Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

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It seems like there are very few horse breeds that originated in North America, but one of the most famous of these is the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse! As its name suggests, the this Saddle Horse originated in Kentucky and has made its home in North America ever since.

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse has many unique characteristics that are sought after from horse loves of varying different backgrounds.  Though it isn’t frequently seen in the show ring, this Horse has become a very popular breed.

But why? Well, in this article, that is what I hope to explain.  I will be discussing the interesting and complex history of the this Saddle Horse, and additionally, I will be discussing the common characteristics of the breed, the disciplines it is most common to see the breed participating in, and the difference between this Saddle Horse and its close relative, the Rocky Mountain horse.

History of Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is a relatively new breed, and its history is, therefore, a little bit easier to trace than some of the older European breeds!  Allegedly, Kentucky Mountain Horse was a breed of wild horses that lived in the hills and mountains of Kentucky for decades, maybe even centuries, before it was domesticated in the 1980s.

It is said that mountain people originally bred these horses to help with farming and life in the mountains.  But, in the ’80s, they became recognized for other desirable characteristics, as horses were no longer needed in as many farming tasks.

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One of the biggest Kentucky Mountain Horse spokespeople was Robert Robinson Jr, who founded this Saddle Horse Association in 1989.  Through this association, Robinson hoped to preserve the breed and its heritage. 

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse, Characteristics

So what’s so special about this Saddle Horse?  Aside from other things, the breed is known for being a popular and unique flaxen liver chestnut or silver bay color, it is known for its comfortable and natural four-beat gait, and it is known for its gentle personality.

Color

This Saddle Horse can come in many solid horse colors, including bay, palomino, gray, perlino, cremello, white, chestnut, roan, black, champagne, dun, grullo, brown, and buckskin. 

But, they are famous for coming in a flaxen liver chestnut or silver bay color.  This color includes chocolate, dark brown coat, and silver or cream-colored mane and tail.  

Many Rocky Mountain Horses are bred specifically for this color, and it is highly sought after among followers of the breed.  Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses can also come in this color, and it is very sought after.

Size

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses can also come in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from 11-16 hands.  So, they don’t get huge, and they can be very small, even pony-sized! Because of this, there are actually two different classifications in this Saddle Horse Size.

This Saddle Horses that are between 11-14.1 hands tall are considered pony-sized, and are called “Class B.” This Saddle Horses that are between 14.2-16 hands tall are considered horse-sized and are called “Class A.”  

Though the “pony-sized” ones aren’t called Kentucky Mountain Saddle Ponies, they are still called Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses.

Rocky Mountain Saddle Horses were often used as kids horses or as “husband horses,” so they didn’t need to be monstrously tall sport horses.  They simply needed to be comfortable, safe, and sturdy mounts.  

Personality

The personality of the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is one of the most popular characteristics of the breed.  They are bred to be gentle, calm, and smart horses.  

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is often called a “kids horse,” or a “husband horse,” because it is gentle and smart enough to take care of people who may not be horse experts. They are popular family horses and popular first horses for many beginner adults.

They have even been called the “golden retriever” of the horse world.

Popular Disciplines

Another reason why the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is popular as a family mount is because of its comfortable four-beat gait. The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse is capable of all normal horse gaits (the walk, the trot, the canter, and the gallop), in addition to its unique four-beat gait that comes in a similar speed to the trot.

Because of this gait, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are popular trail horses.  They can be ridden for long distances without discomforting their riders. They are also popular pleasure horses and can be ridden in parades, 4-H events, and more.

Kentucky Mountain Horse V. Rocky Mountain Horse

The Kentucky Mountain Horse is often confused with its relative, the Rocky Mountain Horse.  The two breeds are extremely similar, and that is because the Rocky Mountain Horses come from Kentucky Mountain Horses. 

Kentucky Mountain Horse V. Rocky Mountain Horse

Rocky Mountain Horses are most famous for the famous flaxen liver chestnut and silver bay coloring. They actually got these because of their share bloodlines with the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse.

Rocky Mountain Horses also have a fifth gait and are also popular for their gentle, easy-going personalities.

Conclusion

The Kentucky Mountain Horse is an all-around good citizen.  It is a gentle breed good for children, pleasure riders, and beginners.  They are gentle, comfortable to ride, and sturdy on their feet.  

Their low maintenance levels and comfortable gaits are why many horse lovers are drawn to the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse. They are kind horses that will keep you and your family safe in the saddle.

I hope this article helped you learn more about the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse.  They are a fantastic breed of horse that originated in North America. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends, and share with us your experiences with the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse!


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