How Much Does American Saddlebred Horse Cost: An In-Depth Guide

Are you thinking of getting an American Saddlebred horse? If so, you’re probably wondering, “How much does an American Saddlebred horse cost?” In this in-depth guide, we’ll break down all the factors that affect the price of an American Saddlebred horse, so you can make an informed decision.

American Saddlebred Basics

American saddlebred horse conformation bay horse in park

The American Saddlebred is a versatile and elegant breed that captures the hearts of many equestrians. In this section, we will explore the breed’s origins, characteristics, height and weight, colors and markings, and temperament and personality.


The American Saddlebred is a breed that traces its roots back to the early settlers in the United States. Developed primarily in Kentucky, the breed is a result of crossing Thoroughbred, Morgan, and Narragansett Pacer horses. The American Saddlebred quickly gained popularity for its smooth gaits, athleticism, and versatility, making it a staple in American horse shows and riding disciplines.

Breed Characteristics

One of the most distinguishing features of an American Saddlebred is its elegant and high-stepping gaits. These horses are known for their natural ability to perform in five gaits: walk, trot, canter, slow gait, and rack. Their arched neck, sloping shoulders, and chiseled head give them an eye-catching presence in the show ring. They are also known for their endurance and versatility, making them suitable for a variety of riding disciplines, including dressage, jumping, and trail riding.

Height and Weight

American Saddlebreds typically stand between 14 and 17 hands tall, with a weight range of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds. This breed exhibits a well-proportioned build with a strong back, powerful hindquarters, and long, straight legs. The overall impression is of a strong yet elegant horse, capable of carrying riders of various sizes and disciplines.

Colors and Markings

The American Saddlebred can be found in a variety of colors, including bay, black, chestnut, palomino, pinto, grey, and sorrel. Some horses may also have unique markings such as stars, socks, or blazes on their faces or legs. Despite the color variations, all American Saddlebreds share the same breed characteristics and gaits, allowing them to excel in the show ring and beyond.

Temperament and Personality

Known for their gentle and friendly nature, American Saddlebreds bond quickly with their riders and are known for their willingness to please. They are intelligent and learn quickly, making them a favorite among riders of all experience levels. This breed is also known for its adaptable nature, allowing them to excel in various riding disciplines and environments.

It is important to note that the cost of an American Saddlebred horse can vary significantly, with prices ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on factors such as age, training, show experience, and bloodlines. However, the elegance, versatility, and kind temperament of this breed make it an excellent choice for riders looking for a horse that will be a joy to own, ride, and showcase.

Riding and Disciplines

A saddlebred horse with white background

American Saddlebred horses are versatile and excel in various disciplines of equestrian sports. This section covers the different riding and disciplines where these horses excel, with sub-sections explaining each discipline in more detail.


American Saddlebred horses are known for their unique gaits, which include the walk, trot, canter, slow gait, and rack. The slow gait is a four-beat gait in which the horse lifts each foot individually and places it back down in a precise, graceful manner. The rack is a smooth, rapid gait with equal intervals between each footfall, making it comfortable for the rider.

Show Ring

Saddlebred horses have a strong presence in the show ring due to their distinctive high-stepping gaits and elegant appearance. These horses are often divided into three-gaited and five-gaited classes, which differentiate between horses that perform the walk, trot, and canter or those that also perform the slow gait and rack.

Show and Pleasure Driving

In show and pleasure driving, Saddlebred horses are harnessed to a carriage and driven by a driver. The horse’s high-stepping gait and lively demeanor make them an ideal choice for this discipline, which includes both competitive events and recreational driving.

Saddle Seat

Saddle seat riding is a style originating in the United States, created to showcase high-stepping breeds like the American Saddlebred. Saddle seat riders sit further back on the horse to better accentuate the horse’s movement and fluid actions. This discipline highlights the horse’s balance, strength, and agility.

Trail Riding

American Saddlebred horses are not only suited for show rings and competitions but also make excellent trail horses. Their smooth gaits, stamina, and adaptable nature make them great for long rides on varied terrain. They are generally good-natured and interactive while trail riding, and their light build makes them comfortable over long distances.

Dressage and Jumping

While Saddlebred horses might not be as commonly seen in dressage and jumping competitions compared to other breeds, they certainly have the elegance, athleticism, and grace for these disciplines. With proper training, these horses can excel in both classical dressage and various jumping disciplines such as hunter and show jumping.

American Saddlebred horses are versatile and adaptable, making them an excellent choice for a variety of different riding and driving disciplines. Their unique gaits, elegant appearance, and athletic abilities make them well-suited for disciplines such as show ring, pleasure driving, saddle seat, trail riding, dressage, and jumping.

Buying and Caring for an American Saddlebred

American saddlebred horse standing in outdoors on a winter day

Purchasing Considerations

When looking to buy an American Saddlebred horse, there are several factors to consider. Prices can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on age, training, bloodlines, and show ring experience. Determine the desired qualities in your horse, such as:

  • Age: filly, colt, mare, stallion, or gelding
  • Level of training
  • Show ring experience, if any
  • Temperament and suitable discipline

Keep in mind that adult Saddlebreds typically weigh 800-1,200 pounds and stand between 15.1-16.3 hands (61-67 inches) tall.

