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Rocky Mountain Horses
Lately I grew very fond of this breed. I do admit it's mostly the unique coloring that got my attention in the first place, however the more I researched, the more I liked the breed.
Do you own a RM horse? How does that gait feel? How would you describe their temperaments? And cold anyone post pictures of them?
And last but not least, what causes that interesting coat coloring? The dark chocolate coat + light mane and tail?
I only know about their common colour: silver dapple (black + silver). There's a mini mare my BOs got that is also a silver dapple. Very pretty.
I got my first RMH a little over a year ago, but I've been riding them a little over three years since my friends own them. The 'chocolate' coloring is silver dapple - and yes it is very pretty. The gene (Z) dilutes black pigment. A rocky that is homozygous for the silver dapple gene will ALWAYS produce a chocolate baby, no matter what the other horse's color is.
As far as the gait goes - it varies depending on the horse. My mare is consistent and silky smooth as far as her gait, but some Rockies have a bumpier gait and have a tendency to trot or pace. You have the show pleasures (who step high) or the trail pleasures (who step low). I like trail pleasure horses.
The temperament is like the gait, it depends on the horse. Most Rockies are known for their sweet attitude and their love of being around people, not to mention their willingness to learn. And for the most part rockies are easy to work with. Some say they break themselves. My mare apparently didn't get the memo... she has a little attitude all her own. :lol:
Here's some pics. The dark bay one with a snip is Shannon, my horse. I also have more pics of her in my stable. The others are my friends' horses. :)
Oh they are breathtaking! Beautiful horses :)
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Temperament is the same as any other breed. Put the wrong sire/dam together and you have a handful, put the right sire/dam together you will have your dream horse. The sad part is although the chocolate is the desired color that in itself is causing genetic problems in the breed. Read up on ASD, it is not a life threatening problem, but is a defect and as long as breeders are careful and honest I don't see it as a big problem.
The other thing we northerners are adding to the breed is the insulin resistance. These horses are used to eating lower quality hays and grasses and many of us are busily feeding them feeds and great quality hay. Because of this in my area especially many are keeping "fat" horses. I have seen some that no longer gait and end up needing a fat farm.
I have three of the most wonderful horses with great temperaments and before I purchased them I researched the bloodlines for that purpose. Our mare can have a bit of attitude, but still does not refuse what is asked. They are 5, 4 and 3 respectively and are seasoned trail horses at this young age and all enjoy going out on the trail. Plus they have the most fantastic hooves I have ever seen.
LOL! I would heartily agree they tend to be "easy keepers". I am so glad you mentioned the ASD/Chocolate issue! The association itself is really bad about only promoting the "Chocolate Rocky" image. I recently got a horse breed book for Christmas and under the Rocky listing it says they ONLY come in chocolate.:roll: I agree, they are a beautiful color , but as with any animal when you breed for color only it is going to have a few side effects. However, as Macslady said all one needs to do is look into the bloodlines a bit and it's not problem:)
My boy is RMH/Morgan, but I board on a breeding farm with his sire and many siblings, they really are a wonderful breed. Very versatile, his sire(Storm Traveler) was actually in the Craig Cameron Extreme Cowboy competition and placed. A nice medium sized breed, very strong, very loving and kind hearted. I have started several myself under saddle and they all seem to just settle right into it with no problems.(Except for mine of course, I think his foundation Morgan mama gave him more than just a big booty:p)
I agree about the gait, but really any gaited breed is going to have some variation in smoothness depending on each horse and their conformation/training/natural ability. IME the Rockys with less action tend to be smoother, but there are exceptions to that rule.
LMBO! I guess you're right! Devils Food, German Chocolate....it could go on forever! lol
Just a few pics of Jack and the Rockys at the farm, dang it I wish I had pics of his sire on here....where are they....
dadJack1209 012 by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
Jack likes kitties
Jack 6/10 by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
5-15 011 by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
My shmexy boy,:p
Stalker 6/10 by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
Legend's Knight Stalker, 3 yr old smoky black
First Dude 12 hrs old by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
Legend's First Dude, 12 hours old
4thof08 004 by Jen LaRocque, on Flickr
Legend's King Tut, 5 year old dark chocolate after a bath
RMH's are an offshoot of the Kentucky Mountain Horse.
http://www.rmhorse.com/history.html The foundation sire was a KMH, who was so mild and popular that they made a breed from him. Their comfortable gait is called an "amble". It IS comfortable but can be a little "rocky" (pardon the pun) if the RMH hasn't been strengthened through collection exercises.
I don't know much about the colors, but KMH's have a great number of what I would call "liver chestnut". The build is large barrelled, shorter legged than, for instance, a TWH. They have large hooves, which I ALWAYS appreciate, for weight-bearing, and their nose is thicker than the same sized QH. They grow very long manes and tails. I kinda think that they look like the "My Little Ponies" of the horse world.
These horses absolutely LOVE to amble FAST for long distances. If you trail ride with KMH or RMH owners on a horse that trots to keep up, you will get quite a workout.
They are generally easy going and friendly, and pretty easy keepers. I know that my KMHSA mare has a back that begs to be ridden bareback. Although there are shows for them, most owners get them for pleasure riding. I am sure that if you shop around, you'll find one suitable for your purposes. =D
Just to show the difference, which really isn't that much, here is another site, and quote:
"Horses registered in the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association are often referred to as Kentucky Mountain Saddle horses. Several gaited breeds of horses are included in the KMHSHA registry, the Mountain Pleasure Horse became one of them....the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse normally refers to the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association registry."
The Mountain Pleasure Horse - Horse breed, Horse breeding, types and breeds from Equiworld.
I think it's just a little bit of purist fiddle-faddle. They're all very nice pleasure horses, IMHO.
They like to use inventive names which often don't refer to the sire or dam. My mare's registered name is "Warren's Cindy," bc a Mr. Warren bred her dam.
My gelding's registered name is "Long Arm of the Law." No relationship to either parent, but since DH is an attorney, WE find this amusing. His stable name is "Sweet Cuppin' Cakes."
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