Home Fun Facts Equine 411: All About The Morgan Horse

Equine 411: All About The Morgan Horse

by ihearthorses

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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.

Keep reading for some fun and interesting facts about the Morgan horse breed…

Group of Morgan horses in winter. Tall pine trees in the background and mountain range. Brown and black horses standing near a fence on a country farm. Bright white snow on the ground and cloudy skies. Christmas season, holidays, equine photography. Horizontal orientation.

 #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)

3 Morgan horses, including a mare and her colt, in a field

#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.

Close up of a Morgan horse out in the snow

#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)

Two morgan horses, a mother and foal, run along the side of their paddock on a clear Vermont summer day.

#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.

Two morgan horses on an Amish farm.

#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 should you like to read it.

Closeup of Morgan Horse in the Snow

#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)

Morgan horse on an Amish horse.

#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.

Interested in learning about another fascinating horse breed? Check out our article The Fascinating History Of The Knabstrupper

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