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).