The horses combine the refinement of the Arabian with the animation of the Saddlebred. The resulting horse has the high-set, upright, long, swan-like neck of the Saddlebred. The neck should not have a pronounced crest. The head is usually refined and small, with small ears and either a straight or concave profile. The horses are close-coupled with a level topline and have a very deep, laid back shoulder. The tail carriage is high. Typically, the NSH is 14.3-16.2 hands tall, with some individuals over or under.
The NSH may be a variety of colors, including the traditional bay, gray, chestnut and black of the Arabian, with Saddlebred ancestry adding a broader range of color than seen in the Arabian breed, including, most notably, pinto and palomino.