The Versitile Morgan Horse

The Morgan Horse is a versitile breed. Learn here about the Morgan Horse and all the different things it can do. From English to Western Style horseback riding and everything inbetween. The Morgan can do Endurance Rides, Competative Trail Riding, Dressage, Riegning, Roping, Cutting, Carriage Driving, Cross Country, Eventing, Trail Rides, Handicapped Riding, Gymkana, and many other forms of Equestrian activities.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

An AWESOME Morgan Horse website

Check out this AWESOME Morgan horse website!

http://www.imh.org/imh/bw/morgan.html

Side Saddle Riding & the Morgan Horse

I am going to start riding sidesaddle with my Morgan. I have had a few lessons and it was pretty fun. I would eventually like to show in the side saddle, if I can get permission to do so.... some judges won't allow it!!!! I was on a great website and learned an interesting thing about why Morgans originally were made to "park-out".

"One thing you may notice during the in hand classes and most of the performance classes is how the horses stand. Their front legs will be perpendicular to the ground, with the hind legs slightly behind their normal, vertical placement. This is called "parking out", and was developed years ago, when ladies rode sidesaddle. Parking the horse's legs behind him prevented the horse from moving away suddenly while the lady was getting on with bulky skirts. Today, the tradition continues as a way of showing off each horse's best characteristics."

I thought that was kind of cool!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Is the Morgan Horse a gaited breed?

I was recently at a horse show in Palgrave Ontario and got to talking with a woman about the horses that were showing there. Her sister was there on a Paso Fino (cool little horses for sure) and she wondered about Morgans and if they were considered to be "gaited". She actually thought only gaited horses could go to this show (named Gaits of Caledon). I was sort of at a loss to answer her question, cause I have heard before that people have "gaited" Morgans, but I personally have never met one. Thought I would look into it an add the info to my BLOG.
From an article I found on the WEB is the following quote, and a link to the full write-up:

Single Footing Morgans by Linnea Sidi

"Singlefoot, is an old time term used to denote a horse that traveled in a gait other than the standard walk, trot, lope/canter. The term “singlefoot” is intended to describe an instant in the sequence of footfalls where there is only one foot on the ground. Old waddies (cowboys) had their own term, “sop n’ tater” , which was used to refer to the singlefoot gait. If you ride a singlefoot, you can hear the same even four beat gait, just as “sop n’ tater” is evenly timed if you say it aloud. In some references, singlefoot is used interchangeably with “rack”. In some regions we might hear “that horse is gaited” meaning it exhibits something other than the standard walk, trot, and lope; interesting that the term “gait” refers to the standard and the perceived non-standard movements of the horse. Other terms that are and have been used, usually varying with the geography include: running walk, pacey, ambler, stepping pace, traveler, soft gaited, and probably some more that I have not run into. These can be lumped into a general term, intermediate gait, denoting that they occur in between a walk and a trot. For this explanatory article, I will use many of these terms interchangeably. All right, you ask, what does this have to do with Morgans?? We know that Morgans are not a gaited breed, or are they?

A few years back a small group of Morgan owners came together to discuss the controversial topic of “gaited Morgans”. The interesting thread that was heard was, “I was told to not let my horse do this little singlefoot, that it was wrong” and “you should get rid of that horse and get a pure trotter if you want to show”, and my all time personal favorite , “my dear, there is something wrong with your horses stifle, she is not trotting properly”. These comments are, of course, paraphrased, but the gist is the same. So let’s explore this often mis-understood segment of the Morgan breed. Those of us that like the intermediate gaits, fully understand that a Morgan that is a singlefooter will not always work as a Park Horse (notice I did not exclude the possibility of making a Park Horse) but with your very open mind, please consider that this is another thing that our versatile Morgans can do, and do it well. We are talking about natural intermediate gaits, not artificial show gaits

For the full article go to: http://www.msfha.com/articles.htm

The conclusion of the article states (if you just want to skip to the end) :

"Conclusion
Some of you are not even going to get to this point, believing there is not such a thing as a gaited Morgan. Some of you are here and wondering what that funny shuffle is that your pony does out on the trail. Some of you may be contacting me to share a story of your experience with singlefooting Morgans, some will decide to try a ride on one. Some of you may even decide to buy one or breed one. Some of you may go out into the barn and watch a foal move around. The goal I had in mind when I pestered Chris (editor) to let me do this, was to expound on one more versatile feature of the Morgan Horse. I wish to thank her for her open minded approach!!
The Morgan Horse is a source of the gait gene. The intermediate gait is well documented in the history of the Morgan horse. Due to the recessive nature of the gene, it will never be lost. It is in every family of the Morgan breed and can crop up unexpectedly; to the delight of some and to the horror of others. In the past, this has confused some Morgan owners, breeders and trainers, but rest assured there is a place for the Gaited Morgan. The singlefoot is there, and has been since the first generation of Morgans. Let’s celebrate the versatility of the Morgan Horse."

References:
Battell, Joseph, American Morgan Horse Register Volume I, II. 1894 Register Printing Co. VT
Eadie, Eldon, The Developmental Aspects of Gait. Published in the MSFHA Newsletter.
Imus, Brenda, Heavenly Gaits. Cross Over Publications, NY.
Owen, Mabel, Names in Morgan Horse Pedigrees. 2000. Merrylegs Literary Trust. MA
This article was originally published in the January, 2000 The Morgan Horse magazine.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A short history of the Morgan Horse in Canada

The Morgan is the first and oldest of America's light horse breeds, beginning in 1789 from a single stallion Justin Morgan. This stallion was so pre-potent that all his get resembled him in type and ability. It was only natural that the breed should spread into Canada – from Vermont to Quebec, then Ontario and the Maritime provinces – then taken by settlers into the western provinces.
First used as a utility horse to work in the fields and pull the family buggy, the Morgan proved its strength and endurance by working long hours and covering many miles. Under saddle he was used not only for transportation but also as a working cattle horse. He was crossed with the grade horses of the day to upgrade them in ability and versatility as well as style and quality.
By the 1950's the interest in light horses for recreation increased and the Morgan gained popularity as a pleasure and show horse, both under saddle and in harness. Breeders of Morgan horses can be found in every province, raising and using the Morgan in all its versatile ways!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Morgan Look

The Morgan Look
The Morgan look is distinctive – short, broad head; sharp, small ears; long, laid-back shoulder; deep body; clean-boned legs plus an alert, responsive carriage. All combine to make a Morgan the choice of both the casual rider and the earnest professional. At right is my 5yr. old Morgan Mare: Hollowbrook Tonka Toy. She is very "typie" for a Morgan, although some may say that her back is slightly long.

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