About Rocky Mountain Horses
Tradition has it that around the turn of the century a young horse appeared in eastern Kentucky that gave rise to a line of horse that have been prized and treasured in this part of the country ever since. This breed of horse has since become known as the Rocky Mountain Horse. The basic characteristics of this horse are a medium sized horse of gentle temperament with an easy ambling four-beat gait. Because of its cold-blooded nature, it tolerated the winters of Kentucky with a minimum of shelter.
The breed is best known for gentleness. It is an easy keeper and a wonderful riding horse with a strong heart and endurance. Today the Rocky Mountain Horse is being used as a pleasure horse, for trail and competitive or endurance riding. These horses have a lot of natural endurance, they are sure-footed in rough ground and, because of their gait, they require a minimum of effort for both horse and rider so that together they can cover a greater distance with less tiring.
The established characteristics for the breed are:
1) The horse must be of medium height between 14.2 and 16 hands, a wide chest sloping 45 degrees on the shoulder with bold eyes and well shaped ears.
2) The horse must have a natural four-beat ambling gait (single foot or rack) with no evidence of pacing. When the horse moves you can count four distinct hoof beats which produce a cadence of equal rhythm, just like a walk: left hind, left fore, right hind, right fore. Each individual horse has its own speed and the natural way of going, traveling 7-20 miles per hour. This is a natural occurring gait present from birth that does not require any training aids or action devices.
3) The horse must be of good temperament and easy to manage.
4) All Rocky Mountain Horses have a solid body color. Facial markings are acceptable so long as they are not excessive. There may not be any white above the knee or hock.
The Rocky Mountain Horse is one of the finest naturally occurring breeds; it may be trained to compete in any horse related activity and probably represents the most ideal horse for the family, for the trail rider and for endurance purposes.