Rocky Mountain Horse Facts, Romance Valley Farm of AR

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***About "Rockys", Origins, Gait, Color, Conformation, ASD, Book**

Sam Tuttle, is considered the man most responsible for the survival of the, Rocky Mountain Horse, with his stallion, "Tobe", who produced 5 sons: Sewell's Sam, Yankee, Maple's Squirrel, Kilburn's Chocolate Sundown, and Sam Clemon's Tim. These are the 5 main, Founding Sires, of the modern day Rocky Mountain breed.

Pictured below is, "Jake's Mirror", sire of our 2006 Stallion, "Jake's Mochan Mirage" 

What is a Rocky?

Breed Characteristics:

Breed history

The breed originated from the Rocky Mountain stud colt of 1890 brought from the Rocky Mountain region of the United States to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern, Kentucky around 1890, but the breed actually goes back farther than that, The foundation of the breed goes back to when the first horses arrived on our continent. The gaited horses from Scotland were known as "Galloways" their small size and chocolate color with flaxen mane & tail are believed to be traits passed on to Rocky Mountain Horses. Ireland had gaited horses known as "Hobbies" and Spain had "Jennets" which were considered to be among the finest in the world. Rocky Mountain Horses were derived from all of these gaited horses.


The Rocky Mountain Horse is a certification trade mark issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Only those horses registered by this association can be called a Rocky Mountain Horse. The breed is defined as having a medium height from 14.2 to 16 hands. They should have medium sized bones with medium size feet in proportion to the body, a span between the forelegs, a wide chest sloping 45 degrees on the shoulder, bold eyes, well shaped ears, and a face that is neither dished nor protruding, the head should be of medium size in proportion to the body with a medium jaw. The neck should be gracefully arched, medium in length, and set on an angle to allow natural carriage with a break at the poll. The horse must have a solid body color. There should be no white above the knee or hock except on the face where modest amounts are acceptable. Excessive facial marking such as in a bald-faced horse are not acceptable, All horses must be DNA tested and and examined for breed characteristics prior to breeding. 


According to RMHA:
The Rocky Mountain Horse naturally demonstrates a smooth, ambling gait that glides forward. The horse moves out with a lateral gait in which one can count four distinct hoofbeats that produce a cadence of near equal rhythm. The speed may vary but the four beat rhythm remains constant. Each hoof strikes the ground independently. The gait is initiated by the hind leg. The length of stride for both the hind and foreleg should be nearly equal. The Rocky Mountain Horse moves it's feet with minimal ground clearance and minimal knee and hock action. Because this gait does not waste motion, it enables the horse to travel long distances with minimal tiring. Each individual horse has it's own speed and natural way of going, traveling anywhere from 7mph to 20 mph. This is a natural occuring gait present from birth that does not require any training aids or action devices (ie: chains, soring, or built up shoes). Even though the Rocky is best known for the smooth four beat gait , it is also quite capable of performing other gaits such as the trot, canter, and gallop. These horses are very athletic and versatile.


Chocolate                               48.13%
Black                                      19.09%
Chestnut/Sorrell                       13.19%
Red Chocolate                           6.48%
Bay                                                     6.37%
Palomino                                  2.45%
Buckskin                                   1.51%
Roan (Blue,Chocolate,red,bay)               0.95%                                                Other                                        0.88%
Gray                                          0.31%
Dun/Grullo                                  0.31%
Cremello                                    0.23%
Champagne                                0.10%


The most oustanding characteristic of this breed is their calm, willing disposition. Because of their good temperaments, Rockies are easily trained. Another Great, characteristics of these horses is their amazing ability to retain what they have been taught, whether ridden once a week or once a month. Rockies are always willing to learn new things and they relish the attention from their handlers. Whether Rocky Mountain horses are trained for trail or show and ridden by beginners, or professionals, their dispositions are consistently reliable.   


Rockies, evolved from the sturdiest, strongest, and most vigorous stock to be the hardy horses they are today. Rocky Mountain Horses, are rising to the forefront in endurance and competive trail riding because of their stamina and smooth gait. Some owners have trained their Rockies for sport jumping. It is not uncommon to hear of Rockies clearing four-foot jumps once trained and ridden properly. Because they possess an inate desire to please, Rockies usually go anywhere and attempt anything their riders ask of them.

Easy Keepers

Most Rocky Mountain Horses are considered easy keepers when it comes to feed and veterinary concerns. They do not seem to require the same volume of food as other breeds of the same size to maintain optimum health. They do quite well on good quality grass hay. When good pasture is available along with free choice minerals, grain is usually not required for light use maintenance, although needs vary from horse to horse. These horses had to withstand the harsh winters of Eastern Kentucky with minimal shelter and food, often having to eat bark off trees to survive. Only the horses that survived these extreme conditions lived to reproduce their kind, therefore most well-bred Rockies, require only basic veterinary and blacksmith care to live a long, healthy life.


Rocky Mountain Horses, are still very rare with only about 15,000, registered in the RMHA Registery and even fewer that are certified to breed.


Anterior Segment Dysgenesis also known as ASD, is an abnormal formation of the front part of the eye. According to research it appears to be color-linked by the Silver Dapple Gene, which produces the Chocolates, Red Chocolates, Silver Buckskins etc.... The conditions vary widely, some horses have difficulty going from light to dark areas, in some cases their are no adverse affects at all. It is very rare that even a full blown case of ASD will produce blindness, this condition is not considered painful to the horse. Usually ASD can be avoided completely by a responsible breeding program, making sure sire and dam, do not both possess the Silver Dapple Gene. You should always inquire about the parent's before purchase, an eye exam by a qualified veterinarian may also be a good idea.  

About Our Rockies

Our horses are all, RMHA Registered, and include rare, 2nd generation, "Tobe", bloodlines, producing offsping as high as, 50%, "Tobe". All of our mares are proven producers of Champions, and consistantly throw their outstanding, temperament, gait, and conformation to their offspring. Our Stallions are by, International Champions, with bloodlines going back to, Robinson's Sundown Rocky, Sewell's Sam, Dock, Jock, Yankee, Vergeland Jake, Maple's Squirrel, and, Johnson's Toby, just to name a few... We offer, Rocky Mountain Horses, that have old time bloodlines, hands on training from birth, paying careful, atteintion to quality, nutition and care to insure proper growth and developement.           

Book Info****

For a complete detail of this amazing breed, you can order a copy of the book "Rocky Mountain Horses" by Bonnie Hodge. Not only does this book detail all the important history and characteristics, it also is considered a complete digest on the breed. It has over 200 color pictures of Rocky Mountain Horses in all their glory. You will love it.....For more information and to order the book, go to website: