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0:56 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Could you share with us your full name, your birthdate and your birthplace, and your current position or involvement with horses?

Segment Synopsis: Rea Swan was born in Richmond, Kentucky and has lived in many other locations such as Miami, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, and Omaha. Rea started work as a nurse aide in the Patty A. Clade Hospital in Richmond before attending Eastern Kentucky University. This started Rea's road to becoming a nurse. Her husband is the one who suggested they start an association for the Rocky Mountain Horses. Rea tells of the first meeting of that association.

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4:15 - Start of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association

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Partial Transcript: In terms of those initial members of the association, how did you identify them?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells of her journey to find the first Rocky Mountain Horses of the association. As the association grew, Swan would be given new names from her early contacts.

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5:51 - Memories

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Partial Transcript: Can you share some memories from the field, in terms of all those miles you racked up on your car?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells her story about traveling with Sam Clemens and him joking around with her about a bumpy car ride they experienced together. She also tells of Carl Vivian and his fears of riding in Swan's truck. Swan also tells of the horses that she saw and how in awe she was of them.

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8:48 - Preservation of the Breed

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Partial Transcript: And what was it that you were after to preserve?

Segment Synopsis: Rea tells of trail riding and the horses that she rode on the trail. She did not ride Rocky Mountain Horses, but some of the people that she trail rode with had Rockies. She wanted to own one ever since then.

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10:52 - History of the Rocky Mountain Horse

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Partial Transcript: Why the name Rocky Mountain Horses?

Segment Synopsis: Rea tells about meeting Sam Tuttle and riding some of his Rocky Mountain Horses. Rea also tells the history of why the Rocky Mountain Horse is called that even though the breed was created in the Appalachian Mountains.

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11:52 - Traits of Rocky Mountain Horses

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Partial Transcript: In terms of the traits that you were bent on preserving, that you recall when you were a child and after discussions among the new association members. Can you talk a little bit about those traits of this particular type of horse before it was a breed?

Segment Synopsis: Rea tells about the Rocky Mountain Horse work ethic and how hard they can be worked. The Rocky Mountain Horse is an all purpose breed because of its versatility capabilities. These horses are easy keepers, especially in the winter when there is little food. The horses have an easy temperament and are not stubborn.

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13:45 - Story about J.B. Smith

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Partial Transcript: The story I remember the Smiths telling me about the Rocky Mountain is that J.B. Smith bought a stallion from Sam Tuttle.

Segment Synopsis: Rea tells the story of J.B. Smith riding horseback to work in the winter. After traveling home, Smith's feet were frozen in the stirrups but the horse kept traveling to get him home. J.B. would talk about his horse staying tied while he was working in the mines all day. Even after those long shifts, his horse would still be there to take J.B. home even if he fell asleep in the saddle.

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16:07 - Stories About the Rocky Mountain Horse Constitution

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Partial Transcript: Any other stories that demonstrate the constitution and the steadfastness of these horses that you'd like to share?

Segment Synopsis: Rea tells the story about leading a trail ride with a two-year-old filly and trying to cross a flooded creek. She also tells about a friend of hers who would bring beer on the trail rides and how his horse would stay where it was if the rider were to fall off. The Rocky Mountain Horses are very protective of their owners and many have kept their owners from dangerous dogs or cougars. The horses are able to tell what kind of rider they have and accordingly adjust their actions. Rea tells about having a group at the farm split in half to ride either a stallion or a mare and everyone would jump in line to ride the stallion.

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20:44 - The Finding of Nuncio

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Partial Transcript: Could you share a couple of more stories about how you found Nuncio in terms of your line of horses?

Segment Synopsis: Swan had went to Jim Sewell to purchase a horse from him. When she went to pay for the horse named Buddy Roe, she was told that Sewell found a person who could pay a higher price. This is when Swan decided to go to see Mr. Kilburn instead. She ended up buying Nuncio after seeing him turned out with his small herd. Nuncio was with Swan for all of his life.

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24:28 - Start of Hope Springs Farm

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Partial Transcript: Could you share a little bit about the history of Hope Springs Farm as the start of your herd?

Segment Synopsis: Swan's farm was founded in 1985 and named Hope Springs Farm because it was an ancestral name of a family farm in Independence, Missouri. The herds grew from foaling 3 horses a year to foaling 12 to 14. These horses were also quickly sold because of the increasing demand of Rocky Mountain Horses.

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26:19 - Economical Impact from the Horses

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Partial Transcript: We were talking a little bit yesterday about the economic impact that establishing the breed registry and establishing the association had on the region early on. Can you share some stories about that?

Segment Synopsis: From getting the word out about the Rocky Mountain Horses, the demand of these foals grew and the people of eastern Kentucky could sell their foals. Swan tells about advertising the horse and how the demand really started. She tells about making a newspaper and including all the breeders available for the Rocky Mountain Horses. Now the impact of these horses is felt all around the world.

