SOUTH­ERN SADDLERS

EQUUS - - Conformati­on Insights -

While the Colo­nial Quar­ter Run­ning Horse (CQRH) is pri­mar­ily a prod­uct of the South, that re­gion has also con­sis­tently pro­duced a more slen­der and flex­i­ble equine type which we may call the “South­ern sad­dler.” In her his­tory of the Rocky Moun­tain Horse, Bon­nie Hodge presents Civil War-era pho­tos of this type, which out­crops when the horse takes more af­ter its am­bling Thor­ough­bred an­ces­tors than its Vir­ginia Hobby or CQRH ones.

A very evoca­tive Civil War-era photo show­ing a South­ern sad­dler. Union of­fi­cers gather on the porch of a cap­tured plan­ta­tion as re­cently eman­ci­pated slaves at­tend the an­i­mal.

This tin­type im­age, made just be­fore the Civil War, shows a plan­ta­tion over­seer prob­a­bly in Louisiana. Overseers needed to cover thou­sands of acres of slave-worked farm­land in the Gulf states and uni­ver­sally pre­ferred easy-gaited horses of this type.

A young cav­al­ry­man from south­ern Ohio poses aboard his calm, palomino­col­ored South­ern sad­dler in 1890. This geld­ing strongly re­sem­bles the Rocky Moun­tain foun­da­tion horse Old Tobe.

A draw­ing by Fred­eric Rem­ing­ton pub­lished in Harper’s Weekly of 1886 de­picts a South­erner out to go hunt­ing with hounds.

A Ken­tucky Moun­tain Sad­dle Horse on ex­hibit at the Ken­tucky Horse Park in Lex­ing­ton. His con­for­ma­tion is re­mark­ably sim­i­lar to the horse in Rem­ing­ton’s draw­ing, made 100 years ear­lier (photo cour­tesy Ken­tucky Horse Park).

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