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Kentucky Mountain Horse

Kentucky Mountain Horse

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Breed Organization
The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association

Website: http://www.kmsha.com
Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Average Height
See Breed Description
Adult Weight
Rider Experience Level
Breed Description
To qualify for the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association (KMSHA) registration, the horse must display the following characteristics:

1. Show a gentle and willing disposition.
2. Demonstrate, under saddle, evidence of a natural smooth, even 4-beat gait.
3. Be of any color (may have white on the face, legs (mane & tail), but white is limited to 36 square inches or less on the body only in the area behind the breast bone and under the ends of the rib cage.) Spotted Mountain Horses (SMHA) may have over the 36 inches of white and may contain the color characteristics of certain genetic markers such as tobiano, overo, sabino, etc.
4. Height be not less than 11H (44 inches) for class B, or 13.3H and up for Class A.
5. Be of good conformation and meet the "breed standard" as adopted and revised in 2006.

Foals born of KMSHA registered sires and dams may be temporarily registered from birth, but for permanent registration will be required to demonstrate the above characteristics when put under saddle at two years of age or older and approved by KMSHA examiners.

For over 200 years, the saddle horse has lived in the hills and valleys of eastern Kentucky. Originally bred by the mountain people for the demanding needs of farm life, the horse which had been secluded for many years became noticed and domesticated in the late 1980's. Over the last 20 some years these horses have become a highly sought after "pleasure horse" in all of Kentucky as well as around the world, for their easy going temperament, intelligence, versatility, willingness, and most notably, a smooth, natural 4-beat gait. Many members of long-time Kentucky families remember well the stories of the many extraordinary feats that were told about these horses by their grandfathers and great grandfathers around the dinner table.

In 1989, Robert Robinson, Jr., a native of Irvine, Kentucky formed the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association (KMSHA) to document and preserve the ancestry and rich heritage of the mountain saddle horse. In 2002 the Spotted Mountain Horse Association (SMHA) was formed, (a subsidiary of the KMSHA) to register mountain horses that had "spots" of white that were considered to much coverage for any of the existing mountain horse breeds, in order to meet their solid color standards.

This Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and the Spotted Mountain Horse breeds, each with their own distinctive characteristics and genetic DNA markers, are recognized by the University of Kentucky, Equine Parentage Testing and Genetic Research Center as their own unique breed of Horse. The KMHA has closed its books and has been working with the University of Kentucky to continue to identify new genetic markers that will further enhance the breed. The SMHA's books are still open.

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