The staying power of Morgans
I am thoroughly enjoying the series on Morgans by Deb Bennett, PhD (“The Mystery of the Morgan Horse,” Conformation Insights, EQUUS 469, and “The Registered Morgan,” Conformation Insights, EQUUS 471). Ever since seeing my first live Morgans at a local show in Gainesville, Florida, in 1972, I knew this was the breed I wanted when I was able to finally buy my own horse.
My first horse was a black halfArabian, half-Morgan mare who lived to be 34---and was never lame, and rarely wore shoes, I might add. My second was her three-quarters Morgan offspring, a black colt, whom I gelded and kept all of his 26 years. I’m now on my third black Morgan.
While it seems the Morgan has been surpassed in popularity by breeds like the Quarter Horse, I offer this anecdote: A friend who’s always had Quarter Horses boarded my current Morgan for a couple of years, and after having him on her property, she was singing the praises of this breed. She told everyone what a great horse he was: smart, goodtempered, quiet, easy to handle, hardy. I think that once people are exposed to Morgans, they develop a respect and admiration for this great American breed.
Also, although Ms. Bennett says that horses aren’t widely used for driving/farm work anymore, I would point out that there are a number of Amish breeders of Morgans around who still try to produce a good general horse that can be driven or ridden. When looking for my current horse, I visited an Amish breeder in Michigan who had a farm full of beautiful Morgans. I’m also heartened that there are still breeders trying to preserve and perpetuate the best Morgan qualities and produce a good using horse who’s also beautiful and endowed with a good temperament. I look forward to reading more of Deb Bennett’s research! Mary Ann Whitley University Heights, Ohio