August 20, 2011–For over 200 years, the saddle horse has lived in the hills and valleys of many parts of Kentucky. Bred primarily 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 1980s. Originally known in the 1800’s in many parts of Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee as the “Kentucky Saddlin’ Horse”, for its smooth and quick ride around the plantations and settlements.
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, beauty, 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.
From its humble beginnings, and through its unwavering commitment to promote the breeds, the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association® and the Spotted Mountain Horse Association® (collectively KMSHA) have grown at a compounded annual rate of 25% for the last five years. There are now over 24,000 registered Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses and 3,200 individuals and families are members of the Association. The KMSHA is indisputably the largest and fastest growing Mountain Horse breed in existence today.
In Kentucky alone, there are at least 10,700 Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses owned by residents of Kentucky. Additionally, there are several hundred of Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and Spotted Mountain Horse stallions, mares and geldings boarded and trained in Kentucky which are owned by residents of other states. We now have horses in every state, Canada, and rapidly growing numbers throughout Europe.
To find out more about how you can become a member or register a horse with the KMSHA or the SMHA, please see our web site at www.kmsha.com , Facebook or contact our office at 859 225-KMSH.
We are very pleased to now be a part of the KHP family.