🐎 The Morgan Horse Breed

Breed Description

The beauty of the Morgan horse lifts the heart. The breed exists solely because it pleases people. It is their heritage.

The Morgan is easily recognized by his proud carriage, upright graceful neck, and distinctive head with expressive eyes. Deep bodied and compact, the Morgan has strongly muscled quarters.

The intelligence, willingness, zest for life, and good sense of the Morgan is blended with soundness of limb, athleticism, and stamina. In addition, Morgan thriftiness and longevity have made this breed a good bargain for more than 200 years – easy to love and affordable to own.

The Morgan horse is free moving and calm under western tack or elegant and aristocratic ridden in English style. A tractable temperament allows the Morgan to excel when driving in single or multiple hitches.

Companionable and comfortable on a quiet pleasure ride anywhere open skies beckon, working as a sensible partner in a long day of ranch work or endurance riding, waiting alert and ready to enter a show ring, or performing in formal riding disciplines, the Morgan is a versatile horse within a versatile breed. The Morgan horse agreeably adapts to his owner’s life style. This first American breed can be found worldwide.

Reliable, loyal, tireless, and versatile, a Morgan becomes one with people of all ages and walks of life, sharing the mutual enjoyment in every equine pastime.

Average Height

The height ranges from 14.1 to 15.2 hands, with some individuals under or over


  • Chestnut
  • Black/Dark Chestnut
  • Bay
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Palomino
  • Creme
  • Dun
  • Buckskin
  • Gray


A Morgan is distinctive for its stamina and vigor, its bold personality, willing nature and strong natural way of moving.

Members of this breed often excel in the following disciplines:

  • Carriage
  • Show / Pleasure
  • Sport

Breed History

Justin Morgan was a teacher, composer, businessman, and horseman who had moved to Randolph, Vermont from Springfield, Massachusetts in 1788. He acquired a bay colt, born in 1789, giving him the name Figure. This colt was the founding sire of the Morgan breed.

While his true origins remain hidden in history, Figure is thought to have been sired by True Briton, a horse widely respected for his excellence and known as a sire of quality horses. Figure’s dam, was “…of the Wild-air breed, of middling size, with a heavy chest, of a light bay color, with a bushy mane and tail – the hair on the legs rather long, and a smooth, handsome traveler.” Her sire was Diamond; a son of Church’s Wildair by Wildair (Delancey’s) out of a mare owned by Samuel Burt named Wildair.

As Figure grew, his compact muscular body and stylish way of moving impressed many of the pioneer farmers and settlers. Soon tales of his beauty, strength, speed, hardiness, endurance, and gentle disposition spread amidst the small New England towns. His ability to outwalk, outtrot, outrun, and outpull other horses were legendary. His stud services were offered throughout the Connecticut River Valley and various Vermont locations over his lifetime. His most valuable asset, however, was the ability to pass on his distinguishing characteristics, not only to his offspring but also through several generations.

After Justin Morgan’s death, Figure moved on to other owners and spent a life working on farms, hauling freight, and as a parade mount at militia trainings. In the practice of the day, he became known by his former owner’s name, the Justin Morgan horse. He spent his life working and died in 1821 from an untreated kick received from another horse. His three most famous sons – Sherman, Bulrush, and Woodbury – would carry on his legacy to future generations of Morgan horses.