August 15, 2008 | | Comments 0

Morgan Horses

Morgan Horse

Morgan Horses: America’s Pride

The Morgan horse breed is not as ancient as other breeds. Even so, it is perhaps one of the breeds with the most origin story versions. This can’t be helped though. The amazing story of the Morgan breed simply makes it more prone to dramatic versions.

The Morgan Horse Story

It is not clear which horse breeds are the ancestors of the Morgan bloodline. It is possible though that the first true Morgan was the product of foreign influence. In any case, the first known Morgan was a stallion that originally came by the name of Figure. Figure lived in the late 1700s. Later on the stallion became more and more associated with its humble owner Justin Morgan until the stallion was given the same name as its owner.

Justin Morgan, the stallion, was said to have been exceptional in many ways. There was nothing unusual about his physical attributes. Although he did seem muscled and strong, nothing in his body set him apart from other draft or riding horses. It was reputedly in the way Justin Morgan performed that set him apart. He was both strong and fast and had great stamina. He performed extremely well as both a workhorse and a racehorse. He became so popular that he was said to have carried an American president on his back. What was even more distinct about Morgan was his ability to produce offspring that had his traits even when the offspring came from different mothers.

It was therefore from Justin Morgan that the breed was born. All true Morgans can be traced back to Justin Morgan. The Morgan horses were so versatile that they were the preferred military horse of the American cavalry. There were many notable Morgan horses during the Civil War two of which were the horses of Jackson and Sheridan. By the late 1800s, the Morgan breed became so established that a registry was opened for them. Nearly a hundred years later, the Morgan breed rose to celebrity status after being hailed as the Vermont state animal.

The Morgan Horse Today

As mentioned, Justin Morgan’s excellent traits have been passed on to generations. Today’s Morgan horses, just like their foundation horses are swift and strong. Although they have compact muscles, they also have long graceful limbs and necks. Most notable in Morgan horses are their easy temperaments. They are however, also intelligent, enduring, courageous and lively. These horses can come in many colors including black, chestnut, gray, palomino, roan, dun and buckskin.

Morgan traits have become so desirable that they have been introduced into other breeds. Some of the breeds with Morgan influence include the Quarter Horse, Saddlebred, Standardbred, Missouri Fox Trotter and Tennessee Walker.

The Morgan can undeniably compete with any European horse in a variety of events. Morgan horses have been found excellent in jumping, reining, dressage, riding, driving and eventing. Today, there is a special annual competition event held specifically for the Morgan breed. The Morgan breed has indeed come a long way from its humble origins.

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