The Spotted Saddle Horse has been around since the prehistoric times; this has been proven through the discovery of their likeness carved into the walls of caves. Native Americans took a great liking to these horses and many tribes selected them as their preferred war mounts. The Spotted Saddle Horses of today can actually be traced back to horses that escaped ships that wrecked on American shores. These horses had a favored gait and after the end of the United States Civil War, many horses with this gait were imported to establish the breed in the country. As the years passed, selective breeding helped to produce a horse with a smooth gait and significant variation of color; this horse became known as the Spotted Saddle Horse.
As with many other different breeds of horse, other breeds have been introduced to improve it in different areas. Such horses that were added to the Saddle Horse bloodline are the Mustang and Standardbred. In recent years, the Tennessee Walking Horse has been introduced to preserve the gait of the horse. Due to the dominant gene from the Walking Horse, the Spotted Horse resembles a heavier version of the Walking Horse more than any other breed. They have proven to be exceptional athletes that excel particularly in trail events. They were also crossed with Spanish-American Pinto types to also improve the gait and coat color pattern, also with great strength and stamina.
The Spotted Saddle Horse has three different types of gait; the show walk, show gait, and canter. The show walk is a long reaching walk that can reach up to four to eight miles an hour; with the show gait, this breed can reach up to ten and even twenty miles per hour; the canter is a gait of order and is also referred to as the "rocking chair gait". The breed has actually become rather famous for being able to perform these gaits. There is also another variation of different gaits that the horse can perform; they are the rack, stepping pace, fox trot, single foot, and other versions of the intermediate gait.
For a horse to be qualified and approved for the Spotted Saddle Horse Registration, it must have a coat pattern that shows behind the head and above the hocks. This however does not include any facial markings. They must also be able to perform a smooth, easy, non-trotting gait in order to be eligible for registration into the association. This horse is mostly used for pleasure riding, utility, and competing in different show rings.
The idea behind the production of the Spotted Saddle Horse was to produce the ideal saddle horse. Today this horse participates in such events as barrel racing, reining, pole bending, and team penning. This breed of horse comes in an assortment of color patterns; the most common are the tobiano and the overo; this includes almost all solid colors as well as almost solid white.