty marvelous and I have threatened myself with switching to saddleseat a number of times. I at least have to take a lesson and try riding one!


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