The Mountain Pleasure Horse was formed in the Appalachian terrain of Eastern Kentucky in the 1840s. Long before there was any kind of registries or established breeds, the horse was the essential part of everyday life. It was required for work, travel, and even play. The Mountain Pleasure Horse was the foundation of the rough and tough horses that were required in that time. Also at that time, they were referred to as "Kentucky Saddlers" or just simply "Mountain Horses" for their ability to navigate the rough valley and mountain terrain. Horsemen of that time said they were the perfect horse for that particular time and place. This horse has been bred for well over 160 years and is considered the homegrown product of Kentucky.
They were gentle and had a smooth, comfortable gait; they were also very easy to keep as well as an all around gentle breed. They actually contributed to the modern day Tennessee Walking Horse, American Saddlebred, and Rocky Mountain Horses.
The Mountain Horses have served in a number of ways just like many other breeds; they have performed from the farm to the battle fields of war. As far as being acceptable to the registry, all solid colors are welcome but spotted horses are discouraged. Also, any newly born horse must be the offspring of an already registered mare or stallion and must be proven through a blood test. A test of their gait must also be performed in front of the Board of Directors before admission can be granted.
Their gait has helped make them a very appealing horse more than anything else has; it's a smooth and practically action free. There's only a slight front to back motion, basically a four beat gait and not the jarring trot that many horses tend to have. As is with other horse registries, no devices of any kind or harsh training methods are allowed to alter the horse's natural gait. In fact, these horses are so easy to train that to the experienced trainer, it's not an unusual thing to see a two or three year old horse competing or on what might be considered challenging trail rides with the older horses.
The Mountain Pleasure Horse is well known for its calm temperament and praised for it as well, which makes it the perfect family horse and as well as for children, other than a regular show horse. The Mountain Pleasure Horse has had its famous ones, but perhaps the most famous was the original "Trigger" of the Roy Rogers Show. (Interestingly enough, this horse was never filmed at a trot, only at a walk or canter.)
As it is suggested in many breeds of horse, history shows that many horses including the Mountain Pleasure Horse that they may have inherited their gait from Spanish horses. It is through this gait that the Mountain Pleasure Horse is considered to "ride the best" in comparison to other horses that were developed shortly after this one.