Adoption and Leasing Options

If purchasing is not the desired route, consider adopting or leasing a Saddlebred. Adoption allows the opportunity to obtain a horse at lower cost while providing a loving home. Rescues and organizations often have Saddlebreds that need a second chance. Leasing, on the other hand, offers a more flexible and temporary option. A lease can be beneficial for those not ready to commit fully to horse ownership.


Grooming is crucial for maintaining a healthy Saddlebred. Regular grooming practices include:

  • Brushing the coat to remove dirt and promote circulation
  • Cleaning mane and tail to prevent tangling
  • Hoof care to check for cracks, thrush, or debris
  • Clipping excess hair around ears, muzzle, and fetlocks

Saddlebreds often have more extensive mane and tail care due to their participation in shows.


A well-rounded diet contributes significantly to a Saddlebred’s health. Their nutritional needs include:

  • Hay or pasture grass for forage
  • Feed concentrate (grain, pellets) for additional nutrients
  • Vitamins and minerals for overall health and metabolism
  • Fresh water at all times

Adjust the diet according to the horse’s activity level, age, and specific needs.

Health Issues

Saddlebreds are generally healthy breeds, but they can be prone to certain health issues. Some potential concerns are:

  • Stifle problems due to their high-stepping gait
  • Hock joint issues from their athletic nature
  • Inheritance of Narragansett Pacer genes, affecting gait
  • Ringbone and sidebone, conditions affecting the lower limb joints

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and attentive grooming can help prevent and manage these issues. Monitoring any changes in health or behavior promptly can ensure your American Saddlebred leads a 25-30 year lifespan.

Training and Success with an American Saddlebred

An elegant red saddlebred horse standing near a wooden fenced paddock

Working with a Beginner

American Saddlebred horses are known for their elegant and noble appearance, making them an attractive option for beginners looking to enter the world of horse riding. Their easy-to-train nature and natural balance make them a popular choice for novice riders. These horses are also known for their calm and friendly demeanor, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for those just starting out.

School Horses

In many riding schools, American Saddlebreds serve as reliable school horses. Owing to their calm and friendly temperament, they are excellent choices for instructing riders of all ages and skill levels. Their versatility and adaptability make them valuable assets to any equestrian program.

Competitive Disciplines

American Saddlebred horses excel in various competitive disciplines due to their athletic abilities and elegant conformation. They particularly shine in the fine harness and combined driving, where their high-stepping leg action, high head, and tail carriage are displayed prominently. Some notable American Saddlebreds that have achieved success in competition include Wing Commander and Easter Cloud.

Veterinarian Support

Proper veterinarian support is essential to ensure the health and well-being of an American Saddlebred horse. Regular check-ups and vaccinations, along with appropriate dental care and deworming, are crucial aspects of maintaining the horse’s overall health. A strong working relationship with a trusted veterinarian ensures that any potential health issues are promptly addressed, keeping the horse in top condition for training and competition.

Bloodlines and Pedigrees

The pedigree and bloodlines of an American Saddlebred are of great importance to breeders and potential buyers alike. The breed has a rich history and diverse gene pool that contribute to its unique characteristics. By researching and understanding the bloodlines, potential owners can better assess a horse’s capabilities and potential for success. For example, a strong pedigree that includes accomplished show horses may indicate a promising future for a young American Saddlebred.

In conclusion, working with an American Saddlebred requires dedication and commitment from the owner, trainer, veterinarian, and rider. By understanding the needs of the horse and providing appropriate care, training, and support, these beautiful and versatile animals can achieve great success in various disciplines, while also serving as incredible companions for beginners and experienced riders alike.

How Much Does an American Saddlebred Horse Cost

An American saddlebred horse isolated with white background

The cost of an American Saddlebred horse varies significantly depending on factors such as pedigree, age, training, and achievements. On average, these horses can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. The price tends to be lower for those being adopted or rescued, while exceptional show horses may command higher prices.

The American Saddlebred is a breed known for its high-stepping leg action, high head and tail carriage, and elegant appearance. Originating in the United States, these versatile horses are used in various disciplines, from show to pleasure riding. Individuals of this breed generally stand between 15.1 and 16.3 hands tall (61-67 inches) and weigh 800-1,200 pounds source. They come in all colors and have a calm, friendly temperament.

When considering the purchase of an American Saddlebred, it is essential to research the horse’s history, including bloodlines and accomplishments. The pedigree can influence the cost, with horses from renowned lineage commanding higher prices. Potential buyers should also consider the horse’s age and level of training, which can be critical factors in determining the ultimate purchase price.

Apart from the initial cost of purchasing an American Saddlebred, it is essential to consider ongoing expenses. These may include stable fees, feed, veterinary care, and other miscellaneous costs necessary for maintaining the horse’s health and well-being. Prospective owners should factor these ongoing expenses into their purchasing decision to ensure they can give their new horse the care it requires.


In conclusion, the cost of an American Saddlebred horse can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on various factors such as pedigree, age, and level of training. This elegant and versatile breed, which is well-suited for both show and pleasure riding, requires a financial commitment not only in purchase price but also in ongoing maintenance costs. Potential buyers should research the horse’s history, determine their budget, and consider ongoing expenses before deciding to purchase an American Saddlebred. By doing so, they can make an informed decision and provide the best possible care for their new companion.