It was probably formed by a hotspot, but the evidence is conflicting. Volcanic activity occurred during the Turonian-Cenomanian eras 100.5–89.8 million years ago and another stage has been dated to have occurred 88–82 million years ago. Between these volcanic episodes, carbonate deposition from lagoonal and reefal environments set in and formed limestone. Volcanic islands developed on Horizon Guyot as well and were colonised by plants.
The seamount is named after the research vessel RV Horizon and is also known as Horizon Ridge, Horizon Tablemount, Gora Khorayzn and Гора Хорайзн. During the Deep Sea Drilling Project, the drill cores called Site 44 and Site 171 were taken on Horizon Guyot in 1969 and 1971, respectively; a further drill core was obtained north of the seamount at Site 313 in 1973. This seamount is the best studied seamount of the Mid-Pacific Mountains and more is known about its morphology than any other seamount of the Mid-Pacific Mountains.