Rocky Mountain Horse
Exterior: еhe horse must be of medium height, a wide chest sloping 45 degrees on the shoulder with bold eyes and well shaped ears. It must be of good temperament and easy to manage.
Height: 145-164 cm. (14.2-16 hands)
Weight: 455-590 kg.
Сolour: Rocky Mountain Horses must have a solid body color with no white above the knee or hock, or excessive white markings on the face. Although the silver dapple, chocolate colored horse with the near white mane and tail, have become almost synonymous with the breed, the Rocky Mountain Horse is not a color breed.
Characteristic property: The horse must have a natural ambling four-beat 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 natural way of going, traveling 7-20 miles per hour. This is a naturally occurring gait present from birth that does not require any training aids or action devices (i.e. chains, soring or built up shoes.)
The origin of the Rocky Mountain Horse reads like a folk legend: Around the late 1890's, settlers returning from the West brought back to Virginia, and eventually Eastern Kentucky, a young stallion of distinctly Spanish lineage. This stallion was crossed with local mares. One of the offspring was Old Tobe, the remarkable foundation sire of what was later to become known as the Rocky Mountain Horse.
In Spout Springs, Kentucky, on the farm of Sam Tuttle, these horses found a nurturing ground. Sam, who had the concession for horseback riding at the Natural Bridge State Park, used these horses for many years to haul green and inexperienced people over rough and rugged trails. Old Tobe, his most treasured stallion, who fathered fine horses up until the ripe old age of 37, was as "sure" footed and as gentle a horse as could be found. He was the one that carried the young, the old, or the unsure over the mountain trails of Kentucky without faltering, even though a breeding stallion. Everyone who rode the stallion fell in love with him. He had the perfect gait and temperament. Many of the present Rocky Mountain Horses carry his bloodline.
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. As show horses, the breed is rapidly gaining in popularity because of its beauty and unique way of moving in the ring. The calm temperament of his horse makes it ideally suited for working around cattle and for 4-H projects. These horses have a lot of natural endurance, they are sure-footed on rough ground and, because of their gait, they require a minimum of effort by both horse and rider so that together they can cover a greater distance with less tiring.
It is obvious that a haphazard and unorganized maintenance of this breed would eventually result in its dissipation and loss. For this reason, in the summer of 1986, those who were interested in the breed got together to form the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. The purpose of this association is to maintain the breed, to increase the number of horses in the breed and expand the area, which has knowledge of this fine horse. To that end, the association has established a registry that has shown steady and well-regulated growth in the number of horses registered. It is critical that standards be maintained and a panel of examiners has been set up by the association to provide vigorous supervisors to the growth and development of the breed. To achieve this, ALL horses must be examined for breed characteristics and approved prior to breeding.
Official Website of The Rocky Mountain Horse Association