Browse Interviews (61 total)

Bob Coleman details his knoweldge on the early history of horses in North America. Coleman then goes on to describe and detail the eventual development of the important mountain horse lineages that established the current lines of Kentucky mountain horses.

Victoria Tollman discusses the history of the Mountain Pleasure Horse Association.

Mike Kilburn, the youngest ever elected and longest serving County Commission in the state of Ohio, shares stories and his memories of his Father, Charles Kilburn, and his famous stallion, Kilburn's Chocolate Sundown (KCS). KCS was often known as the "Ohio Horse", but he was bred in Kentucky as well. Charles Kilburn and Sam Tuttle had an agreement…

Jack and Ellie Rose share their stories and memories of the early days of establihsing the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Their history reinforces the hard work and dedication that the early members of the Association had while attempting to preserve and the promote the Rocky Mountain Horse.

Ovie Hollon shares his memories as a young boy while working for his Father, who was a farrier. Both Ovie and his Father knew Sam Tuttle well. Hollon recalls stories of their times at Spout Springs. Hollon shares in this interview that Mr. Tuttle did indeed reference his horses as "Rocky Mountains", and he also conveys the legend that the…

Ed Henson shares some of his memories as a young boy at the Natural Bridge State Park and while working the Trail Riding Concession with Mr. Sam Tuttle and Tobe, the renowned Mountain Horse. Through the trail concession Mr. Tuttle made others aware of the Rocky Mountain Horses of Eastern Kentucky. Some of the people who came in contact with either…

Max Hammond, a hillside farmer and horseman, provides a sweeping history of the origins of the Mountain Horse, form the days of the Spanish Conquest, up through the American Civil War and into the late 20th Century. Hammond mostly emphasizes the Spanish origins of the horse in the interview. He also discusses the importance of these horses to the…

In this interview Cindy Clevenger shares her passion for the history of Mountain Horses. As the third in a series, Clevenger reflects on the experiences that have made her an advocate of Mountain Horses. Near the end one the interview she shares the first verse of a song she wrote about the horses, titled "The Horse that Built Kentucky".

This is the third of a series of interview with Rea Swan, founder of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Using the same questions as previous interviews, new details are shared and a unique perpsective on the history and origination of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association is revealed in the itnerview.

Wendell Wells shares his expereinces and perspective on being a longtime Rocky Mountain Horse breeder. With more than 30 years in the horse breeding business, Wendell concludes that moutnain horses are one of the best products to come from Kentucky.

Sue Wells, trainer and owner of Prince Albert Stables near Presontsburg KY, shares many stories about renowned mountain horse breeders and trainers J.B Smith and Sam Clemmons. She comments on her relationship with the Old Timers, the knowldege they shared, and the skills and techniques she has picked up during her more than 30 years as a horse…

Dr. Robert Coleman discusses the history of the mountain horse and its origins in the Narragansett Pacer bloodlines and earlier Spanish horses that were brought into North America. Dr. Coleman also shares background on the importance of the Black Squirrel (saddlebred) influence on the development of a particular "flashy" line of horse that was…

In this followup interview with Vernon Stamper, many of the old mountain sayings about mountain horse are shared. Through his artful use of storytelling, Stamper also shares addiitonal knowledge and perspective on training mountain horses.

Emerson Williams shares his perspective on training Rocky Mountain Horses. Due to the horses' willingness and temperament, Williams concludes that much of the "starting" of the mountain horse can be achieved in thirty days. Williams also provides sound advice to the new gaited horse owner or person who is seeking to purchase a mountain horse; come…

Dr. Ron Hatcher and his wife, Elsie discuss their long history with Rocky Mountain horses. Originally residents of Clay County, the Hatchers relocated to the Bowling Green area when Dr. Hatcher began practicing medicine. In their interview, the Hatchers discuss their introduction to the Rocky Mountain Horse breed and the subsequent breeding program…

This interview with Ronnie and Robin Little is a follow-up interview to their 2016 interviews (see 2016 OH 007 & 2016 OH 020 for additional discussions over the development of Mountain Pleasure Horse breed). In this history, many of the same themes of historical importance of the mountain horse are discussed. Robin Little reinforces the fact that…

Brenda and Mike Creech provide a beautiful account of how much the mountain horses mean to her and her family. Brenda an in-depth discussion over the conformation and disposition qualities of the Rocky Mountain Horses that she and her husband breed. Brenda also comments on the sense of pride that she and her horses both display when in the show…

Phyllis and David McGuire share their stories and the knowledge they gained in developing the Rocky Mountain Horse breeding program they began in the early 1990s. Both speak passionately about the persons and old-timers who shared ideas, methods, and perspectives that they integrated into their program. They stress the fact that for people "back…

Patti Smotherland discusses growing up with horses in Eastern Kentucky. Her father, Wendal Tracy Johnson was a well known horse trader and breeder who eventually became a prominent figure in the Rocky Mountain Horse community. She details her early interactions and love for the horses that were, in many ways, an extension of her family.

