The University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm is a non-profit whose main objective is to keep the history of the Morgan Horse alive and teach the young and the old about horses.
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Deep in the Green Mountains of Vermont, about an hour south of the city of Burlington, sits one of the most historical and important places in equine history: The University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm.
Built in 1878, the UVM Morgan Horse Farm was originally constructed by Colonel Joseph Battell and now serves as a historical landmark, as well as an educational institution that allows the public to become more involved in Morgan Horses. Over the years, the farm has changed hands from Joseph Battell to the US Government, who used it as a cavalry remounting station during the Civil War. After the cavalry was disbanded, it was donated to the University of Vermont, who has used the facility to promote the first American horse breed, the Morgan Horse.
Many young equestrians started their love of horses through their visit to the Morgan Horse Farm. The farm hosts events such as Vermont Day; a free open house where visitors from all over can come spend the day learning about horses, feasting from food trucks, and viewing the horses show off their many skills, and Foal Days; a weekly occurence during the month of June where folks can watch mares and foals frolic while enjoying a picnic.
The farm is a non-profit whose main objective is to keep the history of the Morgan Horse alive and teach the young and the old about horses. During the spring, summer, and fall, the farm is host to tour groups moving through the area as well as a local hotspot for horse loving kids.
The facility is not only a tourist attraction, but it is a fully functioning Morgan Horse breeding farm. The UVM lines are an important part of Morgan Horse history, and continue to build on the standard of the breed. This allows the farm to host apprentices and interns who are looking to grow in the equine field. Apprentice hopefuls come far and wide for a chance to join the esteemed UVM Apprentice program. Some have a decade of horse experience while others have none at all.
The Apprentice Program offers an opportunity for young equestrian professionals to get their foot in the door in the equine industry, as well as get the experience they needed to be productive members of the horse world later on in life. Many apprentices go on to be trainers, barn managers, and breeders and carry the wonderful things they learned at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm with them in their careers for decades to come. Apprentices live and work on the farm and are completely immersed in the lifestyle.
This author personally got her start in the UVM Morgan Horse Farm Apprenticeship Program and can speak for how the program has completely changed her life.
As a part of the University of Vermont, the UVM Morgan Horse Farm is able to host students from the university for classes, learning workshops, and agricultural studies.
The Equine Reproduction Workshop is held annually and is an opportunity for people to get hands-on experience with breeding stallions, mares, and processes. It is open to all levels of experience and provides an opportunity to learn that is not often available to the public.
Arguably, one of the most popular aspects to a visit to the Morgan Horse Farm is getting to see the Raffle Morgan.
Started in the 1970’s, each year, an outstanding prospect is chosen from the herd and offered as a fundraising raffle for the facility. Throughout the public season, people can buy raffle tickets to win the horse. Don’t worry though, if you win the raffle you have no obligation to find a place for an unexpected horse! The raffle horse can be donated back to the program, or another name can be drawn if the winner cannot take the horse. All raffle winners must provide references to ensure the horse is going to a great home!
The UVM Morgan Horse Farm is always growing and looking for more opportunities for public outreach and to bring the Morgan Horse into the lives of new people. The Morgan Horse is an important part of American history, and it is crucial that we keep this history alive. Next time you are in Vermont, swing by the UVM Morgan Horse Farm and become a part of this amazing history!
About Jamie Maguire
My name is Jamie Maguire. I am a professional in the equine industry, currently working as the Equine Manager at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm. I am 30 years old, and have been an avid horseperson for way too long. I am an honest writer, and tend to do the whole “write and hope my readers get my humor” schtick. I’ve written some blogs for SmartPak in the past while I was employed with them and have attached the one I like most about my Morgan, Isadore. Isadore was supposed to make me rich but instead he made me soft. I guess that’s fine, because he’s the best.