Skip to content

Need a lesson horse?

There is a wonderful, new source of safe and broke Saddlebred lesson horses. Here’s the story:


Over the past year or two, SOS’s for Saddlebreds in need of rescue started popping up with greater frequency on the web site, a popular Saddlebred-oriented Internet discussion forum. As more and more attention was drawn to these rescue situations, it was determined that a more organized clearinghouse needed to be developed. then devoted a section of its discussion board for rescue topics, along with posting a list of equine rescue organizations that have a track record of helping Saddlebreds.


As this effort picked up steam, Christy Parker, owner/trainer at Pine Haven Stables in Brunswick, GA, created a new 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. along with a corresponding web site  


At the same time, New Jersey trainer Nealia McCracken and her customer Pat Johnson began to spend their Mondays at New Holland Sales Stable in New Holland, Pennsylvania looking for Saddlebreds in need. Most of these horses are destined to go to the kill.


Many of these horses have spent a good portion of their lives going up and down the road for the Amish. They are now at a stage of their lives that this is no longer possible. However, they can and are making wonderful lesson horses.


McCracken and Johnson have brought home several of these horses and utilize them in North Wind Stables’ lesson program to see what type of riders they can carry. They start out with McCracken’s assistant trainer/son Jason riding them. If they pass the first test, McCracken’s daughter Jessie gives them another test ride. After that the lesson kids get their turn to determine just what level the horses are suited for.


All horses are handled, cleaned up, given baths, clipped etc. to give the rescuers a good idea of what the horses are really like. Then they are ready to find new homes. Some of these horses have ended up in Georgia at Parker’s Pine Haven Stables. Others have gone to a variety of new homes across the country.

                                                Two Success Stories

“Rex” – Before               "Rex” – After


“Blaze” aka Talmages Replica – Before           “Blaze” – After

McCracken and Parker are compiling a list of instructors looking for good lesson horses for their programs. All levels of horses are available depending on what goes thru the sale.


The current inventory includes:


  • Black 20 year old gelding. Will walk, trot, and canter both directions with a beginner rider. He is very thin but an attractive, high-headed horse.



  • Braveheart is a 20 year old chestnut gelding who was with the same Amish family for 18 of his 20 years. He will walk and trot, but not canter. We don’t think he ever learned how and it is kind of late now. He is extremely kind. He was ridden by a beginner rider with gaited horses flying past him, and he never took a step out of place. He will take care of your most precious cargo, the kids.


  • Socks is a handsome, sound gelding with papers – Nashville Sound – we do have a transfer for him. He is 20 and very laid back. He will walk, trot and canter both ways, but being lazy will fall out of the canter, and you have to encourage him to get him to trot. He is easy to deal with and we have had small children ride him with no problem. Though we haven’t ridden him on the trails –too cold here - he should be fine. He was good on the road for the Amish, just too lazy.


Money to purchase these horses was donated initially by Saddlebred lovers to Saddlebred Rescue at is a modest adoption fee for each horse, and a commitment is required that the horse will not be put thru an auction sale again. Once a horse is placed, the adoption fee is used to acquire the next one. The horses on hand change constantly so the above inventory is meant to provide an idea of what can be available any given day.


Donations of time, money, and stalls are always welcome. Transportation assistance from sales and rescue facilities to new homes is also needed. Donations of money, equipment, and horses to Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. are tax-deductible.


Nealia McCracken can be reached at (908) 362-7858 or Christy Parker can be reached at Pictures and other information on Saddlebred rescues can be seen at or in the “Rescue Me” forum.

More Stories

  • 2024 ASHBA Council and Committee Applications Are Now Live!

    If you are passionate about serving to strengthen the American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA) and the future of the American Saddlebred, you may be interested in joining one of ASHBA’s committees! ASHBA is proud to host a full slate of committees that allow all members to get involved. Read More
  • ASHBA Holding Statement Regarding World's Championship Horse Show

    The American Saddlebred Horse and Breeders Association has seen the Kentucky State Fair Board’s unexpected press release yesterday afternoon, after learning the day before of its plan to drop the United States Equestrian Federation as its governing body for the 2024 World Championship Horse Show. Read More
  • WCHS drops USEF, joins ESC

    Read More
  • WCHS Drops USEF, Joins ESC

    The World’s Championship Horse Show (WCHS) announced today that the Equine Sports Council (ESC) has been selected as the governing body ahead of the 2024 event. In February, the Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved the change, recognizing the importance of operating with Saddlebred-competition-tailored rules and standards emphasizing integrity, sportsmanship, and safety for the non-Olympic horse industry. Qualifying requirements for WCHS remain unchanged. Read More
  • Meet the Author Event with Emma Hudelson

    Join the American Saddlebred Museum on Friday, April 5 at 3:00 p.m. for a lecture, book signing and reception with Emma Hudelson author of Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story. This book is not only the tale of a remarkable horse, but of the American Saddlebred breed and the way these horses carried one rider back to herself.  Read More
  • 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals Qualifying Season Has Begun

     US Equestrian invites saddle seat equitation athletes in the junior exhibitor and adult amateur ranks to plan their path to the 2024 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Finals. The finals will be held once again at the UPHA American Royal National Horse Show in Kansas City, Mo., in November. Read More
  • Morgan Stallion Sweeps Winners Drawn

    In conjunction with the United Breeders Committee, the New England Morgan Horse Association and New England Regional Morgan Horse Show, have drawn the 2023-2024 Morgan Stallion Sweeps winners. Read More
  • Sunrise Junior Horse Hunter Challenge

     *We are in desperate need of a way to promote the cultivation of hunters and I feel this would be an exciting concept to get young hunters and professionals in the ring to market them and bring more value to our hunt division.* Read More
  • Latest Issue 2 24 HW

    Read More
  • Latest Issue 2 12 24

    Read More