Dr. Gus Cothran details his genetic research on mountain horses in this interview. Dr. Cothran comments extensively on his interactions with the mountain horse related associations and the development of the parentage and later genetic mapping programs that established a genetic narrative for the mountain horses of Eastern Kentucky and the…

Margaret Layton provides a compelling history of the Kentucky Saddle Horse of yesteryear and how these horses became the foundation of the American Saddle, Tennessee Walking, Rocky Mountain and Mountain Pleasure Horses. She also shares her memories of the early formation of the Mountain Pleasure Horse Association and the role that she and her late…

David Shewmaker shares his first introduction and love for the Rocky Mountain Horse breed. AS highly regarded breeder of Rockies, he shares what he believes to be the prize qualities of the breed: disposition and a smooth gait. He also shares his insights into some of the foundation stallions, but as a breeder acknowledges that fact that a quality…

This interview with Cindy Clevenger is a follow up interview to her 2016 oral history. She (and Dave Stefanic) discuss more of the history of the Kentucky "Saddle Hoss", a horse term that commonly referred to Kentucky Riding Horses. She also comments on her research on the role that Saddle Horses played when settling the region. Her research…

This interview with Dave Stefanic is a follow up to his 2016 interview. Stefanic expands on the history of the Mountain Horse, its role in the region, and the Kentucky Saddle Horse. He provides memories and recollects on the early days of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association and the Kentucky Mountain Horse Association. He details the early days of…

Nancy Lainhart got involved with Rocky Mountain horses after her marriage to Eugene Lainhart. She continued to breed and raise horses after Eugene’s death. She tells of the certification process with the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, then led by Rea Swan. Lainhart tells stories about riding her horses and camping in the Smokies with her…

Jeff Lainhart discusses the evolution of training methods that are used to “start” horses. He tells stories about dismounting Rocky Mountain Horses and the horse staying right were you left it, no matter how long you leave it. This is very much unlike other horse breeds. Lainhart also tells stories that he has heard about Sam Tuttle. He ultimately…

Lowell May starts by telling about how he used to plow hillsides with mountain horses and the work that went along with working the land. He also discusses his time showing buggy horses and trail horses. May also comments on rides in weddings and parades and he details how mountain horses deal with crowds. May also tells a story about how he hauled…

David May starts his interview by talking about how his great grandfather would ride mountain horses during his time as sheriff. He also discusses how the mountain horse was, and is still, an easy keeper and how Appalachia would not have been able to survive without these horses. The horses were used for everything and now they have changed into…

Langstone Harvey and Tanner Deweese are two younger riders of the Rocky Mountain Horse. They both discuss how trail riding brings strong bonds to the community and helps fund the small towns of these horses. Harvey discusses the changes in the acceptance of horses into the breed standards and how that still needs work within some associations. She…

Rea Swan, founder of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, opens with her time in the saddle club. During this time Swan saw her first Rocky Mountain Horse and owning one became her ultimate goal. Swan goes on to talk about the process of founding the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. She also discusses the changes the show circuit has undergone…

Mary and Robert, siblings from Taylorsville, discuss their time with Rocky Mountain horses. Mary had taken the family farm and Robert moved back to the area in 2009 to help with the farm. Mary talks about showing Rocky Mountain Horses and how they moved to doing trail rides on the farm. She also tells the history of the breed and the importance of…

Peg Edwards’ first memory of horses was when she was just two years old. However, her first interaction with rocky Mountain horses occurred when she saw Rea Swan on a Rocky Mountain horse on the “Kentucky Salt River” magazine. Edwards has been using Rocky Mountain horses for therapy riding and tells a few stories about her work. Edwards also…

