Riders love the Rocky Mountain Horse for many different reasons. It is friendly, agile, and durable. But the horse’s four-beat single-foot gait may be one of its most attractive traits. This gait saves the horse’s energy while making the ride smooth and enjoyable. This makes the horse good for endurance, trail, and other types of riding. But the Rocky Mountain Horse does more than that! In the article shared by Canvas Personalized Blog below, you will learn many interesting things about this horse breed.
Rocky Mountain Horse Breed Quick Facts
- Weight: 850 to 1,000 pounds
- Height: 14 to 16 hands (56 to 64 inches, 142 to 163 cm)
- Best for: Competitive riding and families
- Lifespan: 30 – 37 years
1. Rocky Mountain Horse Breed History and Origins
The Rocky Mountain Horse originates from Kentucky, a state in the southern United States. Despite its name, it came from the Appalachian Mountains, not the Rocky Mountains. During the late 19th century, a foundation stallion was sent from the western United States to eastern Kentucky, marking the beginning of the Rocky Mountain type. A notable breeder in the middle of the twentieth century utilized a horse named Old Tobe to create the present type. This stallion is the progenitor of nearly all modern Rocky Mountain Horses.
The history of the Rocky Mountain Horse comes from stories told from one generation to the next. During the 1800s and 1900s, horses started to appear in eastern Kentucky. These horses were known for their calm nature and, more importantly, their four-beat gait. The horses were easy to ride with that gait, but they were also versatile enough to pull plows, work cattle, and pull buggies. Children could also ride them because they were calm and easygoing.
The Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA) was founded in 1986 and is dedicated to preserving the Rocky Mountain Horse. The group’s mission was to document the history of these horses and to keep track of the surviving horses and their offspring. Over 26,000 Rocky Horses are registered in the US, and that number continues to rise.
2. Rocky Horses Appearance
Standardization for this breed specifies a height between 14.2 and 16 hands. The back of this breed is relatively short, the shoulders are sloping, and the chest is somewhat profound. The heads of the horses are of average size and have distinctive, well-shaped ears. The rear legs and hooves of gaited horses are slanted ever-so-slightly to facilitate their gait better.
This breed of horse is typically recognized by its consistent coat color—chocolate—and by its flaxen mane and tail. Other frequent hues are black, bay, palomino, and chestnut. Horses with white above the knee will not be registered with the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. The register also does not accept horses with bald facial markings or much white on the face.
3. Nutrition And Diet
Healthy horses can only be maintained with a special, nutrient-rich diet. Grazing provides them with essential nutrients but requires supplemental feed like grain and hay. Ensure they eat enough of the right carbs, fiber, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. They need to have a lot of hay available all the time. Carrots and apples can be given as treats, but only in small amounts. Clean water is also essential. Maintaining a freshwater source is essential for your Rocky Mountain Horse.
4. Typical Health and Behavior Problems
Because of their pleasant dispositions, Rocky Horses make wonderful pets. These calm horses are perfect for riders of any experience level. They tend to be calm and patient, which makes them great for kids or riders with little experience.
These horses have a remarkable capacity for learning and adapting. Their very consistent behaviors provide their human companions with a sense of security. However, they are vulnerable to diseases, including malignant hyperthermia, polysaccharide storage myopathy, and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis.
5. Rocky Mountain Horses Grooming
Grooming your horse every day can help keep its coat and skin healthy. Before a ride, brush the horse’s legs, face, girth, and saddle areas to ensure it is comfortable and that its oils are spread evenly over its body. Grooming a horse after riding can also help spread its oils and sweat, especially in the summer.
Use a detangler to brush out the horse’s tail. This will make it bushier and better at swatting flies away. Use a shampoo that doesn’t need water to clean, condition, and untangle the horse’s mane and tail in the winter.
6. Are Rocky Mountain Horses Friendly With Other Pets?
These horses are known to get along well with their herd mates and may also get along with other household pets. Because of the horse’s size, you should watch closely as it interacts with any smaller pets you have. This horse may develop a fear of or aversion to other animals if it is not properly socialized as a youngster.
7. Is the Rocky Mountain Horse Right for You?
This breed is known for having a great personality, which means it can be a great fit for kids, adults, and riders who are just starting out. But it is also a great horse for more experienced riders. Because this horse is versatile, it can easily switch between disciplines. The same horse might be used for trail riding, the show, or even teach it to pull a wagon.
Their graceful gait is a major selling point for this breed to riders. Many riders also choose this breed for its exceptionally comfortable rides. Since the horse is so tough, it does well in many places. These horses are hardy enough to survive winter without a stable or extra blanket, making them ideal for pasture boarding. Because these horses aren’t as common as other breeds and are generally more desirable, they also tend to cost more.
Furthermore, their numbers are low, so finding the right horse might take some time. But if you find the right Rocky Mountain Horse for your needs, you’ll have a partner willing to work with you in various disciplines and activities. And that is well worth the money you may spend to buy the horse.
8. Purchasing Or Adopting A Rocky Mountain Horse
If you want to buy or adopt a Rocky Mountain Horse, you can start by looking online or in your area for reputable breeders or rescue groups. You can find breeders or rescues on websites like the Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA). You can also go to horse shows or other events in your area to meet Rocky Mountain Horse breeders or owners.
When you find a possible breeder or rescue group, make sure you do your research on their reputation before making any commitments. Ask for references, look at online reviews, and, if you can, go to the place in person. Once you find a trustworthy breeder or rescue group, you can ask if they have any Rocky Mountain Horse for sale or adoption and talk about how to adopt or buy one. The following is a list of well-known horse breeders in the US that we have prepared for your convenience:
|Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA)||Kentucky||https://www.rmhorse.com/breeders||(859) 644-5244|
|Rocky Mountain Horse Farm||Kentucky||https://rockymountainhorsefarm.com/||(859) 621-0776|
|High Country Gaited Horses||Colorado||https://www.highcountrygaitedhorses.com/||(303) 204-3262|
|Indian Springs Farm||Tennessee||https://www.indianspringsfarm.net/||(423) 341-6956|
|Southern Oaks Farm||Georgia||https://southernoaksfarm.net/||(770) 597-2189|
>> Further reading:
- Comprehensive The Thoroughbred Horse Breed Info
- Gypsy Vanner Horse: Overview About This Awesome Breed (2023)
Don’t hesitate to inquire about licensed breeders or buy this one from a reputable owner. Canvas Personalized Blog thinks it will be a great companion for you and your whole family!