Samantha Richards, a Morgan Horse enthusiast and owner, tells the story of a versatile breed that refuses to be pigeonholed.
Top photo: Samantha Richards riding her Morgan gelding LR Ami Hallelujah (“Hal”). Samantha writes, “This was taken in 2011 at the World Championship Morgan Horse Show, when we won Reserve World Champion Working Hunter and National Champion Amateur Hunter. It was a great day!!”
The Morgan Horse — America’s first breed. One of the most versatile and beautiful breeds of horse in the entire world. Well, that’s just my honest opinion. So what is it about Morgan Horses that make them so wonderful? Let’s start at the very beginning….
In 1789, the very first Morgan horse was born. His name was Figure, and he was owned by a Vermont teacher named Justin Morgan. As Figure grew up, his compact, muscular body and his stylish movement impressed many of the New England settlers. Figure could out-walk, out-trot, out-run and out-pull any horse put against him, and he became legendary. Fortunately, his distinguishing characteristics and beauty were passed down to his offspring, and his three most famous sons — Sherman, Bulrush and Woodbury — were instrumental in creating the breed standard that we know today. In the early 1800s, breeders began concentrating Figure’s lines, and thus America’s first horse, the Morgan breed, was born. Morgans have been extremely influential in our history, serving in the Civil War, working as farm horses and pulling stagecoaches throughout New England. The Morgan was also the foundation breed for four other American horses: the Quarter Horse, the Standardbred, the Tennessee Walker and the Saddlebred.
The Morgan is famous for his recognizable looks, including a distinctive head, deep body and expressive eye, and his free motion. His great characteristics such as his willingness, intelligence, charisma and strong personality are also celebrated among Morgan lovers. The Morgan truly loves his people, and as the American Morgan Horse Association’s slogan goes, the Morgan is the “Horse that Chooses You.”
So what are some things that a Morgan can do? Anything!
And every year in October, all of the best Morgans in the world gather in Oklahoma City to compete in the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show. It is a spectacle of beautiful Morgans, talented riders and enthusiastic Morgan lovers. If you can make it to Oklahoma to see it in person, check it out live! You will not be sorry you did!
So, have I convinced you to try a Morgan yet? If not, then you should watch this video. Afterwards, you’ll be ready to let a Morgan into your family and your heart!
Photos courtesy of the American Morgan Horse Association.
Go Ride a Morgan!
About the Author: Samantha Richards rode her first Morgan horse when she was 10 years old, and she has never looked back since. She is a big advocate of Morgans as sport horses and is always up for the challenge to prove that her Morgans can compete with any breed in any discipline. Every Morgan that has entered her life has left an impact on her, and she hopes that she will be lucky enough to meet more characters in this special breed throughout her lifetime. Samantha is the overly proud owner of two silly Morgans, a retired and grumpy (but only on the outside) Belgian/Thoroughbred cross, and a naughty Haflinger pony. She runs a small riding academy and loves nothing better than seeing her students’ big smiles and watching their even bigger dreams come true.