Morgan Horse

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
fast facts

About Morgan Horse

950 lb
Strong, compact body
30 years
Best Suited For
All levels of horse owners, riders, and trainers, including beginners, children, and those who have some experience in handling and training horses
Pleasant, cooperative, willing, manageable, versatile, brave, intelligent, eager to please
Comparable Breeds
Arabian Horse, Thoroughbred Horse
Top Breed
Morgan Horse Breed History

The Morgan Horse is actually one of America’s first native equine breeds, and it all started with a stallion whose name was Figure.

Figure, who was only 14 hands tall but possessed noteworthy speed and strength, was owned by a man named Justin Morgan, who lived and worked in New England in the late 1700s. The Morgan Horse was named after Figure’s owner.

The Morgan Horse is one of America’s first native equine breeds.

It is unclear what Figure’s exact ancestry was, though some believe that he was a Welsh Cob. Others, however, believe that the horse descended instead from a racehorse named True Briton. But even though his history is unknown, Figure was known for being fast and strong in weight hauling and racing contests.

As a result of Figure’s unique abilities, the horse’s reputation spread far and wide, and he quickly became an in-demand stud. Before long, Figure’s descendents were utilized for harness racing and driving, and Morgan Horses were even used during the Civil War to pull canons.

Modern Morgan Horses are still quite agile and strong, but they are also more refined. They make wonderful companions to anyone who loves being around horses, so it is no surprise that the Morgan is now one of the most beloved breeds in the United States, and these animals are also found all over the world.

This breed also now has its own registry, known as the American Morgan Horse Association, which was created in 1909.

Breed Traits

The Morgan Horse breed is known for its extremely pleasant personality, willing attitude, and cooperative nature. These horses are ready to be trained, and they are eager to please, as well as brave and athletic in a variety of situations.

A unique feature of the Morgan Horse is the fact that it appears proud. These are high stepping animals that typically carry the tail and head higher than other horse breeds. They are also swift and agile, so they enjoy being active.

Morgan Horses are suited for individuals who have experience in caring for, training, riding, and working with horses, as well as beginners and children. These animals are friendly and trainable, so they are a great choice for those are seeking a smaller, lighter horse who will be versatile and manageable. If you know how to carefully train, correct, and handle these horses, they make wonderful lifelong companions.

The Morgan Horse breed is known for its extremely pleasant personality, willing attitude, and cooperative nature.

Overall Description

The Morgan Horse is not tall like so many other horse breeds, and its small stature is one of its most distinct features. This breed is also lighter than other equine breeds.

These horses will feature a short head that has a wide forehead. The face could either showcase a flat profile or be a bit dished, but these horses never feature a roman nose that bends outward. Also, the eyes are bright and large, and the ears are nicely shaped and small.

The muscular neck of the Morgan Horse complements the fact that these horses tend to hold the head up high. These animals also have angular, deep shoulders, a short and strong back, and a broad chest. Also, the horse’s withers will be higher than the hips. And the tail and the mane are noticeably thick. In fact, one of the many characteristics that distinguish the Morgan Horse from other equine breeds is its long, flowing, beautiful tail.

Some Morgans are also gaited, so they will have gaits that differ from the typical four gaits of gallop, canter, trot, and walk.

The Morgan Horse is lighter than other equine breeds.


Morgan Horses come in all colors. The wide range of colors that these horses display include chestnut, black, brown, bay, gray, white, dun, buckskin, palomino, perlino, cremello, and roan.

Grooming Requirements

The Morgan Horse should be groomed regularly, just as you would groom any other horse breed.

You can use a standard body finishing brush to cover sensitive areas, such as the horse’s face and legs, and then follow that up with a curry comb that will effectively remove dirt and loose hair. A dandy brush can also be used to loosen more hair, dirt, and mud from your horse’s coat to ensure it is soft, smooth, and clean. Using a shedding blade, you can loosen excess hair from the coat, and a mane comb is perfect for keeping the mane of the Morgan Horse looking beautiful. The signature tail of this breed can also be maintained with a high quality tail brush, and the hooves can be cleaned of debris using a hoof pick.

Photo credit: beison/Bigstock; JWBillson/Bigstock; Kay/Bigstock

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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