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About  RMHA/KMSHA Rocky Mountain Horses

What is a Mountain Horse?

The Rocky Mountain horse breed originated in the United States in the late 1800's in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky.  The founding Sire of the breed was Tobe and most bloodlines of the Rockies registered today can trace back to one of his sons:  Kilburn's Chocolate Sundown, Sewell's Sam, Maple's Squirrel, Sam Clemon's Tim and Yankee (Ragtime) who was the sire to our stallion Yankee Traveler. 


The two main Associations that register and certify the breed are the Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA) and the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association (KMSHA).


The Rocky Mountain Horse Association (RMHA) has bylaws that define the breed as follows:


"The Rocky Mountain Horse naturally demonstrates a smooth, ambling gait that glides forward. The horse moves out with a lateral gait in which one can count four distinct hoof-beats that produce a cadence of near equal rhythm.  The speed may vary but the four beat rhythm remains constant.  The gait may technically be described as the simultaneous but asynchronous motion of the legs on the same side of the body followed by the movement of the legs on the opposite side.  The gait is initiated by the hind leg. The length of stride for both hind and foreleg should be nearly equal.  The Rocky Mountain Horse moves his feet with minimal ground clearance and minimal knee and hock action. Because this gait does not waste motion, it enables the horse to travel long distances with minimal tiring."


The Rocky Mountain Horse is defined as being of solid body color with no white above the knee or hock except on the face where modest amounts of white markings are acceptable.  The horse will have a gentle temperament with an ambling four-beat gait and will be between 14.2 hands and 16 hands in height.

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

In 1989, Robert Robinson, Jr. formed the KMSHA to document and preserve the ancestry of the breed and to establish and promote nationally and internationally its cherished characteristics. This breed has formally become recognized as the “Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse.” The Association’s registry includes over 22,000 registered Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses throughout the United States,

Canada, Europe and Australia and New Zealand.


The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse must demonstrate the following adopted standards:  


• The horse is expected to show intelligence along with an alert and willing attitude.

• Give evidence of a natural, smooth and even 4-beat gait under saddle. The “saddle gait” or as otherwise
known as a step rack, is recognized and defined as a smooth but distinct and INNATE natural 4-beat gait.

• Be of any SOLID body color, with white accepted only on the legs, face, mane, or tail (with no spots

of dissimilar color on the upper body larger than the outside dimension of an average size hand).

Mountain Horses with spots would be eligible to register with the KMSHA’s sister registry, the

Spotted Mountain Horse Association, SMHA.

• Be of good conformation based upon the adopted standards. Be well proportioned in the body, neck, and legs.

• Must not stand less than 11 hands (44”) in height to 13.3 hands. (Class B Pony Registry).
registered KMSH horses average between 14-16 hands (Class A Registry).


Websites:       (RMHA website)         (KMSHA website)