How can I learn more about the rare Rocky Mountain Horse Breed?
I looking to switch to a gaited horse for riding the Oregon rugged mountain trails and want to learn more about the Rocky Moutain Horse. I have read the association information but really want to talk to folks who own these horses and find out where I can ride some real rocky mountain horses.
Since you have read the association site, you know that the Rocky Mountain horse breed started in the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky. It was bred as a utility horse to be sure-footed, easy-gaited and good-natured. People used them for plowing thier fields, herding cattle, traveling through the steep & rugged trails and driving the buggy to church on Sunday. This created a very friendly and versatile breed.
The next step for you would be to visit some farms and ride some horses. Since you live in the Northwest, feel free to send me a personal email and I will arrange a time for you to come to our home to ride our rockies. I also highly recommend a trip to Kentucky if you can manage it. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks when we got started with mountian horses traveling through the larger Rocky Mountain & Kentucky Mountain horse farms and learned a great deal. If you only have time for one farm, I can recommend vanbertfarms in Stanton KY (near natural state bridge - the home of Rocky Mountain Horse). This is a family owned horse farm and one of the largest rocky and kentucky moutain horses in the nation. They are extremely knowledgable and have dozens of horses which you can ride and learn about the different classes of mountain horse gaits. You can find contact information on their web site:
I too own 4 of the little dears. Sorry, I'm a bit too far for you to come for a ride.
I have 2 mares and their fillys born 3 years ago. I have recently started saddle breaking the baby's. They are extremely easy to train. Intelligent and willing, they just want to please their people.
All of ours are barefoot and always have been. They are surefooted and have great feet.
Don't rule out the Kentucky Mountain Saddle horse when doing a breed search. They are all the same horse just different registry's. Also the Spotted Mountain horse except they have more color but the same attributes.
Mine are double registered with both groups Rocky and Kentucky.
I personally prefer the Kentucky group but that is for my own reasons.
They are all based in and around Lexington KY.
Since you already cruised the association's website I suggest contacting some local farms in the area that have Rockies and check them out. I had a couple out to visit mine and they didn't even get to experience the gait as my mare just had her foal and they feel in love...they now own 4 mountain horses.
They are a fantastic breed and have 2 rockies and 1 kentucky moutain horse- Don't rule out the Kentucky mountain horse either as Vidaloco said.
Thanks everyone for all the great assistance. Especially to RockNRoll for the ride and information regarding her beautiful horses. I'm excited to tell you that I have scheduled a trip to Kentucky - I will post pictures when I return.
Have a wonderful time in Kentucky!
Good Luck to you!
Can't wait to see the pictures.
Kentucky Mountain Horses are not the same as Rockies! That is an outrage. Rockies are pure, although some Ketucky Mountains are resgistered with Rocky as well the Registery is much looser and will allow almost anything in! X( If you want a real rocky mountain get one registered with or from two rocky parents because if you go with Kentucky.. . you really dont know what you are getting, snice they only go by height and gait. Mixed horses are allowed into the registery as well as TWH's. Anything that meets the height requirements and can rack :P Kentucky Mountains are less expensive to acquire but you dont always know what your getting so I would look for one that has two rocky parents. I myself am a proud owner of one and am about to acquire another one. They are great little horses and most are very docile but a horse is a horse and no matter the breed they all have different personalities. Some are very docile and some are not just like any other breed. If you lived closer you could come and ride ours.
Some Kentuckies are the same as Rockies if the foal for some reason doesnt meet all the requirements that the RMHA puts into place then it will have to be registered Kentucky. Be it height or possibly one of the parents werent certified at its birth. Kentucky will register Rocky Mountains, the RMHA will not register a Kentucky Mountain Certified Horse. The foal has to be born into it, both parents have to be registered with the RMHA. Anyway sorry about the rant, have fun on your trip! post lots of pics! and you never know... you may end up bringing one home ;)
Pardon me, but they are of the same lineage. All out of the Old Tobe line both have the same breed standards. The only difference is the Rocky association wants their family tree to be a palm and the Kentucky association want to avoid excessive inbreeding.
They were at one time all one association. The Rocky group, formed in 1989 had several members who worried about the inbreeding being sanctioned by the group and in 1989, Robert Robinson, Jr., a native of Irvine, Kentucky broke away from the the original group to form the Kentucky Mountain saddle horse group.
