Versatility in the Mountain Horse

This gorgeous photo, shot by Sherry Leonard, captures the beauty of the Mountain Horse.

Mountain horses are cropping up outside of the gaited show ring and the trail. They can be spotted in a multitude of areas – the cross-country course, driving a surrey, and even in the FEI showjumping rings. The temperament of the Rocky allows them to meld to the desired discipline and show where they shine. The horses highlighted in this article are but a few examples of the diverse nature of the breed.

LS Kosmic Kiss
LS Kosmic Kiss, also known as Rain, is a 15-year-old RMHA mare who has been there, done that. She began her career in the RMHA show ring and on the trails, and then began to branch out. She’s been to Rolex as a mounted steward, was ridden sidesaddle in demos at Breyerfest, and has team penned, evented, is currently schooling first level dressage. She’s a very unique mare in that she gaits, trots, and canters. The trot allows her to compete outside of the breed, and she has a nice, floating trot that is a lot of fun to ride. It may seem counterintuitive to trot a gaited horse, but it is another aspect of her training, one that allows her to show what the breed can truly do.


Robin Sams and Rising Wind
Frosty is a chocolate gelding located in North Carolina, who’s owner loves to enjoy the different aspects the breed offers. She’s trained him to drive, and has an antique surrey that provides a different view of the picturesque region she lives in. When not driving, they are typically seen riding the local trails or on the gorgeous, horse friendly beach in the area. He’s also in the process of being trick trained, and lays down on command.



Cassey Morris, Ultimatum and Star
Cross the pond to England, and you will find Ultimatum. This beautiful chocolate stallion has a high jump of 165cm, or 5’4” – no small feat! His owner, Cassey Morris, uses her Mountain Horses to show jump, event, do dressage, and play polo. She believes that the gait allows them to turn on a dime and to steady themselves. One of her other horses, Star, competes in polo and does cross country as well.






Christine Stewart Marks and Kahlua
Mounted archery is something that is gaining popularity in the country, and Christine and Kahlua are one pair who love doing it. In order to shoot a bow on a horse, they need to steer with just seat and legs as well as being able to tolerate the rider moving enough to draw and fire an arrow, and the Mountain Horse’s trainability is perfect for it. Christine has also done some long-distance riding, but prefers Mounted Archery and is working on creating a club in her area. She attends clinics and is prepping for her first competition soon.




Dean Moon and Blue
Step off the beaten path and you will find Dean and his Rockies on the endurance trails. He started endurance with the Mountain Horse back in 1992. With these amazing horses, he’s had the first Rocky to finish the Tevis Cup, the first to finish top ten, the first to win a 50 mile ride, and first to win the Best Condition in a 50 mile ride. He’s now prepping for the 2017 Tevis Cup with his Rocky, Blue.





Judy Brummer and Legendary Lady 
Lady shines whether ridden saddleseat, western, or sidesaddle in the ring. She’s also a remarkable trail partner and navigates competitive trail obstacle courses with grace among the best in the discipline. Her greatest asset is her desire to please no matter what task is set before her or what setting she is placed in. She’s been in many breed and discipline demonstrations, including the World Equestrian Games with the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. The pair has also attended Breyerfest and the Pegasus Parade with the American Sidesaddle Association. They were competitors in the television show America’s Favorite Trail Horse as well. Lady throws her whole heart into every task and performs like a champion every time.



Christy Smiler and Kahlua
Christy and Kahlua compete in Cowboy Mounted Shooting at the national and world level.

They have been shooting partners since April 2015. In 2016, they were the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association KY State Championship class winner, ladies level 3, and was a World Qualifier, as well as Ladies Limited Division Reserve World Grand Champion in the shotgun class.

The Mountain Horse provides an even temperament, willingness to please, and a smooth ride. If their owner asks them to complete a task, whether it is to navigate a difficult show jumping course, half pass across the diagonal in the dressage ring, or finish the end of a grueling trek in the Tevis cup, they give their all. They stare fearlessly down the lane towards their target in Mounted Archery, or gallop without flinching as a pistol is fired in Cowboy Mounted Shooting. They are truly one horse for all occasions.