Named after a Rocky Mountain stallion that was brought to the Appalachian Mountain foothills in 1890, the breed developed from extensive mating between the single horse and local mares. Primarily developed for agriculture and pleasure riding, the Rocky Mountain Horse was widely utilised on the Kentucky ranches, able to withstand the hot climate and the demands of the rugged landscape.
Versatile and abound with gusto and willingness, the Rocky Mountain Horse was well suited to its early usage and adapted well to multi-purpose riding, cattle driving and light draught work. Although the breed is rare today, it can still be seen in trail, endurance and competition riding.
Characterised by a well balanced, athletic build and strong, well conformed legs, the Rocky Mountain Horse is also gaited and therefore very popular with older and/or disabled riders for its easy movement.
While all solid colours are permissible in the breed, chocolate with a flaxen mane and tail is the most desired example. Generally speaking, the Rocky Mountain Horse will stand at a height of 14.2-16 hands. The longevity of the breed is often referred to, with Rockies living into their late 20s and early 30s.
The Rocky Mountain Horse is celebrated every September at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.