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History of the Rocky Mountain Horse

Tradition has it that around the turn of the century a young horse appeared in eastern Kentucky that gave rise to a line of horses that have been prized and treasured. rocky mountain horse at fenceLegend has it that a family traveling East from "out west" stopped in a small eastern Kentucky town and traded a young colt for provisions. The horse demonstrated a natural four beat gait, was gentle and people-friendly, and was bred to local saddle horses. This was the beginning of the Rocky Mountain Horse. Years later, Sam Tuttle, wanting to preserve the incredibly smooth four beat gait, gentle nature and strength of the horse, further refined these characteristics and produced Tobe who is recognized as the foundation Rocky Mountain Horse.

The basic characteristics are a medium-sized horse of gentle temperament with an easy ambling four beat gait. This gait made it the horse of choice on the farms and the rugged foothills of the Appalachians. It was a horse for all seasons. It could pull the plows in the small fields, work cattle, be ridden bareback by four children to the fishing hole, or to town comfortably on Saturday. They even performed well hitched to the buggy Sunday morning to go to church. trail riding chocolate rocky mountain horseBecause of its cold-blooded nature, it has tolerated the winters in Kentucky with a minimum of shelter. Naturally, out crossing with local horses did occur but the basic characteristics of a strong genetic line continued.

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. These horses have a lot of natural endurance; they are sure-footed on rough ground and because of their gait, require a minimum of effort by both horse and rider, so that together they can cover a greater distance with less tiring.

The characteristics established for the breed are:

  1. The horse must be of medium height from 14 to 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 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).
  3. It must be of good temperament and easy to manage.
  4. All Rocky Mountain Horses have a solid body color. Facial markings are acceptable if they are not excessive. There may not be any white above the knee or hock.

At Cedar Grove Rocky Mountain Horse Farm our goal is to preserve the characteristics of the wonderful, gentle, smooth-gaited Rocky Mountain Horse through limited and selective breeding of exceptional stock. Training starts with imprinting our foals at birth and continues with natural horsemanship methods of ground training, driving, and under saddle training. Since we have only a few babies each year, we have the luxury of being able to give each of them personal hands-on training over several years. As a result, our under saddle horses for sale are experienced trail horses and wonderful companions.

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Rocky Mountain Horses

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