Every horse tells a story — and nearly every region of the world can trace its history back to a connection to horses. That’s especially true across Central Missouri.
Riders, breeders and enthusiasts of the American Saddlebred have traveled to Central Missouri for training, and to buy “The American Horse,” for more than a century.
The connection between place, people and horses took root as settlers moved west to Missouri in the years following America’s Civil War, bringing their horse stock with them.
Among these horses was the intelligent, versatile breed descending from the Narragansett Pacer, the American version of the English Pacer. Paul Revere is rumored to have ridden a Narragansett Pacer when he made his famous ride to warn Colonial Americans of the approaching British.
Kentucky breeders crossbred the Narragansett Pacer with Thoroughbreds to get the first American Saddle Horse, also known as the Saddlebred.
Prized for their finely-chiseled heads, large bright eyes, long fine necks, prominent withers and matchless stamina, these majestic high-stepping horses quickly became the most popular riding horses in America.
Today, a new generation of American Saddlebred enthusiasts are discovering the historic ties between the horse and its century-long breeding and cultivation in places like nearby Mexico, Missouri, where the American Saddlebred Museum exhibits an extensive collection of saddlebred memorabilia.
For equestrian professionals, an Online Master’s in Equestrian Education from William Woods University delivers an accessible way to gain field pedagogy skills to transition into the role of educator. While the Online Master’s in Equestrian Education does not require you to be on campus, knowing the historical roots of the American Saddlebred in Central Missouri is important context for your degree and your future life in the industry.
Future posts will explore this connection further, and present a wide array of topics covering the American Saddlebred, Equestrian Education, and a range of horsemanship issues.