Emerging in the latter part of the 18th century in Massachusetts, the Morgan Horse gained the immediate attentions of its United homeland due to its keen capabilities and willing disposition. Named after owner Justin Morgan, the breed descends from ‘Figure,’ the founding stallion of the horse we recognise today.
During the American Civil War, the Morgan was enlisted on a large scale as a draught horse and war mount, displaying strength, endurance and courage unmatched by any other breed. Despite boasting a relatively short stature of between 14.2-15.2 hands, the Morgan Horse does not lack in ability and has proved its worth again and again.
Throughout the 19th century, the Morgan was the equine of choice for harness racing and has since proved successful in show jumping, dressage and other competition capacities. Because of its versatility, other breeds have been developed from the Morgan Horse, including the American Quarter Horse, the Standardbred and the Tennessee Walking Horse.
Typically black, chestnut or bay in colour, with well conformed legs, a strong defined head and a thick mane and tail, the Morgan Horse has a uniform appearance that is likely influenced by the Thoroughbred, Arabian, Friesian and Welsh Cob.
The Morgan Horse is the state horse of Massachusetts, as well as being the state animal of Vermont.