Not many horse lovers have escaped childhood without reading Marguerite Henry’s non-fiction book about Figure, the very first Morgan, owned by school teacher Justin Morgan in West Springfield, Mass., in 1789. This gentle little stallion was given to the school teacher for payment of a debt. Figure could beat any horse around in every kind of race imaginable. His lineage is unknown, but there are speculations that he had Dutch Friesian, Arabian and Thoroughbred breeding. One of the remarkable things about the stallion was his ability to pass on his features to his progeny, which fixed the type for generations. Morgans were favored by colonials as carriage horses, plow horses and Pony Express mounts. Today, the Morgan excels in western and English disciplines as well as competitive trail riding and driving.
The Morgan is a refined, yet strong and muscular horse with an arched, elegant neck. Its high-stepping movement makes it a natural for park horse classes and elegant fine harness classes. Traditional colors are bay, black and chestnut. Today, because of the later cross-breeding, modern Morgans can also be palomino and buckskin. The Morgan stands 14.1 to 15.2 hands high.
For more information:
American Morgan Horse Association, www.morganhorse.com