The Morgan breed traces back over two hundred years ago to a phenomenal horse named “Figure,” that was owned by a man named Justin Morgan. When Justin Morgan died, Figure’s new owner changed the horse’s name to “Justin Morgan”, after the man. And that is why “Figure’s” offspring are called Morgans. The breed was born.
Morgans are bred for their stamina, their beauty, and their willingness to please. Morgans as a rule are easy to train, but they mature slower. A Morgan owner will do best to allow the youngster time to grow and mature. The plus side about a Morgan maturing later is that as a rule they live longer. Justin Morgan “Figure” lived to be thirty-two, and very probably would have lived longer, but sadly his life was shortened by a pasture injury. Most people associate Morgans with driving. They make excellent buggy horses because of their strength and sensibility. But Morgans have proved to be the perfect all- around horse.
“A lot of people don’t think Morgans make good jumpers. But they’re mistaken. I know that for a fact. They make good jumpers and are good for dressage, too,” says Mindy Morrison, Morgan owner. “Morgans have a real proud carriage and an upright graceful neck. It’s one of their trademark characteristics. It’s usually how you can tell them apart from other horses – that uprightness and the crest in their necks, the way they carry themselves. Combine that with dressage, and it’s awesome to see.” (1)
“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.
“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.” (2)
My personal horse, the infamous “Malaki” is a testament to the Morgan Horse breed. She is as graceful as a pebble skipping across water, and yet, strong as a bull. She tackles each new task with eagerness and determination. She is arrogant, yes, but it is with arrogance that she tries so hard to please. She is the Classic Morgan Horse. “The Horse That Chooses You.” (3)
(1) Maple Dale Revisited