9×12 watercolor enhanced colored pencil. Original available.
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The American Rocky Mountain Pony is probably the latest addition to the world’s horse population. The registry was opened as recently as 1986, but since then there has been a steady development of this distinctive and attractive animal. Further recognition of the Rocky Mountain Pony has been given by the inclusion of a good specimen in the Breeds’ Barn at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
Breeding Visually, it is not difficult to see the connection between the Rocky Mountain Pony and the Spanish imports of early American history. However, credit for the development of the Rocky Mountain belongs to Sam Tuttle of Stout Springs, Kentucky, who held the riding concession at Natural Bridge State Park. Tuttle’s stallion, Old Tobe, was a favorite with the riders because of his smooth and surefooted lateral gait (the amble or pace). He was a prepotent, prolific sire who became the patriarch of a distinctive group of horses that inherited his conformation, action, and temperament.
Characteristics The gait and the unusal coloring are the principal features of the Rocky Mountain Pony. It ambles smoothly on rough ground at about 7 mph (11 km/h), and can reach speeds of 16 mph (25 km/h) for shorter distances on the flat. The most prized coat coloring is the unusual rich chocolate shade accompanied by a flaxen mane and tail. The breed is hardy and able to tolerate severe mountain winters (info from Eyewitness Handbook – Horses).