All of the Mountain Pleasure breeds were shaped by two hundred years of work as farm and family horses in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee. Mountain horses are sure-footed, easy keepers, quite able to tolerate the winters of Appalachians with a minimum of shelter. As an official breed, rather than a type, the Rocky Mountain horse is a relative newcomer to the Mountain Pleasure group. It differs from the other Mountain Pleasure horses in that there is one foundation sire, Old Tobe, who lived in eastern Kentucky around the end of the 19th century.
Photo courtesy of Mountain Horse Mesa Farm
Every horse in the Mountain Rocky breed must in some way descend from him. The Rocky Mountain horse originated in the rugged, rocky hills of eastern Kentucky, not the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. These smooth-gaited horse were used to plow, work cattle, drive, ride, pack, and babysit the youngest riders. This horse stands 14.2-16 hands and has a wide chest, well-sloped shoulders and bold eyes. Some horses show distinct Spanish features The body is always of a solid color, mostly chocolate, with white mane and tail.
The Rocky Mountain Horse is a naturally gaited horse known for gentleness and versatility. It is best suited for pleasure riding, trail and endurance riding, showing and ranch work. It is well suited to young riders, children and riders with physical limitations. Each horse has its own speed and natural way of going, traveling from about 7 to 20 miles per hour. A horse of this breed must be of good temperament and easy to manage. (Source: Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America. Judith Dutson)