First up, the bays. On the top is the #5202 Western Rider and Saddle Set (2000-04) which was also released in the #5984 Delivery Wagon (2003-05) play set; with the overlapping production dates, the models in the two sets are all essentially the same with the normal range found in the China-produced models. The red bay colour tends to be rather flat, the two hind socks have softly airbrushed edges and grey hooves, the legs and muzzle are shaded black, and the ribbons are dark purple with white dots. Besides the hind socks she sports no other markings.
The model on the bottom is from the #5981 Stablemates Horses Gift Pack (2002-06). She is a darkly shaded red-bay with a much richer colour than the previous model. Her hind socks are higher with sharp edges and she has a large star and a snip. The braids have dark green spots on an antique gold background.
The model on the top is the only old plastic G2 American Saddlebred release; all of the models in the Just About Horses #790798 Special Edition Stablemates Gift Set (1998) were produced in old plastic. She has two airbrushed hind socks with shell-coloured hooves, a large star, a slightly pink snip, and white braids with bright blue spots.
On the bottom left is from the #5309 Horspital Play Set (2001-07); the model to the right is meant to be a re-release of #5309 for the #5414 New Arrival (2013-14) play set, but there are some slight differences.
#5309 tends to be more matte in finish and has sharply defined socks with cream-coloured hooves on the off-fore and near-hind legs and solid cranberry-coloured ribbons. #5414 is more satin to semi-gloss with darker solid cranberry ribbons. Her socks are on the same legs as #5309, but they are airbrushed instead of stenciled and the hooves are lighter cream.
The same colour - black tobiano - can express so differently. The model on the top is an extensive tobiano with the classic "shield" pattern while the other two are more minimal with high white stockings and "maps" on their shoulders.
The extensive tobiano model is #5904 Black and White Pinto Saddlebred (2006) and replaced the G1 model in this colour - unofficially in late 2005, officially in 2006. It can't be mistaken for the other models except on paper. This model was also re-released through Target as #720116 American Saddlebred (2006) and as part of the #760188 Durango Western Riding School (2009), a Tractor Supply Company special run. This release has blue-violet ribbons with large antique gold dots.
The other two models are often thought to be identical, but there are some subtle differences. On the left is the JCPenney Special Run #410175 Stablemates Parade of Breeds - Saddlebred, Black & White Pinto (2005). Her "map" on the off-side is smaller, while the patches on her near-side are larger and the spot on her near-side "map" is lower. She has eye-whites, a slightly shorter and more ruffly star. Her braids are white with bright blue V spots.
# 720225 Pony Gals - American Saddlebred (2009) on the right is from the Target special run singles assortment; this model I refer to as the "pincher" model as the spot on her off-side "map" terminates in a little crab claw - this marking is longer than that on #410175, the near-side spots are smaller. Her braids are white with bright blue dots.
These three are very different visually, but may sound similar on paper. #59978 Saddlebred Mare and Foal (2000-02) on the bottom-left is the only regular run. She's a nice, medium grey with bubble dapples, four high white stenciled stockings, a bald airbrushed face, solid cranberry ribbons, and a tan tip to her tail.
The top model, #410174 Stablemates Parade of Breeds - American Saddlebred, Steel Grey with Blue and White Show Braids 2004 is a JCPenney special run in a speckledy flea-bitten grey with an off-hind coronet and a large star with a tiny broken blaze. She has beautifully detailed eyes with slightly pink eye-whites. Her braids are white with bright blue alternating diagonal stripes.
On the bottom-right is from the QVC Special Run Silver Cup Series, First Collection (2002). This rather dramatic dapple grey sports a high gloss and is a soft white with dark grey shading and dapples coming up from below. She has three airbrushed socks and a near-hind coronet with grey hooves. She has no other markings and solid gold braids.
Top row from left to right: #760218 Stablemate World of Horses Shadow Box - Saddlebred (2010) from the Toys R Us special run gift set and #5904 Liver Chestnut Saddlebred (2003-06). #760218 is supposed to be a re-release of #5904, but there are some slight differences which appear too frequently to put it down as a variation.
#760218 is more orange, has little to no shading, a semi-gloss finish, a brighter flaxen tail, brighter hooves, and sloppy ribbons. #5904 is more matte to satin, has lighter hooves, a darker flaxen tail, more shading, and cleaner ribbons. The gap in production years means that these models were not produced at the same time and randomly assigned to a set. Both models have dark green ribbons with gold dots.
#5904 does have a contemporary re-releases - #720116 American Saddlebred (2006), part of the Target special run singles assortment. This model is identical to #5904 and the dates show these chestnut models were likely produced as a batch and randomly assigned to regular run or special run packaging.
On the bottom are the two unique special runs. #711080 Stablemates 20th Anniversary Commemorative Set - 1998 Rejoice (2009) is BreyerFest special run and the only chestnut G2 American Saddlebred so far to have a mane and tail darker than her body colour. She's a soft fawn colour with three airbrushed socks (not the off-fore), a stenciled blaze terminating in a snip, eye-whites, and black braids with red dots.
#701706 Special Edition Connoisseur Set - Mini Third Time's a Charm (2006) is from another Just About Horses gift set and is the first American Saddlebred model to sport airbrushed dapples. She's a much darker chestnut than the others and the most heavily shaded. In addition to the dapples she has four high whites, cream-coloured hooves, shaded flaxen mane and tail (the tail being lighter than the mane), detailed brown eyes with slightly pink eye-whites, a short blaze ending in a white muzzle, and bright blue ribbons with silver dots.
#6029 American Saddlebred (2015-current) is a lovely red-brown chestnut and the first sabino G2 American Saddlebred. She has eye-whites, four high whites, a wide blaze and snip, and solid sea foam green ribbons.
The BreyerFest Single Day Ticket model, #711211 Emmy (2010) is a creamy flaxen chestnut with a pearly finish and is the first G2 American Saddlebred with airbrushed dapples since the Mini Third Time's a Charm. She has three socks, not including the near-hind, a dainty little star, and solid gold ribbons.
Everybody is looking for the G2 American Saddlebred from the German Show Special Stablemate Set (2006). Her high-gloss finish and bright palomino colour as well as her incredible rarity make her stand out from the crowd. She has a large star, one stenciled sock with a shell-coloured hoof on the off-hind leg - her other hooves are dark - and her ribbons are dark green with gold dots.
The remaining palomino G2 American Saddlebred releases are much easier to find than the German SR. The model on the top-left is the first release of this mold - #5608 Saddlebred (1998-02). She is the classic palomino colour with subtle shading, four airbrushed socks, pink hooves, a blaze ending in a pink snip, and white ribbons with half purple, half grass-green V spots.
On the top-right is the Mare from the Target Special Run #720234 Pony Gals - New Arrival Play Set (2009). She is a more peach-toned palomino with little body shading, but darker shaded joints. The hind legs have airbrushed socks with orangey-tan hooves, black front hooves, a thin blaze, and fuchsia ribbons with white spots.
The lightest palomino is from the spring release #5990 Cottontail Express (2005). She has dark grey hooves with four very faint airbrushed socks, a solid face, and white ribbons with alternating yellow and pink spots.
The unpainted models are essentially identical - #700202 Holiday Ornament Craft Kit (2002) has a gold-coloured ornament ring in the back while the #994138 Colorful Breeds Paint Activity Set (2009) model is ring-free.
Many thanks to Kris Chernoff of Model Equus, Sharon Walbridge, MySt of My Stablemates, and Deb Walsmith for providing pictures for this post!