Browse Interviews (61 total)

Bob Coleman details his knowledge 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.

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…

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 back-roads of Eastern…

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".

Clay Mansfield, a farrier by trade, discusses his extensive experiences with the Rocky Mountain Horse breed. Mansfield also comments on his family connections to the breed, which stretches back in time to his great, great, great Grandfather H. B. Hawkins.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Doug Pugh shares his extensive memories of horses, including some horse show experiences, and the important role that horses have played in the community through time, which have included, among many things, Horse Show fundraising benefits for the community. Pugh also comments extensively on the importance of preserving breeding histories, the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

Jack and Ellie Rose share their stories and memories of the early days of establishing 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.

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.

Jeff Lainhart shares his experiences as a Rocky Mountain Horse breeder, advocate, and recognized examiner. He concludes, among many other points, that he strives to keep the breed as close to its original standards by only breeding his horses with the oldest known bloodlines. Lainhart also shares his view that horses should be treated as livestock…

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…

Jeff Miller of Great Horse Stables in Bowling Green KY, and Jane Gean of Dream Catcher Enterprises in Lexington KY, discuss their memories of Rocky Mountain Horses and the horse loving lifestyle that they fell in love with once moving to the Appalachian region. In particular, Miller and Gean share their stories of traveling the back-roads of…

Joan Cole discusses the behaviors, temperament and up keep of Rocky Mountain Horses, and, to a lesser extent, the Rocky Mountain Horse Association. Cole also comments on the historical demographics of Rocky Mountain Horse owners.

Joan Cole discusses her horse training philosophy and past friendships with both Sam Tuttle and Fonzie Graham. Cole also comments on her horse breeding program, her longtime breeding stallion Star Dust Mountain, and her decision to reduce her herd in anticipation of retirement. Cole has contributed to the international trade of Rocky Mountain…

John Fore comments on showing Rocky Mountain Horses, governance in the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, and the local horse community. Fore also details the pride he feels when he considers his time raising Rocky Mountain Horses on his family farm, which is just two miles from where the breed began. In addition, Fore also comments on the…

Poet and author Karen Kotrba discusses her works and the inspiration she draws from Frontier Nursing Service and the mountain horses they rode to deliver healthcare in Appalachia. In particular, Kotrba shares many of her poems in this interview.

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.

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

Mark and Cheryl Martin discuss their deep connection with Appalachia and the integral role that Mountain Horses have played in the region through time. They also comment on natural horsemanship training techniques and the therapeutic benefits of horses for military veterans and the handicapped.

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…

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…

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

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…

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 Smoky Mountains with…

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…

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.

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…

Rea Swan discusses the early years of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association, its original goals and aspirations, and the changes the association has experienced through time, which include, but are not limited to, horse conformation practices and technological changes. Swan also shares stories from her lifetime of memories with Rock Mountain Horses…

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…

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

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…

Robert Lawson, a horse trainer from Paris KY, discusses Rocky Mountain Horses, the show circuit, and some of the challenges that the horses and show men and women face. He also comments on his career as a horse trainer, and the resulting personal and professional changes that he has experienced since he began working with Rocky Mountain Horses.…

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…

Robin Little, President of the Mountain Pleasure Horse Association, discusses the differences between Rocky Mountain and Mountain Pleasure Horses, and the horse culture that she is proud to have grown up around. Little also comments on her family's 3rd generation horse breeding program, the importance of equine education, the drill team she…

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…
Output Formats

atom, csv, dcmes-xml, json, omeka-xml, rss2