So you see it was for political reasons and the wish to improve the breed that the original group splintered and the other groups formed. I think your outrage is a little misplaced. Do the research, I believe the only difference in the 2 groups is its non/for profit status and that is a tax loophole not a breed difference.
I guess it come down to how brainwashed you are, how you see these horses. I for one prefer and open breeding book for as long as possible. For the Rocky group to close its book so soon after its inception is extremely irresponsible. If they wish to improve the breed rather than incubate genetic defects that come from over breeding they need to open their book back up.
Check your fact, there is a standing feud between the 2 groups. Its very obvious in some of the statements made on the Rocky website. They take every opportunity to take shots at the Kentucky group. I've been to Lexington and Georgetown, visited both offices. Its pretty in your face the way the feel about each other.
I find it upsetting when people of the Rocky persuasions **** the Kentucky group. I am a member of both and get really sick of the bickering. Its the horses that counts not some old back hills feud going on between 2 boards members.
ETA KMSHA is the same as the rocky in that if the mare or stallion is not certified to breed the foal can't be registered. You make it sound like the foal of an uncertified Rocky is some poor mutant when in fact it just means the breeder didn't take the time to do the certification. With either group no amount of DNA testing can get a foal registered if the sire or dam weren't certified.
KMSH breed standard:
Foals by a Certified KMSHA/SMHA stallion and out of a Certified KMSHA/SMHA mare can be registered with a Temporary Certificate of Registration. This is done by submitting:
A completed application for registration
Five clear, color photographs showing front, back, left and right sides, and under the chin.
A Breeder's Certificate prepared by the stallion owner a the time the mare was bred. If no Breeder's Certification is available, an affidavit stating the same information requested on the Breeder's Certificate and signed by the stallion owner, will be accepted.
For any KMSHA foal to receive a Temporary Certificate of Registration, it is also necessary to submit a DNA sample for proof of parentage.
Spotted Mountain Horse foals who do not have registered/certified KMSHA/SMHA parents may be issued a temporary certificate of registration if the foal is filmed gaiting on a leadline and a video is sent to the KMSHA Officer or it is examined by two (2) KMSHA examiners.
Once a horse is “under saddle” and before it is either bred or has attained the age of four (4) (age being determined as of the date their fourth birthday occurs) it must be “Certified to Breed” (Mares or Stallions). Before a horse can be certified, DNA or Blood analysis must be on file with the University of Kentucky to establish identity. Temporary registration papers will expire on all horses who are not certified by their fourth birth date. Effective 2007 and forward, all foals are required to have DNA on record with the KMSHA and SMHA for proof of parentage upon certification and before permanent registration.by having DNA analysis on record with the KMSHA and SMHA before a temporary certificate of registration will be issued.
Upon satisfactory examination of a horse for conformation and certification of gait under saddle by two (2) KMSHA licensed examiners or a video of the above requirements sent to the KMSHA office for approval, a horse will be entered into the permanent registry books of the association. As a part of the certification process, a horse must display the following characteristics;
Show evidence of a gentle temperament and a willing disposition. This evidence must be observed by two (2) examiners or shown on a video tape submitted to the KMSHA office at the time application for certification is made. Any horse that displays a temperament that is unruly or unmanageable will not be eligible for certification.
Demonstrate a smooth, comfortable and natural four beat gait (with four distinct hoof beats) under saddle.
There are two size categories of the KMSHA/SMHA. At maturity a horse must stand 14.2 hands or above in order to qualify for a class A registration. Class B registrations are for horses 11 hands to 14.1 hands at maturity. No horse can be registered KMSHA or SMHA if at maturity it stands less than 11 hands. All measurements are to be measured on a perpendicular at a point where their neck joins the body. In finding that point the head and neck should be raised at the throat latch, pushing toward the back of the body, to produce a tuck in the neck and should not be in a relaxed position. There is no upper height limit.
