I decided to show you some of my saddlseat reference photos. My Friend Danille Hart got me thinking about this reference after she asked for it earlier this week.
These particular photos are specifically "Saddlebred" style Saddleseat. I know that a lot of folks think that "Saddleseat" saddles and styles are all the same, but they are not. Arabians, Morgans, Saddlebreds and Tennessee Walking horses all use their saddleseats differently and there are different styles of saddlseat saddles. Also, believe it or not, different states even have a "culture" that is different from one another. Since I live in Kentucky, I'm going to share the knowledge that I have gleaned from shows and saddlesat barns here. This is a touchy subject with saddleseat people so please understand, I am not trying to be the VOICE of saddlseat for model horses. These are just my observations and opinions.
Firstly, if you'll notice in the two shots that are first in line above, the saddleseat saddle does not fit, in any way, like a hunt seat saddle. The modern saddleseat saddle was designed to allow the shoulder complete freedom. The saddle sits behind the withers and behind the shoulder. Any other placement is considered wrong for a saddlebred.
Second there are many different kinds of saddlseat saddles. The Saddleseat folks local to Kentucky like the almost, entirely FLAT saddleast. The "dippy-er" saddleseat saddles are used for Saddlebred equitation riders.
Third, laced reins are optional. Some riders use a snaffle rein that is laced; Some folks use both the snaffle and pelham reins laced; Some use reins that are not laced at all. There is no rule governing this so any are allowed.
Fourth: and this is what I have heard from hanging around saddlebred folk- the preferred browband color is Red or maroon. Yes, peple do use other colors but by and large what you'll see in the ring, the braids, browband and nosebands are either red or maroon. There is no rule governing the color so any color is allowed.
Fifth- Like the Huntseat folks, the preferred color of tack is Havana Brown or dark brown. A lot of times the tack looks black but that is the oil on the tack that is darkening it.
Some of the other photos above show the boots that the saddlebreds wear and a Cavesson set that I liked a lot at Friedmans booth during the Worlds Championship Horse show a few years ago.
Most of my photos above were taken at Premier Stables in Simpsonville, Ky. My friend Robin Hudson was nice enough to show me around and allow me to snap photos to my hearts desire :-)
I do realize that the Arabians, Morgans and TWH folks have different opinions of what is correct for saddlseat so if you want to comment with any particular point, (or questions)please feel free.