Morgan Horses

Let’s learn about Morgan Horses.  The Morgan horse is a breed that was developed in the United States in the late 1700s.  Justin Morgan was given a stallion in 1792 named Figure to pay off a debt.  “Figure” was known for passing on his distinctive looks, conformation, temperament, and athleticism to his offspring.  The breed has since become identified by the name of his owner “Justin Morgan.”  Later shortened to “Morgan” and has since become the name of the breed.  All Morgans can be traced back to Figure.

Morgan Horse
Photo Credit: Majestic Meadows Stable

Morgan Horse Registries

The original Morgan Horse Club was founded in 1909.  In 1927 the club was incorporated into a membership corporation.  This was the first time the club issued certificates of registration.  In 1971 the Club was renamed to the name we know it by today.

American Morgan Horse Association – United States

Canadian Morgan Horse Association – Canada

British Morgan Horse Society – England

Morgan Horse Association Of Australia – Australia

Swedish Morgan Horse Association – Sweden

Breed Characteristics

From: Vermont (United States)
Height:  14.1 to 15.2 Hands
Weight: 900 to 1000 lbs
Color: generally bay, black or chestnut, although they come in many colors, including several variations of Overo.  The tobiano pattern has not been seen in Morgans.

The breed standard for the Morgan is a horse that is compact and refined in build. They have an expressive head with a straight or slightly convex profile with a  broad forehead.  Large, prominent eyes with an upright, well-arched neck are the main characteristics.  The back is short with well-defined withers, laid back shoulders, with strong legs and hindquarters that are strongly muscled, A long and well-muscled croup, with the tail attached high and carried gracefully and straight. Morgans appear to be strong and sturdy and very durable.

On rare occasions, Morgan’s can be classified as a gaited horse.  Those that do possess the trait can rack, pace, fox-trot, and other lateral gaits.  The majority of the breed performs the standard walk, trot, canter.

Temperament

The Morgan Breed is full of intelligent horses.  They are alert but curious of their surroundings.  They have a calm and gentle disposition and are suitable for beginner riders.  The breed is one of the most affectionate breeds and is comfortable around people.  Many Morgans are in lesson programs because of these traits.

Disciplines

Each type of riding requires different skills from horse and rider.   All have different levels of competition, allowing competitors to grow through the levels of the sport.  The disciplines listed here are just a few that Morgans excel in.

Carriage
Dressage
Show Jumping
English Pleasure
Eventing
Hunter/Jumper
Western Pleasure
Cutting
Competitive Endurance Riding
Stock Horses
Pleasure Riding

Morgan Horse Crosses

Morgans are crossed with many different breeds.  The Morab is a cross between an Arabian and Morgan.  To be registered, a Morab must have a documented pedigree with at least 75% and 25% Arabian and Morgan bloodlines, respectively.  In the 1940s, breeders started crossing Arabians and Morgans to create strong, swift, and hard-working horses suited for a variety of disciplines.

Miscellaneous Information

The Morgan is the state animal of Vermont and the state horse of Massachusetts.

Morgan Horse International – Website

Justin Morgan Had a Horse (Book) by Marguerite Henry, published in 1945, was a fictional account of Figure and Justin Morgan.

Morgan Horse Historical Information

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References

Morgan Horse Registry

Wikipedia

International Morab Breeders


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