Hccumminssmoke, I don't own stock in either, soooo I guess I don't really care!! TOTALLY LOL!!!
ALL I know is that the man I bought my mare from told me what breed she was, then rattled off famous breed names to me, to which I had never heard of any. (Now if he was talking TB's I would have recognized some famous names.)
HE told me that the breed originated in the late 1700's in Colonial America.
I bought my gelding (big head...left) from a KMHSA breeder a few hours north of me, in Northern Illinois, near the Wisconsin border. They are small breeders who specialize in pleasure KMSHA horses. They also generally breed from one or two studs. I have been told by several KMHSA and RMH owners over the past few years that the breed numbers are low--so did "Warren's Cindy"'s, the owner of my 15'2hh mare--and I have discovered that some KMSHA breeders have bred TWH back in to increase the numbers, enlargen the gene pool and still keep the amble. I am sure that MY gelding, at 16'3hh, is an anomaly to the breed because he is much taller, MUCH leggier, and generally reminds ME of a TWH, since TWH's have Percheron way back in their pedigree. (Hence the height and bone structure.)
I guess we could also quibble about QH's. THEY were first bred in the Colonies but it wasn't until "Wimpy" in 1940 that somebody bothered to start a breed registry.
I think what happened was an increased interested in gaited pleasure horses over the last several decades in America. Many older riders (now 53yo), like me, have been riding for a long time and now want a more comfortable ride. Older gaited breeds are being rediscovered, and people want to know where they come from. Heck, I rode my KMHSA mare yesterday in my English saddle sans strirrups. She'll amble for MILES.
Doesn't matter much to me WHERE they originated. I'm just happy that they did. =D
BTW, IF the moderators don't mind, I'd like to post the website where we bought him-- Appleridge Mountain Horses by Bill & Deb Dietz
I would definitely buy from them again! If anybody is looking for a good trail riding horse, you might contact them. They have a blue roan mare for sale that doubled in price after they finished her--worth it, too. I saw her 2 years ago, and she was a real looker.