Dallas O’Neill Lawrence and Reisha Mills discuss how being involved in horse therapy has allowed them to get close to the mountain horses of Kentucky. Both of them accredit this to the easy temperament and natural, smooth gait of the mountain horse. Mills talks about how horses are just about as dynamic as humans are and that there are different…

Lou Ellen Johnson discusses her late start of breeding horses, at age 50, and bringing the Rocky Mountain horse to the western side of the state. Johnson also tells about a riding accident she had and how it taught her to be more mindful when training horses. Johnson claims that she trains her horses in socialization before selling them to riding…

Cindy Greene Clevenger always loved horses but she came to own them later in life. A true Mountain Horse enthusiast, she discusses her views and thoughts on where the best examples of Mountain Horses can be located. Clevenger concludes that there are many unregistered Mountain Horses of the finest stock up in the hollers and backroads of Eastern…

Vernon Stamper discusses his lifetime of experiences with Mountain Horses, beginning with his childhood and ending in present day. Stamper is a well respected farmer and horseman whose storytelling and memories shed light on the role that Mountain Horses have played in the lives of Kentuckians. Stamper's account of his family history reveals a…

The Taylors discuss their more than thirty plus years of showing Mountain Horses. They also contrast the Rocky Mountain Horse and the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Associations.

Theah and Mike Hall have raised, trained and showed Rocky Mountain Horses for nearly a decade. In this interview, the Halls discuss the breed, its gait and behaviors, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, and their training/stabling facilities at Hatcher's Creek Ranch near Stanton, KY.

Latasha Ross and Scotty Moore discuss their involvement with Rocky Mountain Horses and their futures plans to remain in the business of training, stabling and managing Mountain Horse breeds. Ross and Moore share their thoughts on the industry and their future plans of becoming professional trainers, stable owners, and managers in the equine…

Dave Stefanic provides explanation and the history behind the Rocky Mountain Horse Association and the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association. Stefanic shares stories about his early beginnings with the Kentucky Mountain Horse. For much of the interview, Stefanic shares his stories of traveling to Eastern Kentucky to select the mares and…

The Wendell and Sue Wells and Jason Slone discuss the foundation stock of Mountain Horses that can be found in Eastern Kentucky. They comment extensively on the "Decoy/ South Fork Herd" of Mountain Horses and the families that cultivated and developed certain Mountain Horse bloodlines.

Jane Collins discusses her early involvement with the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Collins details her thoughts on and experiences with the breed, as well as some of the challenges that the RMHA has faced through time, such as management issues and changing show and judging dynamics.

H.T. and Wilda Derickson share a lifetime of stories about gaited horses. In the interview, Mr. Derickson recalls memories and shares stories about the horses, which he trained and rode before any modern organizations were formed to preserve bloodlines. Mr. Derickson comments extensively on the Mountain Horse temperament and horse-human…

Dr. Judy Brummer, acting President of the Rock Mountain Horse Association, discusses her experiences with horses. Dr. Brummer provides excellent details on Mountain Horses while sharing her thoughts on both the historical aspects and future of the Rocky Mountain Horse. Dr. Brummer also comments on the ways that her Champion horse, Lady, has changed…

Ronnie Little and James Brooks share their memories of raising and training Mountain Pleasure Horses. Little and Brooks also comment on the important role that Little's father, R.T. Little, played in the development of the Mountain Pleasure bloodlines. R.T. Little owned and operated a general store in Emberton KY, where he traded with the locals…

Valerie Kleinheitz discusses her love for Mountain Horses and the work that goes into the associations that represent them. In particular, she details her volunteer work with the Kentucky Mountain Horse Association, and her role on the board of the United Mountain Horse Association. Kleinheitz also provides keen insights into the challenges of…

Larry and Noemi LeBlanc discuss their love for horses, their early involvement with various horse breeds and the eventual development of their Rocky Mountain Horse breeding program. The LeBlanc's' also comment on the modern versatility of the breed, the growing international popularity of Rocky Mountain Horses and the future of both the breed and…

Langley Franklin discusses his experiences with Mountain Horses, and his founding and organizing of the Mountain Horse Celebration. The MHC aims to highlight and celebrate the many commonalities between the various Mountain Horse "breeds", rather than focus on their perceived differences.

Lyngle Lawson discusses the Rocky Mountain Horses she has owned and the ways in which her love and appreciation for the breed has changed through time. Lawson also comments on the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, its broad scope, and the growing domestic and international popularity of the breed, and, more generally, Mountain Horses.
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