Requirements of the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
Breed Standards for the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse
Foals by a Certified Kentucky
Mountain Saddle Horse stallion and out of a Certified Kentucky
Mountain Saddle Horse mare can be registered with a Temporary
Certificate of Registration. This is done by submitting a completed
application for registration along with four pictures showing front,
back and each side, and the Breeder's Certificate prepared by the
stallion owner at the time the mare was bred. If no Breeder's
Certificate is available, an affidavit stating the information
requested on a Breeder's Certificate and signed by the stallion
owner will be accepted. Once a horse is "under saddle" and
before it produces any offspring, it must be certified. Before a
horse can be certified, DNA or Blood analysis must be on file with
the University of Kentucky and that analysis must confirm parentage
if the sire and/or dam listed on the certificate is registered
KMSHA. No horse, whether stallion, mare, appendix mare or gelding,
may be shown under saddle in a KMSHA sanctioned show until it has
Click below to access the
following information on certification:
Video Tape Guidelines
A Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse or Spotted Mountain Saddle
Horse may be certified if it displays the
Show evidence of a gentle
temperament and a willing disposition. This evidence must be
observed by two licensed Examiners or shown on a video tape submitted to
the office at the time application for Certification is made. Any
horse that displays a temperament that is unruly or unmanageable
will not be eligible for Certification.
Demonstrate a smooth, comfortable
and natural four beat gait (with four distinct hoof beats) under
There are two size categories of the KMSHA/SMHA. At
maturity a horse must stand 14 hands or above in order to
qualify for a Class A registration. Class B registrations
are for horses 11 hands to 13.3 hands at maturity. No
horse can be registered KMSHA or SMHA if at maturity it stands
less than 11 hands. All measurements are to be measured on
a perpendicular at a point where their neck joins the body.
In finding that point the head and neck should be raised at the
throat latch, pushing toward the back of the body, to produce a
tuck in the neck and should not be in a relaxed position.
There is no upper height limit.
for Breed Standards/Registration) Horses must meet the required
standards as specified, have a medium build, not too coarse and
not too fine, with medium feet and head and a proportional body,
hind and legs. No draft-type horses shall be registered or
Any solid body color is
acceptable with white markings being limited to the face, the
legs and an area on the belly that is behind the breast bone and
under the ends of the rib cage not to exceed 36 square inches.
Certification paperwork must be
completed in full. Horse submitted on Certification application
must have been transferred and be in the name of the "current
owner" of record. Current owner of record must be a "member in
good standing with the KMSHA".
Requirements for Permanent Registration "Certification" (in
addition to the above) please submit: Temporary
Certificate, Video or two Licensed Examiners
signatures required, plus 5 photos: back, front, both sides,
under chin. DNA is required to be on file with the University
of Kentucky for "Proof of Identity".
All KMSHA and SMHA
Horses must be certified to breed by their fourth birthday.
Temporary registration certificate will expire on any
KMSHA/SMHA 4 year old horse who is not certified as of
December 31, 2006 and thereafter on their fourth
If the registration papers have expired on any horse due to
this directive, new papers will be issued only upon
completion of official Certification of each horse. This
applies to all Stallions, Mares and Geldings and will
certify that they have now met the "Standard of the Breed".
Certification application should be submitted and checks be made
payable to the KMSHA, P. O. Box 1405, Georgetown, KY 40324.
To Certify your horse by video, you should do the following with the horse:
Show it leading
with a halter, without a saddle, in a 30 foot circle in both
directions (clockwise and counter clockwise). Record in good
light, but avoid positions that throw shadows on the part being
recorded. Hold the camera steady, have the handler of the horse
turn the horse as needed rather than the operator of the camera
moving about the horse.
Time - one minute of record time.
Show the horse
at four angles standing (a) front view; (b) right side; (c) rear
view: (d) and left side. Be sure to record a FULL-BODY view of
each side. Zoom in for a closeup of the face. Pull the forelock
aside for a full view of the forehead. Zoom down the neck and
chest and legs to the feet. Zoom in on the rear, pull tail
aside, and move down the legs to the feet. Zoom in on the
shoulder and move down legs to the feet, showing all markings if
any are present. When recording close-ups, especially of
markings, PAUSE long enough to allow recording of the
markings part completely.
Record picking up
horse's foot and show closeup, and show, if shoed, the kind of
shoe it has on.
Saddle up the
horse, mount (record horse and rider as the horse is being
mounted) and ride for at least two minutes (more as needed) to
show gait as observed from the right/left sides; moving straight
away from the camera and straight back toward the camera. Don't
ride the horse in grass too high to see or hear the
times, the video must be reviewed in slow motion to evaluate the
gait, so the feet must be seen.
Ride the horse
on a road or hard surface to hear the
hoof beat cadence, record
closeup of feet and legs in action. By riding on a hard
surface, it will be easier for the person reviewing the tape to
see and hear clearly the hoof beats.
Suggestions: If available, use a tri-pod to help stabilize the
camera to avoid shaking or wobbling of the film's picture. If you do
not use a tripod, the camera operator should not walk around or move
so much that the resulting pictures are too shaky for accurate
evaluation. Talk while doing the video, be sure to say the horse's
name and describe the horse and what you are showing on the film.
This is especially important if you have more than one horse on the
Before mailing it to the KMSHA office, please review the tape to
be sure that everything is included and can be viewed clearly. In
case you have made a 'camera' error, you can reshoot the tape. We
have received videos that were completely blank, or videos where the
camera operator thought the camera was on pause when it was actually
recording, or vice versa. Happy Recording!