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Rocky Mountain Horses

This is a discussion on Rocky Mountain Horses within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category
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  • Rocky mountain horse discussion

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    01-11-2013, 11:56 AM
  #11
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyrider227    
This is our red chocolate Rocky - Jazz. We've had him about 3 years now. We found out just after buying him that he has ASD. In the last three years he went from showing signs of it during a vet check, to losing sight in his left eye and affected vision in his right. He is still a great trail horse. Very brave with obstacles. He listens to voice commands to step over things or go down embankments, etc. I now ride him with a fly mask made to attach to his bridle to keep the sun from bothering his eyes and he wears a fly mask all the time in the pasture.

We have rode on 5 to 6 hour rides climbing hills in the Missouri Ozarks and cantered in pastures, taking good care of his rider. He's an awesome horse!

FYI, chocolate and red chocolate horses have a decent probability of having ASD or carrying (passing on the gene if bred) the marker for this genetic disease, be careful and have a vet check done when buying a Rocky or Kentucky Mountain horse of these colors.

Could a Rocky Mountain cross get this?
     
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    01-11-2013, 02:25 PM
  #12
Weanling
The ASD (anterior segment dysgensis) eye problem is an ophthalmic abnormality caused by a dominant gene. This is one of the side affects of improper inbreeding. The Rocky Mountain breed was started by breeding a chocolate pony to a horse then inbreeding for several generations to get the chocolate color. The other side affects is some very hot bloods that can be very hot to handle. Unfortunately, too many breeders want these hot bloods for show. The do have presence, although, I'd call most of them, more than just a little off in the brain department.

To say the least, the Rocky Mountain horse has had a very rocky start. There are some very nice ones, and most of them have a very nice gait, but the genetic pool they used to start the breed was more than just a little bit lacking. They concentrated too much on color and not enough on substance, hence, ASD, etc.
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    01-12-2013, 12:58 AM
  #13
Foal
What kind of cross? What color is your horse?
     
    01-15-2013, 09:24 AM
  #14
Weanling
From what I read, in the above posts, you all are saying they have a lot of different personalities, prone to eye problems with certain colors, not likely to buck, and come in pretty colors. What else is special about them. I do not know much about the breed at all. What is the gait like?
     
    01-15-2013, 02:42 PM
  #15
Yearling
The horse in my avatar is my new (October) mare, Blossom. She's a kind, kind, kind mare and exactly what I need to get over a rotten accident last July.
She's 16 and a former brood mare who's happy to do anything I ask of her.
She's SMOOTH and I love her. She's Rocky Mountain Saddle Horse and Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse.
     
    01-15-2013, 02:52 PM
  #16
Trained
I own 2. We've had discussions about the history of this breed, but, in short, they are a very old breed that almost died out. Several other breeds were created with old RMH blood, like the TWH (in the 19th century), therefore that is where the breeders went to outcross after they established a registry, some 25-30 years ago.
My 14yo mare is typey, about 15'2hh and stocky with a big barrel. My 6yo gelding looks more TWH, bc he is taller than the standard at 16'3hh and looks, at least to me, like there is some Percheron way back in his ancestry, as with all TWH's.
People love their gaits, but they benefit from dressaging and collection, like any other breed.
If you aren't very familiar with the breed, be advised that they are NOT laid back like an old, relaxed QH can be. Gaited breeds can be docile but they all have BIG motors. The literally prefer to "eat up" the trails at their amble, and you might end up being more worn out at the end of the ride than the horse is.
One more thing, you'll need an bigger halter for them, to accommodate their thicker jowl.
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    01-15-2013, 06:35 PM
  #17
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
If you aren't very familiar with the breed, be advised that they are NOT laid back like an old, relaxed QH can be. Gaited breeds can be docile but they all have BIG motors. The literally prefer to "eat up" the trails at their amble, and you might end up being more worn out at the end of the ride than the horse is.
One more thing, you'll need an bigger halter for them, to accommodate their thicker jowl.
I generally agree with Corporal on many things, but this is one of the exceptions (sorry girl.)
My boy is very laid back. As much as most QHs I've been around (and there have been many) ....and my boy does NOT have a big motor.
As a matter of fact his lack of "go" is one of the main reasons I bought him and he is as smooth as butter, no doubt about that.
Just because he doesn't have half the motor that many of the gaited breeds do, doesn't mean that his meandering is not a good gait.
Not at all, it's just that he likes to set is cruise control on smooth and mellow and he doesn't have to be the first one to arrive.

