American Saddlebreds have their origin in the horses of the British Isles during the Middle Ages. Because roads were so difficult, the most popular mounts were those which "ambled," or performed a comfortable, four-beat gait. Later imported to the American colonies and bred to Thoroughbreds, the prototypical Saddlebred, called an "American Horse," was developed. It was distinctive for its inclination to perform the four-beat gaits, having inherited the ability from both sides of its pedigree. The breed type was set by the time of the American Revolution and developed throughout the nineteenth century, eventually including strains of Standardbred and Morgan blood.
The American Saddlebred typically stands between 15 and 16 hands (five feet to five feet four inches) tall, measured at the withers, which is the point where the neck meets the back. The Saddlebred weighs between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds, and comes in all colors - most are chestnut, bay, brown or black. The breed is known for its athletic ability and elegant conformation - a long, fine neck, well-sloped shoulders, flat croup and long, lean legs.