Morgan horses were one of the first horse breeds developed in
the United States. All Morgans can trace their lineage back to a horse Justin Morgan,
who was named after his owner.
Morgan horses are known for their strength, elegance, and history.
The Morgan horse lent its muscle to clearing and tilling New England farms during
the earliest years of American history. Today it is a popular driving and riding
horse, surefooted over rough trail as it is refined and dignified in the show ring.
Morgans served many roles in 19th-century American history, being
used as coach horses and for harness racing, as general riding animals, and as cavalry
horses during the Civil War on both sides. Morgans have influenced other major American
breeds, including the American Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse and the Standardbred.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, they were exported to other countries, including
England, where they influenced the breeding of the Hackney horse. In 1907, the US
Department of Agriculture established the US Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury, Vermont
for the purpose of perpetuating and improving the Morgan breed; the farm was later
transferred to the University of Vermont. The first breed registry was established
in 1909, and since then many organizations in the US, Europe and Oceania have developed.
There are estimated to be over 175,000 Morgan horses in existence worldwide as of
The Morgan is a compact, refined breed, generally bay, black
or chestnut in color, although they come in many colors, including several variations
of pinto. Used in both English and Western disciplines, the breed is known for its