Along with plenty of non-gaited breeds, I've ridden TWH, Pasos, Saddlebreds, and now Rockies. And while many of the gaited breeds do have big motors, there are plenty out there who don't. If someone is looking, they can be found.

Halters- I actually have a problem with average halters being too big and Arab halters too small, so if a "cob" size isn't available I have to get regular halters with everything ajustable so I can take them all the way up and all the way in to be able to fit. If you look back at my boy though, you will se he is in no way "refined." Quite the opposite actually.
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    01-16-2013, 09:33 AM
  #18
Foal
Wow, you just described a Rocky/Kentucky Mtn horse that I owned briefly. She seemed okay when I tried her, the owner was several months pregnant so I accepted her explanation why the horse hadn't been out much. A month after I bought her she was in better condition and her crazy side showed, I called the owner who admitted that she only rode the horse for three months before giving up on her. The breeders that she bought her from gave up trying to ride her and used her as a brood mare (terrible idea, imo). I worked with her for a year then sold her with full disclosure to a woman who has also given up on her and she now lives as a pasture pet.

That horse hated *all* horses, kicked constantly, spent her trail rides trying to attack the other horses, bolted, never walked, pranced, spun, spooked at everything. I had her in a 15 acre pasture and I still had to lunge her before I rode. Sometimes her brain would snap while lunging and she would just go faster and faster until she fell down. Just completely nuts. Nice ground manners for some reason, but if a horse walked past her she'd try to attack it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
The other side affects is some very hot bloods that can be very hot to handle. Unfortunately, too many breeders want these hot bloods for show. The do have presence, although, I'd call most of them, more than just a little off in the brain department.

To say the least, the Rocky Mountain horse has had a very rocky start. There are some very nice ones, and most of them have a very nice gait, but the genetic pool they used to start the breed was more than just a little bit lacking. They concentrated too much on color and not enough on substance, hence, ASD, etc.
     
    01-16-2013, 12:03 PM
  #19
Weanling
A consistent temperament in a breed is often a problem. I wonder why. Is it something that people don't breed for? I would think it would be a valued trait. If a person was looking for mellow and laid back they he could count on Breed X to have that but if he wanted some energy and responsiveness he could look in Breed W for that. Even among breeds that are labeled "hot" like Arabs or TBs have many calm quiet members and they have been an closed breeds for centuries. Other traditionally cold or calm natured breeds can have high strung members. What does everyone else think?
     
    01-16-2013, 12:30 PM
  #20
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by G8tdh0rse    
A consistent temperament in a breed is often a problem. I wonder why. Is it something that people don't breed for? I would think it would be a valued trait. If a person was looking for mellow and laid back they he could count on Breed X to have that but if he wanted some energy and responsiveness he could look in Breed W for that. Even among breeds that are labeled "hot" like Arabs or TBs have many calm quiet members and they have been an closed breeds for centuries. Other traditionally cold or calm natured breeds can have high strung members. What does everyone else think?
When we make a breeding decision we look at three things:

Conformation: 34%
Temperament: 33%
Way of going: 33%

Oh, and we have the Fourth Consideration: demonstrated transmissibility of traits!!!

Many breeders are "single issue breeders." That single issue is very often a physical characteristic (color, size, head shape, etc.). Color is probably the dominant issue; indeed, in some breeds, like Palomino or Paint or Appaloosa, it's a sine qua non.

But if it's not color (or tail set or head shape or whatever) it's a performance characteristic (speed, gait, "cow sense," etc.).

Few, if any, breeders consider "temperament" as a primary brood stock selection criteria. If it is considered at all it's an "oh, by the way..." item.

Single issue breeding will almost always lead to trouble. The current discussions of Rockies is but one example. Their problem is that they intentionally limited their genetic base. The Peruvian Pasos have some issues because their genetic base was small due to only a small number of stallions and mares being available. Frankly, we in the Marchador world have to keep this in mind as we make breeding decisions as our base is narrow.

G.
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