TRAINING & BREEDING ROCKY MOUNTAIN GAITED HORSES
Q: Is the Rocky mountain horse a color breed? i.e. Chocolate?
A: No, The RMHA estimates approximately 50% of our registered horses carry the silver gene but it is not a color breed, in fact they come in all colors! (CLICK HERE TO SEE EXAMPLES) However, the silver gene is rare when compared to other horse breeds. This makes the breed stand out.
Q: Is it true that you cannot canter a gaited horse? Like the Rocky?
A: NO! Some may say that cantering may "ruin" the gait, but this simply is not true. The canter gait needs to be built up just like the gait (in terms of muscle strength) but you can help your gaited horse by doing many transitions to canter!
Q: Do I have to ride in a specific kind of saddle for my gaited horse or Rocky?
A: This is another misconception, you do not have to seek out any gaited specific saddle for your Rocky. In fact I highly suggest finding the appropriate fit with a certified saddle fitter when selecting a saddle. Fit the tack to the back! Not the other way around!
Q: Was the Rocky Mountain Horse produced in the Rocky Mountains?
A: No, in fact they were produced in the hills of Kentucky and surrounding area.
Q: Why don't I often see the Rocky mountain horse? Out and about at Expos or shows?
A: The Breed is still extremely rare, only 20,000-30,000 individuals are traceable worldwide. About half of these still reside in Kentucky and the surrounding area.
Q: Is a Rocky capable of doing other things beside trail riding?
A: YES, Rockies are athletic and extremely versatile. They are shown in gymkhana, Jumping, endurance, cattle work and many others.
Q: Is the Rocky Mountain Horse related to the Kentucky Mountain Horse?
A: Sometimes! The Rocky Mountain Horse is a breed registry that promotes the origins of 5 founding sires. The RMHA has the explicit purpose of preserving, promoting, breeding, and developing the Rocky Mountain Horse. Kentucky Mountain Horses continue to have open books to any gaited breed as long as they pass the certification process. This breed is a more "Type" not a "Breed" organization. Most of the time Rocky Mountain can be Kentucky Mountain registered but not the other way around. The KMSHA promotes the value of KM horses through positive premier programs, including National and Regional Shows, Trail Rides, National Marketing and Promotions, emphasizing quality and value. They have a VIVID show circuit in Kentucky as well with large value added to large jackpots.
Q: I thought that Rockies are naturally gaited, why do I see them trot (or other) at leisure?
A: Rockies are naturally gaited, however, they are capable of performing a range of gaits, like the trot (like a Quarter Horse) or pace (like a Saddlebred). Most Gaited horses have one or two copies of "Gait Gene" and there are two different types of gait gene (SEE MORE). The bottom line is that they perform whatever is comfortable to them and when we start a horse under saddle we must sometimes condition the gaiting muscles to perform the gait at it's best.