Copyright © 2009 by Odom's Mountain Horse Ranch. All rights reserved. Rocking Horse logo is a trademark of Odom's Mountain Horse Ranch.
History & FAQ's
A Brief History:
Our motivation to begin breeding mountain horses was out of need. Our sport is field trialing English pointers (bird
dogs). It is a rousing activity throughout the fall, winter and spring in which horses are used. It demands endurance,
versatility, dependability, smoothness and speed from the horse. And the horse is only a vehicle, never being the focus
or under judgment. He must be willing to leave the gallery of people riding to watch at a gallop in search for a dog.
Then he must return to the crowd, settle down and walk again. Dog competition is held during rain, wind, snow or sun.
It’s fun and exciting…..but not so when riding a crazy horse.
Always the better horse is being sought. Faster, smoother, calmer, stronger. When we stumbled onto the mountain
horses it was after we had entered the show ring with our horses during the "off season" of field trialing. Ever enjoying
competition, we became students of "gait". We wanted to better train our horses for the show judge. At the time we were
learning about "run walk" and "fox trot". The ability to watch MANY different horses in a confined location and compare
their movements is a true asset of horse shows. The exposure to trainers and their theories for training and obviously the
results are all right there for the observer to watch and learn at the show.
Billy saw a picture of a horse in a gaited horse magazine. He was moving through the field in a fashion that Billy had
learned was what we wanted in a field trial horse. The horse shows had truly developed his eye for recognizing gait. He
followed the information about that horse to the mountain horse world. It was difficult to believe that all the people he
interviewed about the horses were telling the truth. They all praised the horses gait, health, beauty and most of all their
mind. The rest is history. Once we came to know this breed of horse we acknowledged they were a horse for all riders.
We now have a field of over 40 horses. We stand three stallions. All of them are like our children and parting with any of
them is like child abuse. It is our preference to raise each individual and train them under saddle. They are terrifically
easy to ride from day one. It is positively thrilling to take one out for the first ride into the woods or along the river and
expose them to life. They are so willing and trusting of their rider, it is difficult to think it is their first outing. Oh yes
field trialing??? Well so many horses do place a demand on our time but we are still out there …..on a mountain horse.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Rocky Mountain Horse:
From what part of the country do they come?
The name is misleading. This is a horse whose history is traced to the origins of our country. The breed maintained its
integrity in the mountains of Kentucky. During the industrial revolution the horse nearly became extinct. The rescuers
were a few breeders and tobacco farmers whose lands were too small to warrant tractors. A no nonsense horse was
mandatory – no exceptions.
Are they mixed with…?
It is a distinct and separate breed determined through blood analysis. “Markers” in the blood are similar to a Spanish
Barb but not matching. The breed is old – the Registry is young.
Is it true about their temperament?
All horses are wonderful – especially to their owners. Honestly, how long does the “near death experience” remain
thrilling? Or winning the dispute over stepping into the water, for the umpteenth time, a victory? Who wouldn’t enjoy a
ride down the road or in the hills without conflict? This breed gets raves when it comes to willingness, bravery, quick
learning and general positive interaction with mankind.
Do they all come in that color?
The chocolate brown body with flaxen mane and tail is beautiful. Other than spotted, every other color and combination
of colors is in the registry/breed.
How big are they?
For the purpose of registration they may be 14.2 to 16 hands.
What is a single foot gait?
Many people are not knowledgeable of a gaited horse. It doesn’t take long to learn. A single foot gait is one where the
horse takes a step in a 1-2-3-4 beat which is in even timing and the actual step is also even in spacing. This activity
causes a steadily forward movement with each step. At the same time the rider is carried without being jarred and is
allowed to sit in the saddle and cruise down the road. The horse moves out briskly yet controlled. It is easily performed
for long distances due to minimal lift or clearance from the ground. “ The gait” is natural from birth . Humans only fine
tune it by requesting that it be performed, thereby developing the horse’s strength to perform.
What can you do with them?
It would be better to list what can’t be done. Probably can’t pull a cow down or jump the real high jump. Probably can’t
sell one once you’ve owned one!
Want to know more? Contact Us!