Conformation characteristics; the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse & Spotted Mountain Horse should show an above average degree of beauty and refinement. They must be of medium bone and substance, reflecting their heritage as an all-around utility breed. The horse should present an appearance of athleticism and the ability to perform useful work. Traditionally, KMSHA/SMHA horses have a compact, well-muscled and close-coupled frame. The head is attractive, cob sized, not too long or wide in appearance, proportional, with a broad flat forehead, well defined jaw and a face in profile that is neither severely Roman nor dished. Looking straight at the front of the head, the distance from the middle point between the eyes to the middle point between the nostrils, is of medium length. The facial composure overall, is very pleasing to the observer. The neck is of medium length and thickness, with the top line of the neck longer than the underline, and meets the back behind the shoulder. The neck should show an ability to flex at the poll and not be tied into the body too low in the chest. Little to no wither is desirable.
Principles of sound conformation relevant to all breeds are applicable to the KMSHA/SMHA horses. Planes of the legs when viewed from the front and the rear should be straight and aligned. Severe cases of sickle hocks, cow hocks, hoofs turned in or out, and all other variances from correct structure of the major joints are not desirable. When viewed from the side, horses should have near equal proportions between the forequarter, body and hindquarter with proper angulations of the shoulder and humerus. An upright humerus and front legs not set too far underneath the body also allow for good stride and reach. The horse has a strong topline, short in the coupling, with a rounded croup. The tail set should be natural.
KMSHA horses can be any solid body color. White markings should be limited to the face, (no bald faces) the legs (no excessive amount of white above the knees or hocks) and an area on the belly that is behind the breast bone and under the ends of the rib cage not to exceed 36 square inches (6x6 - no bigger than the size of the hand).
Any horse that does not meet the limited amount of white requirement as stated above but carries significant white markings known as tobiano, overo, sabino, etc. may be registered/certified SMHA, (a subsidiary of the KMSHA). A colt or a filly that is of solid body color and is foaled by one or both Spotted Mountain Horse parents, must be registered SMHA with no exceptions. At this time, there is not a fool proof genetic test that can determine that a solid colored offspring will not throw spots. A solid colored gelding from a Spotted parent(s), may be registered/certified either SMHA or KMSHA, but not both.
The KMSHA breed registry foundation books are closed for Mares and Stallions. A “grandfather clause” may be utilized for foundation registration if a Mare or Stallion has full registration from the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, Mountain Pleasure Horse Association or Kentucky Naturally Gaited Horse Association registries only.
The KMSHA Gelding books are still open for registration of geldings who meet the standards of the breed.
Appendix Mares for the KMSHA registry are open and consideration will be given to outside mares for registry who meet the standard of the breed as stated above. These mares are not restricted from showing but are required to have all male offspring gelded, while a female offspring derived from a registered/certified KMSHA Stallion may receive full registration.
The SMHA foundation books are open to spotted Stallions, Mares and Geldings who meet the breed requirement and pass the certification standards according to the requirements above. It is strongly suggested that breeding habits be directed towards purifying the breed (one mate should be of strong genetic Mountain Horse characteristic, such as a KMSHA stallion, of at least 50% or better Mountain Horse blood). If this practice continues generation after generation, the Spotted Mountain Horse will contain the maximum amount of genetic characteristics possible to recognize them as a true Mountain Horse.
On or before Jan.1, 2008, all SMH horses must have DNA or Blood analysis on record with the University of Kentucky for identification purposes.
Take a look at the Mountain Pleasure horse history:
For more than 160 years, Eastern Kentuckians have enjoyed their homegrown product, the Mountain Pleasure Horse. Generation after generation of Kentuckians have stories to tell of their easy gaited, hard working, good disposition, reliable Mountain Pleasure Horses.
For years called "Mountain Horses" or "Country Saddle" horses, the Mountain Pleasure Horse is the old-time gaited breed of horse that existed in Kentucky 160 years ago and from which selective breeders developed the Tennessee Walking Horses, American Saddlebred Horses and more recently Rocky Mountain Horses. Long before these other gaited breeds were in existence, a particular type of horse was being bred on the steep hillsides to work the fields and "ride the best". The Mountain Pleasure Horse quietly existed in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky where the Breeders maintained the old-time horse, by selecting for their basic criteria-- GAIT and DISPOSITION
Sorry for the rant, this is obviously a touchy subject for me. I get so tired of people saying the Kentucky horse is a registry not a breed... I say BS
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