Kentucky Mountain Horse Gaits and Temperament

chocolate Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse running

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is a breed derived from Kentucky, United States. It stands out with its ambling four-beat gait. Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses were primarily used as companions for farm work and trail ride.

Here’s a detailed review of the Kentucky Mountain Horse and its characteristics.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse History

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse was bred by “mountain people”. They were located near the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Kentucky. The southeastern and Narragansett Pacer horse breeds took part in the pedigree. The Tennessee Walking Horse is also related to the breed. Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses share their history with the Rocky Mountains. Both breeds are mountain horses that are called Mountain Pleasure Horses.

Sam Tuttle was a prominent breeder that is associated with Kentucky Horses. He owned a gaited stallion named Old Tobe. It was a foundation sire for modern Mountain Horses. The five sones of Old Tobe were foundation sires for the Rocky Mountain Horse. Tuttle managed to keep his herd after wartime and saved the breed.

Mountain Horses grazing around

Farmers developed the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse to get an ideal equine for farm work and trail horse. Riders needed a compact and powerful horse that mounts tough terrain like valleys and hills. They were looking for hardworking and gentle companions that even young people could handle. Parents love the breed as it’s kid-friendly. Nowadays, the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is still used in farming and trail riding.

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association (KMSHA) was founded by Robert Robinson Jr. in 1989. It aims to preserve and promote the breed. Today, Dave Stefanic is the Executive Director of the Association.

According to breed standards, equines with excessive white markings are not allowed to be registered. Thus, the Spotted Mountain Horse Association was established in 2002. It accepts horses with excessive markings. Most part of the breed locates in Kentucky. But the breed became popular all over the states. The Kentucky Horse Park hosts championship shows every year, where the horse breed can be seen.

Kentucky Mountain Horse close view

Kentucky Mountain Horse Temperament

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are friendly and easy-going horses. Owners and riders love the breed for its fascinating personality. These horses are quite sensible, they feel their rider well. Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are easy to train and handle. It’s an excellent horse breed for beginners.

These horses are safe to ride even for kids as they’re not easily spooked. Kentucky Horses are sociable equines that are into people’s attention. You’ll have a great time being around such hooved pals. That’s a superb choice if you’re looking for a docile and gentle companion.

chocolate Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Characteristics

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is a body of average size. The build is well-muscled and compact. The facial profile is flat, the neck is arched and of middle length. The chest is deep and the shoulders are well-sloped. Such horses are easy keepers. As they were primarily developed by mountain people to withstand cold winters.

The Kentucky Mountain Horse height is 11 hands and more. They are divided into two categories. Class A includes horses that are 14.2 to 16 hands tall. Class A includes horses that are 11 to 14.1 hands tall. Despite their compact size, the equine is claimed a horse, not a pony. As ponies have a height of 14.2 hands and less.

The Kentucky Horse weight is 950 to 1,200 pounds. The same goes for the Tennessee Walking Horse.

The life expectancy of the Kentucky Mountain Horse is 25 to 40 years. That is pretty solid. These horses are long-livers.

Silver bucskin Kentucky Mountain Horse

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Colors

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association allows horses of any solid coat color. This can be bay, brown, chestnut, black, palomino, buckskin, and grey. According to the standards, white markings are allowed on the horse’s face, legs, and belly.

An excessively spotted Saddle Horse with a bald face or pinto markings must be registered at the Spotted Mountain Horse Association. A solid-color equine with parents registered at SMHA can be accepted by the KMSHA. Mountain Horses can’t be registered with both associations.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses in the forest

Kentucky Mountain Horse Gaits

Both Kentucky and Rocky Mountain Horses stand out with their ambling gait. It’s called a single-foot that replaces the trot seen in many breeds. That’s a gait of a medium speed. It’s faster than the walk and slower than the horses’ canter. The single-foot is a four-beat gait while the trot is two-beat.

The footfall pattern is quite different. There’s always at least one leg that touches the ground. This brings extra smoothness when riding, which is a great perk. The single-foot features its energy-saving. That’s why Mountain Horses are perfect riding horses for tough terrains.

Some breeds are able to perform both two-beat and four-beat gaits.

Perlino Kentucky mountain saddle

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Price

The Kentucky Mountain Horse costs from $1,000 to $7,000. The average price is $3,500. A registered and well-trained horse will cost you more than $10,000. The price tag depends on a range of aspects. They include the horse’s age, gender, conformation, health, and riding experience. The Kentucky Horse is a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a companion with a friendly temperament.

Kentucky & Rocky Mountain Horse

Kentucky vs Rocky Mountain Horse were bred in the Appalachian Mountains. Rocky Mountain Horses are also 11 to 16 hands tall. However, these breeds are registered by different associations. The Rockies are accepted by the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. While Kentucky Horses are recorded by the KMSHA and the SMHA.

The Mountain Pleasure Horse Association was established in 1988. Both Kentucky and Rocky Mountain Horses are allowed to be registered with the MPHA. However, the association is open only to horses with registered parents.

black Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Facts Revealed

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is an American breed. It features its easy-going temperament and compact build. Kentucky Horses exhibit a natural four-beat gait called a single-foot. Such an equine can deal with rough terrain flawlessly.

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are commonly used for farm working and trail riding. Sometimes it can be seen on a show ring. The Mountain Horse is a great family pet that is kid-friendly. The breed is ideal for riders of all experience levels. Thus, you can consider it as your first companion.

When you buy a horse, you have to care for it regularly. Don’t forget to clip and groom your equine. Give your horse treats when it behaves itself.

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David Garcia

David Garcia

David Garcia is a vivid writer and a big fan of equestrian sports. He founded Horsezz – the blog where David shares his knowledge and experience about horses, tack, equestrian riding equipment, taking care of horses, and other useful guidelines.