Tuesday, July 30, 2013


 In 1789, a logging horse named Figure was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts. No one knew who his parents were, although some suspect the sire to be True Briton, a Thoroughbred, and believe that Friesians, Welsh Cobs, Norfolk Trotters, or even Canadian Horses to be somewhere in his lineage. Then again, these are just speculations. No one really knows for certain. 

 As a yearling, Figure was sold to Justin Morgan, a schoolteacher from Vermont, who lent the young horse to neighboring farmers to be used as a plow horse and a logging horse. It turns out that the small, 14 hands high colt was also good at racing. He would beat the fastest Thoroughbreds in match races, win trotting races, and could even out-pull heavy draft horses in log-pulling races, always winning, no matter how much extra weight was put on.

Morgans are usually found in bay,
black, and dark chestnut. They
can be used in many disciplines,
including western pleasure, like the one
 It wasn't long before villagers asked for Figures stud services, breeding him mainly to Thoroughbred and Norfolk Trotter mares, although he successfully made his mark upon generations of horses, which became to be known as "Morgan's horse." Later, the name was shortened to "Morgan," which is used to this day. 

 The Morgan has large, intelligent eyes; a slightly dished profile; a crested neck, which flows smoothly into high withers; a short back, sturdy legs, powerful haunches, and stands between 14.1 and 15.2 hands high. Also, the breed is divided into two different types: the powerful, compact Morgan, which closely resembles the breed's base stallion, Figure, and the elegant, more refined type, developed more recently than he other type. Despite their physical differences, the two have three traits in common: liveliness, endurance, and a good-natured temperament. 

 Just like the Thoroughbred, the Morgan excels in many disciplines, including dressage, driving, endurance racing, eventing, show jumping, and just about any other discipline, English or Western. The fact that it is an all-round horse most likely goes back to the early development of the breed, when a farmer needed to have it ready to do harness work or another man had to use it for different purposes. 

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