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The History of The Mountain Horse

The early history of the Rocky Mountain Horse has been passed down orally and as such, is something of a legend. From what one can gather, the breed developed in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky - a rural and largely agricultural area where a good farm and utility horse was valued and entrusted with the jobs that were vital for the farmers' very existence.


Being somewhat cut off from the more affluent and well connected western parts of Kentucky, this was a sure footed, well gaited and easy going horse, capable of undertaking farm work, offering miles of comfortable rides under saddle, and able to pull a cart.

The modern Rocky can trace it's history to a silver dapple (chocolate) coloured stallion known as Tobe, foaled in 1947. Locals say he was descended from a gaited colt who had come from the Rocky Mountains to Eastern Kentucky. Because of his origins, the Kentucky farmers called that colt the "Rocky Mountain Horse", and so the name stuck. Nothing is known about this horse save that he arrived in Kentucky in around 1890, that he possessed the chocolate colour which is common in Rockies, and that his gait was superb. He left his mark on the local saddle stock by breeding extensively to mares in what was quite a small area. From this stock came Tobe, owned by Sam Tuttle, credited with preserving this special breed. Sam used his Rockies to give ridden tours at the Natural Bridge State Park, Powell County, Kentucky.


Despite the inevitable decline in horse ownership with the advent of mechanised farming and improved transport links, Tobe was a popular choice amongst the locals, and he left many offspring. From these origins, a total of five foundation stallions - all sons of Tobe - were selected to form the official breed of the Rocky Mountain Horse. We are proud to say that at the Cornmill Stud, we have several grandchildren of three of these five foundation stallions, and all five of them are reprsented in our breeding stock. We have carefully selected the very best Rocky lines from both the USA and Europe, and we are immensely proud to be able to showcase these spectacular horses here in the UK. 

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