In Lexington, Kentucky, there is a museum and gift shop dedicated to the breeding, competing, history, appreciation, and betterment, of the American saddlebred. The museum has collected a vast array of memorabilia, artworks, literature, awards, and photos celebrating the breed and has brought them together under one roof in what has to be the largest museum of its kind in the country.
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Many consider Kentucky to be the home of the American saddlebred, and the horse that built America was once even known as the Kentucky Saddler. The museum builds upon the legacy of the horse and its importance to American history. It hopes to educate, entertain, and maybe even interest a whole new generation of breeders, showjumpers, riders, and appreciators in general.
The breed itself was bred as a workhorse, although in recent years it has moved into the realm of the show horse. They are considered by many to be the perfect horse and are incredibly elegant with their exaggerated movements, high trot, and gait.
A truly American horse, the saddlebred has been carefully bred to perfection. Historically, they were used as officer’s mounts in the American Civil War and have since been shipped all around the world due to their ever-rising popularity.
The American Saddlebred Museum itself has a rotating supply of artifacts and collections, and the artwork they’ve collected celebrates the beauty and appreciation that many have for the breed.
Admission and Membership
Admission for anyone 13 or over is $12 in the winter season and $20 in the summer. However, admission is free for those holding a membership.
Membership to the museum can be bought for as little as $35 a year, with concessions for younger members and a few deals on packages for the entire family. They also offer a lifetime membership for $1,000, which can be purchased in installments of $250 a year.
The benefits of membership include free entry into the museum, discounted admission to other museums in the area, a discount on purchases from the gift shop, a subscription to the ASM newsletter, an invitation and eligibility to vote and participate at the annual museum meeting, free access, and use of the ASM’s research library.
All membership fees go to the upkeep and support of the museum itself.
The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop is open Memorial Day to Labor Day Monday to Sunday from 9:00am to 6:00pm and September through May from 9:00am until 5:00pm daily. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays from November through mid-March. They are closed on all public state holidays including New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving’s Eve, and Thanksgiving Day.
4083 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, Kentucky, 40511, website, Phone: 859-259-2746
Back to: Lexington, Kentucky