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30:51 - Disposition of the Rocky Mountain Horse

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Partial Transcript: In terms of that one statement, just to get you to comment once again, some say that the mild-mannered disposition of the Rocky Mountain Horse might be a little bit of a misnomer. What are your thoughts on that?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells about how she would choose her broodmares based on the things she could do with the horse in three days. Swan professes there is no other breed you could do this with. Swan goes into detail of what she would teach and work with within those three days and explains why she would sell the stubborn horses.

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33:01 - Conformation Standards of the Rocky Mountain Horse

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Partial Transcript: And then in terms of those conformation standards for the Rocky Mountain Horse, could you speak a little bit about that? And then we can talk a little bit about current breeding for those standards.

Segment Synopsis: Swan used the horses of Sam Tuttle as the template for her conformation standards. Most of these mares weren't very tall, so the original height was 13.3 to 15.3 hands. 13.3 hands is the classification of ponies, so the association made the height as 14.2 to 16 hands. Swan tells her characteristics of the bone structure for the horse and the gait structure.These horses were bred to do farm work, so they had to be strong boned to do such work.

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35:51 - Difficult Horses

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Partial Transcript: In terms of another statement here, some say we learn the most from difficult horses. What are your thoughts on that?

Segment Synopsis: Swan has only really had one difficult horse. She tells about what this horse did and what happened to him after she sold him.

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37:35 - Trail Riding

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Partial Transcript: I've heard several people say that you are an accomplished trail rider yourself, in terms of the use of these horses on the trail. Any other stories that you can share?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells about the many 100 mile trails that she would ride Nuncio on. She goes into much detail about one particular chossy trail and how Nuncio would walk with a lot more care to keep Rea safe. Swan shares another story of one of her horses experiencing quicksand for the first time. The horse maintained his calm nature as he pulled himself and his rider out of the quicksand.

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40:39 - Versatility of the Horse

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Partial Transcript: Some people comment, "Oh I use my horse just for trail riding." What are your thoughts about that?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells about how she would use gaited horses for everything in her childhood and how she continues to do so with her Rocky Mountain Horses. She strongly believes that the Rocky Mountain Horse can do anything you would want it to do.

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41:44 - Connection to Horses Over the years

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Partial Transcript: Do you think your relationship or your connection to the horse has changed over the years?

Segment Synopsis: Swan's connection to horses has never changed. The horses are her happy place and how she releases stress. She tells about the serenity that trail riding brings her with seeing nature, challenges, or unexpected things just around the next turn for her and her horses.

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42:57 - Trail Preservation

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Partial Transcript: Trails and trail riding and preserving our trails here in Kentucky and land preservation connected to all you've done to preserve these mountain horses. Could you comment on that?

Segment Synopsis: Swan commends the backcountry horsemen on keeping the trails maintained. Swan can't speak for the organizations for trail maintenance. She does however, tell about the people she sees on the trails and where trail riding has became popular.

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44:07 - Advice for the Future

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Partial Transcript: Any advice or suggestions or directions for the future in terms of maintaining and preserving our horses?

Segment Synopsis: Swan does her best to preserve the horses by teaching young people to ride. Ultimately however, the preservation is up to the young people.

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44:53 - Stewardship of the Trails

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Partial Transcript: How can trail riders be good stewards to the land?

Segment Synopsis: Swan tells of her pet peeve of people leaving trash on the trails. She believes that riders should pack out what they packed in, unless it is food the rider has eaten. Swan would love for an organization to be formed to keep the trails maintained. She also tells about how the forest service does not have the funds they need to maintain the trails.

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46:42 - Appalachian Connection

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Partial Transcript: Can you share with us just your thoughts on what it means to you to be part of Appalachia?

Segment Synopsis: Swan believes that her heart is in the countryside, the horses, and the people of Appalachia. She compares her love of the hills of Appalachia to how people love the ocean or the desert. The people of Appalachia are very special to Swan, and many of the people she has met through the horses. Most of these friends are customers of hers. Swan tells a few stories about her relationships with the people she has sold horses to.

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50:34 - Advice for Future Horse Buyers

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Partial Transcript: What advice can you give somebody who might be looking to purchase a Rocky Mountain Horse?

Segment Synopsis: Swan advises that an inexperienced buyer should take an experienced buyer with them so they can help. Swan further advises that if you ever feel uncomfortable on a horse then immediately stop with that horse. A rider should know how to maneuver a horse and should take the horse on a trail ride. The buyer should also be able to learn to get the right saddle and bit for both the rider and the horse. As for those from other states, Swan encourages them to do their research on the internet first to find where you want to go to look for your horses.

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55:47 - Getting the First Mares

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Partial Transcript: When you were picking out your herd of eight mares, did they all come from the Tuttle farm? Or did you actually go to different farms to find your initial herd?

Segment Synopsis: Swan shares where she found a few of her beginning mares. One was from Sam Tuttle, another was from Kenneth Woosley and Wendell Johnson, and another was from J.B. Smith. Swan also had a mare that was born to a Tennessee Walking Horse that she bred when the mare was 19.

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