American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin
Known as the peacock of the horse world, the American Saddlebred horse is admired for its high-stepping, flashy gaits. Developed during the 1700s from the natural-gaited Galloway and Hobbie horses from the British Isles and crossed with Thoroughbreds, this new American breed was used for riding and driving.
In addition to the walk, trot, and canter, many Saddlebreds can also be five-gaited, performing the slow-gait and rack. The slow gait is a four-beat gait performed in a prancing motion, lifting the legs very high. The rack is a more ground-covering four-beat gait, with high knee and hock action.
Today's American Saddlebred is a popular show horse competing in saddleseat, harness, Western, and even dressage and hunter/jumper classes. They are fashionable parade horses and comfortable trail mounts.
These horses stand an average of 15 to 16 hands high and come in the colors of black, bay, chestnut, and the occasional gray, palomino, pinto, and buckskin.
Saddlebreds have been featured in movies and television. The famous talking horse, Mr. Ed, was a palomino Saddlebred.