Rocky Mountain horse (RMH) is one of the most gentle and well-behaved horse breeds of the United States of America. The horse is famous for its characteristics four-beat single-footed gait. This is how the horse conserves its energy and makes it smooth and enjoyable riding. The horse is suitable for endurance riding, trail riding, pulling the carriage in the mountainous areas, and agricultural works.
Important Information on Rocky Mountain Horse Breed
RM horse is one of the most famous horse breeds developed in the United States of America. The horse is one of the newest horse breeds and has very versatile qualities. The horse has a different single-footed ambling gait and can move faster without expending much energy. The horse is widely used in endurance riding and trail riding. In my article, I will discuss the most interesting facts and information about this beautiful horse breed.
1. History and Origin of the Breed
The horse originated and developed in Eastern Kentucky in the United States. The horse developed from the mixture of Spanish horses and English horses of the North. Tennessee Walker, American Saddlebred, and Missouri Fox Trotter horses also originated in the same region. The horse was developed from a stallion brought to the Appalachian mountain in 1890 from the Rocky mountain areas.
Old Tobe, the foundation stallion, become the father of the modern Rockey Mountain horse. The stallion lives 37 years and is used for breeding for up to 34 years. The single-footed gait descended from a horse breed, Narragansett Pacer, a unique horse breed considered for passing the American horse breed’s gait quality.
2. Height and Weight of RMH
RMH is a medium-sized horse breed, and the average standard height ranges from 14.2 to 16 hands (58 to 64 inches). The average bodyweight of the horse from 400 to 450 kgs (850 to 1000 pounds).
3. What does a Rocky Mountain horse look like?
The breed characteristics of RMH is variable. The head is medium with a broad forehead. The body is a muscular and deep chest. The legs are correct, the shoulder is slopping, and bold and bright eyes. The strong and muscular neck is curved to carry or pull the carriage.
4. Color and Markings
The primary color of the horse is solid chocolate color. Flaxen mane and tail are one of the main characteristics of the breed. The coat color of the horse is the result of the presence of a silver dapple gene, relatively rare, acting on the back base coat. The other standard color of the breed is palomino, bay, black, and chestnut. The white markings below the knee are accepted, and above the knee is not accepted by the registers. The breed registry also accepts white marlins on the face like bald face marking.
5. Behavior and Temperament
The horse is reliable and gentle temperament. They are very friendly to people and suitable for kids and amateur riders. The horse is intelligent, passionate, and lovely. The horse neither small nor big instead, they are medium in size. The has an excellent capability of learning, and you can train your horse efficiently.
6. Diet and Nutrition of the Horse
Rockey Mountain horse requires a balanced and healthy diet. The horse’s ration must contain an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and minerals. The horse should have free access to drinking water. The horse lives on grass, hay, corn, bran, barley, and supplements. You must maintain a regular schedule of feed and water supply.
7. Health Issues of the Rocky Mountain Horse
The horse is generally healthy and disease resistant. They are intense, challenging, and easily trainable. They usually suffer from few diseases and abnormalities like PSSM, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, and malignant hyperthermia. Overriding of the horse can develop permanent lameness.
8. Care and Management of RMH
The horse requires daily grooming, periodical clipping, occasional bathing, and regular hoof care. You must maintain a schedule of care and management. The stable must be established in the open and high ground with adequate lights and ventilation. The flaxen mane and tail require regular care with shampoo to keep glossy and fluffy.
9. Is a Rocky Mountain horse gaited?
The Rockey Mountain horse exhibits a natural single-foot ambling gait that replaces the trot. The gait is an intermediate speed between the walk and canter or gallop. The ambling gait is a four-beat gait, whereas the trot is a two-beta gait. The extra footfall on the ground makes the horse ride smooth as at least one foot always remains on the ground.
This ambling gait helps to attain a medium speed without spending much energy. This gait’s average speed is 7 miles (11km) per hour, and the maximum speed is 16 miles (26 km) per hour. This is why the RMH is suitable for long-distance endurance riding and trail riding.
10. How long do Rocky Mountain horses live?
The life expectancy of RMH is longer than many horse breeds. The record shows that Old Tobe lived up to 37 years and was used for breeding up to 34 years. The average lifespan of the horse is 30 years. They can live actively without any problems. You will be happy to rear an RMH by keeping it for a more extended period.
11. Registration and Distribution
Rocky mountain horse breed association was established in 1986, and initially, there were only 26 members. The association was created to promote, improve and make the horse breed popular with horse lovers. By 2015, more than 25,000 horses were registered, distributed over 47 states of the USA and more than 11 countries of the world. As per the state of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, around 800 horses have registered annually.
12. What are Rocky Mountain horses good for?
RM horses were developed for working in the foothill of Appalachian in the agricultural farms. At present, the horse is used for a variety of purposes and disciplines. The common uses of the horse are:
- The horse is used in the agricultural field as cow horses.
- Endurance riding.
- Trail riding.
- Pleasure riding.
- Equine therapeutic horse riding.
- International Rockey Mountain Horse show arranged each September in Kentucky.
- The horse is becoming popular in show ring due to its distinctive beauty.
- The horse is docile and suitable for kids and beginners.
The Rockey Mountain horse is a horse of choice to many Americans. The horse is famous in pleasure riding, endurance riding, dressage, trail riding, and agricultural farms. In my article, I have discussed almost all possible information about the breed in brief. I think many of your questions now clear on this versatile horse.