Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

2007 International

Grand Championship



Great Gaits


Breeding a Good Horse

by: Barbara Weatherwax

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association was born out of the keen horsemanship and determination of one man, Robert "Jr." Robinson. His vision and concern for the horse has brought the registry to the place of strength and health it enjoys today.

Quoting Robinson, "Well, Iíve been with these horses all my life. I was brought up with these horses. They were primarily a workhorse. My father and I worked these horses and used them for all purposes. We pleasure rode them, worked them, and back then we rode a lot. I rode horses to the store myself, and just got out on Sunday and rode around."

"We wanted to preserve this horse, so we started the Kentucky Mountain Registry. We hope these horses satisfy their owners. We try to breed for gentle horses, for good temperament, and a good smooth four-beat gait. If you donít register a good byproduct, youíre defeating the purpose. We want the horse to be the winner."

Robinson had participated in the formation of other Mountain Horse registries. There was however an area of disagreement that he wished to address with KMSHA. "In the other registries, the smallest horse they would register was 14.2 hands tall. But we had so many good four-beat gait horses that came in under that size."

Robinsonís decision to embark on the enormous responsibility of forming a registry was sealed when he bred the horse General Jackson. This gorgeous, well gaited, flashy stallion stood a sturdy and strong 13.3 hands tall. Robinson was quick to point out that Jackson is a short horse, not a small horse. Many of the shorter horses seem to be the most talented in gaiting.

After Robinson and his volunteers registered the local native Mountain Horses as a foundation, the registry was open to receive other horses possessing the same traits. By grouping horses with like-characteristics, a gene pool has been formed from which owners of mares and stallions may review and select compatible matings for their horses.

The response to the formation and registration of the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse has been one of enthusiasm and great interest. By June, 1989, a few months after the KMSHAís inception, eleven horses had been registered. By 1996, a mere seven years after the beginning of the registry, the KMSHA had registered more than 4,000 horses not only within Kentucky, but throughout the United States and in parts of Canada, Austria, and Germany. Today the registry just celebrated the registration of their 20,000th horse, STF Lydia .a testimony to the growing popularity of the breed.

First time owners of Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses are frequently in their upper thirties and older. Many of them are thrilled at having found these horses, and purchase one or more for their children or grandchildren. The breed is well known for itís kind temperament and ease of gait that makes it a versatile all-around horse for every discipline.

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