About Morgan Horses
were one of the first horse breeds developed in the United States. All Morgans
can trace their lineage back to a horse Justin Morgan, who was named after his
are known for their strength, elegance, and history. The Morgan horse leant its
muscle to clearing and tilling New England farms during the earliest years of
American history. Today it is a popular driving and riding horse, surefooted
over rough trail as it is refined and dignified in the show ring.
many roles in 19th-century American history, being used as coach horses and for
harness racing, as general riding animals, and as cavalry horses during the
Civil War on both sides. Morgans have influenced other major American breeds,
including the American Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse and the Standardbred.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, they were exported to other countries,
including England, where they influenced the breeding of the Hackney horse. In
1907, the US Department of Agriculture established the US Morgan Horse Farm in
Middlebury, Vermont for the purpose of perpetuating and improving the Morgan
breed; the farm was later transferred to the University of Vermont. The first
breed registry was established in 1909, and since then many organizations in
the US, Europe and Oceania have developed. There are estimated to be over
175,000 Morgan horses in existence worldwide as of 2005.
The Morgan is a
compact, refined breed, generally bay, black or chestnut in color, although
they come in many colors, including several variations of pinto. Used in both
English and Western disciplines, the breed is known for its versatility.