Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

May/June 2006

Great Gaits

by: Barbara Weatherwax


Supporting our Organization


Itís always a pleasure to hear from members who are looking for a bit of advice on the development of their gaited Mountain Horse. Many folks are not only new to gaited horses, but new to horses.


It is frequently evident that these brand new horse-handlers have done a good deal of net surfing and reading of available books and magazines. This collecting of ideas can be enriching but it can also be confusing. Just keep in mind that there are very few bits of information that apply to each and every horse or horse owner/handler.


We have the good fortune to live in a time that provides many avenues of information both in print and on the net. Our Registry, KMSHA, makes every effort to be responsive to the quest for knowledge specific to our wonderful Mountain breeds. Only personal experience will guide you to the selection of helpful information that applies to your current questions. But donít be surprised if ideas that arenít helpful at one time with a particular horse will in fact come back to you in a later situation.


Forgive me for referring to the ďolden days,Ē but when I was first involved with horses, a Registry was only responsible to register. Even though we had fewer breeds, all one could hope for was a central office that maintained records of pedigree.


Interaction with other gaited horse owners is often an excellent source of information. Trail rides and clinics that are sponsored by our Association bring like-minded folks together for fun. They also provide an opportunity to ask for suggestions to better expand our knowledge of horse ownership. Riding with other gaited horses is in itself more rewarding than riding with walk-trot horses. Since there are fewer gaited horses out there, we owe it to ourselves to support gaited horse activities. Since there are fewer gaited horse owners out there, individual support of our Association is imperative. We each have to pull our own weight.


Iím sure in the Quarter Horse world, folks can choose to participate or not, and it has no real effect on the Registry because it is so very large. Unfortunately or fortunately, with our limited numbers, a single owner/rider can have an impact on the future of our organization.


Presently our Association offers a comprehensive show program that is country-wide. We have area satellites that focus on the desires of the areaís participators. What ever area you live in offers you the chance to show and trail ride with local friends and family and still be a part of the National scene.


Going to the International and Championship shows in Kentucky is a marvelous way to get the true picture of our breed. Whether you attend with a horse and actually compete, or simply come as a spectator, your scope of appreciation will validate the effort it takes to participate.


The Mountain Horse is such a treasure. Each and every one of us can effect and participate in the future of our breed. The more we learn, the more we can share. At the heart of it all is our Registry and Association. It binds us together and preserves the potential. It is our verbal and financial support that is the glue.


Without the membership supporting these events and/or offering monetary sponsorship, we have no hope of continuing with these events in the future.  KMSHA's main source of revenue is registration.  If the breed isn't promoted, people won't be selling horses, breeders quit breeding, and growth becomes stagnant.  in every organization there seems to be those who are there with the sponsorships that keeps things going for the rest of the membership. Let us be unique and see to it that each and every member is involved and supportive.



Please contact me on my email: with your specific questions or thoughts about the Mountain Horses. And Happy Gaiting!