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Breeds

Horse breeds are groups of horses with distinctive characteristics that are transmitted consistently to their offspring, such as conformation, color, performance ability, or disposition.

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Breeds

Horse breeds are groups of horses with distinctive characteristics that are transmitted consistently to their offspring, such as conformation, color, performance ability, or disposition.

Most popular horse breed

Shetland pony

The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Its the smallest of all pony breeds, and is also the most popular. read more

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The Akhal-Teke is an elegant, exotic animal exuding grace, power and athleticism. read more

Morgan breed information

HBL rank
#70

Morgan horse breed Morgan horse breed Morgan horse breed Morgan horse breed Morgan horse breed
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Morgan horse general information

  • COLOR
    Registered Morgans come in a variety of colors although they are most commonly bay, black, and chestnut. Less common colors include gray, palomino, roan, cremello, perlino, dun, buckskin, and silver dapple.
  • SIZE
    The breed standard ranges from 14.1-15.2 hh
  • WEIGHT
    They have to weighed about 950 lb (430kg)
  • LIFE EXPECTANCY
    N/A
  • ORIGIN
    United States
  • USES
    The Morgan horse is used as a general riding horse and a harness horse. This breed is also used for working with stock.
  • INFLUENCE
    The Morgan has influenced several other breeds, including the Standardbred, Tennessee Walker, American Quarter Horse, Missouri Fox Trotter, Racking horse, and the American Saddlebred. Nearly 90% of Saddlebred horses today have Morgan blood.
  • TEMPRERAMENT
    A Morgan is distinctive for its stamina and vigor, its bold personality, willing nature and strong natural way of moving.

Morgan description

The Morgan Horse is the first documented American breed, and began with a stallion by the name of Justin Morgan. Foaled at Randolph, Vermont in 1789, he was originally name Figure, but was given his owner's name (a teacher and music composer named Justin Morgan) after his owner passed away.

The Morgan horse is compact and refined in build, with strong limbs, an expressive face, large eyes, well-defined withers, laid back shoulders and a well arched neck and a clean cut head. There is officially one Breed Standard for Morgan type regardless of the discipline or bloodline of the individual horse.


Morgan history

The breed's trotting ability made it a favorite for harness racing in the 1840s. Morgans were also used in the Civil War as cavalry mounts, including Sheridan's "Rienzi" and Stonewall Jackson's "Little Sorrel". In the post-civil war era, Morgans were also used in the Pony Express and as mounts for the cavalry in the western United States. The only survivor of the Custer regiment from The Battle of Little Bighorn was the Morgan-Mustang mixed breed horse Comanche.

The first volume of the Morgan Horse Register was published in 1894. In 1907, the US Department of Agriculture established the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury, Vermont on land donated by Colonel Joseph Battell for the purpose of perpetuating and improving the Morgan breed. The breeding program aimed to produce horses that were sound, sturdy, well-mannered, and capable of performing well either under saddle or in harness. The Morgan Horse Farm was transferred from the USDA to the Vermont Agricultural College (now the University of Vermont) by Public Law 26 (S. 271), approved by Congress on May 7, 1951.



More than 132,000 Morgan Horses have been registered. The studbook was closed in 1948 in an effort to preserve the breed.


Morgan fun facts

The Morgan Horse has a horse show circuit for that breed only. It consists of all levels of riding and all disciplines. Wins at regional championships qualify competitors to compete in Oklahoma City at the Morgan Grand Nationals. The first national Morgan Horse competition was held in 1973 in Detroit, and is now held each October in Oklahoma City, OK. In addition to the Morgan Grand National, there are 10 regional championship shows and many other official (referred to as "Class A") shows. Morgans also compete in all-breed shows, 4-H shows, and other events.

At class A breed shows, Morgans compete In Hand, English Pleasure, Park, Western pleasure, Carriage Driving, Pleasure Driving, Hunt Seat (including hunter and jumper classes over fences), Trail, Roadster, Parade, Reining, and Dressage. In under saddle classes, performance is the primary judging criterion, though in some classes conformation may also be considered. In-hand classes only consider conformation.



The Morgan is also able to perform in the Olympic and internationally-recognized FEI disciplines, which include (show jumping, dressage, eventing), and combined driving, making the Morgan a versatile breed of horse.


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