The Morgan horse is one of the most elegant and versatile breeds. From roping to dressage and every sport in between, Morgans can be found competing. They are known for their good disposition and intelligence, as well as their strength and stamina. While it’s true that most of us have probably seen a Morgan at some point in our lives, you may not know some of the colorful facts about this all-round wonder horse.
#1 – A Figure Of Music
The very first “Morgan” was not a Morgan at all, but a little bay horse named “Figure” for “a figure of music.” He was born in 1789 and it’s believed he was the son of True Briton, a well-respected sire of the day. Figure impressed people with his ability to “outtwalk, outtrot, outrun and outpull” any horse he was put up against. He became known by his owner’s name, “Morgan.” (morganhorse.com)
#2 – All Morgans Trace To Figure
Amazingly, every single purebred Morgan traces back to just one stallion: Figure. It’s pretty amazing that they could develop a breed with as much diversity as it has today with only one foundation sire.
#3 – A Civil War Favorite
Because of their willingness, intelligence, strength and stamina, the Morgan horse was a favorite mount of the Civil War. They were practically coveted. The First Vermont Calvary was mounted entirely on Morgans. Both General Philip Sheridan and General Stonewall Jackson rode them as well. (morganhouse.com)
#4 – Breed Influencers
The Morgan breed was used to develop many others including the Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse, Saddlebred and the Standardbred. In fact, 90 percent of today’s Saddlebreds have Morgan blood. (morganhouse.com)
#5 – Pinto Coloring
Morgans do possess pinto genes. They can be sabino, frame overo, and splashed white. Interestingly, the tobiano pattern has not been seen in the Morgan to date.
#6 – State Mascots
The Morgan Horse is the state animal for Vermont and the state horse of Massachusetts.
#7 – Poetry Muse
The Morgan has been the source of many books, movies and even poetry. The renowned Robert Frost wrote the poem “The Runaway” about a young Morgan colt who is afraid of the snow. You can find it here.
#8 – They Can Be Gaited
Although rare, Morgan horses can be gaited. Those that did possess the trait could do the rack, pace, fox-trot or other lateral gaits. Interestingly, the trait does not seem connected to any specific bloodlines. (morganhorse.com)
#9 – Long Life Span
Morgans have a very long life span. According to the registry, the average is 20-30 years, with many living past 30 with adequate care.