Bumper

When Did The Morgan Turn Into An Arab?

49 posts in this topic

I grew up with the old Morgan standard...this is what i think of when i hear "morgan" horse.

4868MentorNew.jpg

This is Mentor...not that i know anything about pedigrees, i went to the Morgan horse website and found a picture that showed the type of horse i remember. :smilie:

I remember going to a horse expo in Helena Mt about 10 yrs ago. I saw what i thought was a cute little Arab and asked about it. The lady who owned him was pissed that i thought he was an Arab. But...that's what he looked like.

When and why did the change occur? I'm honestly curious. I'm used to the changes in the QH industry, i mean, we have so many "types" of QHs. The QH of 50 yrs ago is very different from the QH of today. I understand where and why those changes happened (even if i deplore some of them). But this is out of my scope of experience.

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been wondering the same thing. I love a nice old style Morgan. The new style reminds me too much of a Saddlebred or National Show Horse. I think the change occurred when people wanted a flashier Morgan and started breeding Saddlebreds into the lines. When you want "classic" Morgan these days, you have to look at the Lippitts.

Here's my girl who reminds me more of the old style,

boogiesshow2007.jpg?t=1250217242

boogiesshow2006.jpg?t=1250217243

boogiesshow004-1.jpg?t=1250217250

(Had to show her off on a Morgan thread!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty girl! Yes, that's the type of Morgan i mean, the type i remember as a child. Lots of Morgans where i grew up (central Illinois).

There are even a few people out here who game on Morgans and do quite well. Speedy and athletic!

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morgans come in all sizes and some are very petite and "Araby"

We had one, blood bay mare, 13.3h and dishy faced, flat crouped and she was a pure blood Morgan.

I think it has to do with Justin Morgan himself, the sire that founded the breed. He was a grade horse. Had Trotter and a few other breeds in his background so Morgans can look typey or not.

Maybe, today, some people are breeding for the smaller Araby looking ones?

I don't know. I haven't kept up with the breed since the 60's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you brought up the Arab, that breed has changed a lot as well, (I think for the better) you can still find some of the older type but they are not able to compete with the "modern" Arab in many classes, however they may be better at some things such as endurance. You see the changes the most, of course, in the halter, and you have a good combination of old and new in the performance divisions such as the reiners and working cow and some of the western pleasure.

I guess the problem is with folks who breed without a vision of what they want, the horse pictured is great looking, however would it win in a halter class? So if you show halter you will follow the trends of what they want them to look like, performance horses are however judged on there ability.

Having said that I have no knowledge of the requirements to register a Morgan, do they allow outside (unregistered Morgans or other breeds?) horses?

I also prefer the more modern day Quarter horse, don't care for some of the lines at all, don't care for the halter style as I don't see them being competitive in performance and that's what I like to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see a problem with any breed when halter horses dictate the "look" of a breed. Hear me out! LOL

Ideally, halter horses of any breed should be the epitome of the breed standard. Form follows function, so a halter horse should be able to perform, be it racing, reining, jumping, cutting, whatever. But when a horse is bred (i'll use the QH as an example because that's what i'm most familiar with) just to halter and is never intended to be ridden, as so many halter horses are, we run into problems.

Back in the 1960s-70s Doc Bar was a halter horse champion of the QH world. He was bred to race (fail! LOL), was a halter champion and sired a cutting dynasty that no stud since can equal. He was a horse who epitomized "form follows function".

Fast forward to now. So many (not all, but far too many) halter horses these days are strictly lead 'em and feed 'em horses. Which is probably good, because many of them have conformational flaws that would render them crippled if used for more than walking across a level and well groomed arena. A posty leg is never ever a flaw that can be ignored in a performance horse. And yet, it's desirable in the halter world.

How in the world can this be good for the breed???

And yet we see this in many breeds. Aren't there Arab halter horses who do nothing but halter? i seem to remember hearing this in conversations over the years.

When beauty (which is always in the eye of the beholder) dictates a breed standard, or when the breed standard is ignored to pass on what someone considers to be the ideal look for the breed with no regard to soundness, the breed suffers.

Conformation is the foundation on which horse breeds are built on. It's an imperative. All horses have flaws, but glaring, crippling flaws should never be intentionally bred just because they are "pretty".

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I intended to add a photo of Doc Bar, oops!

doc_bar.jpg

I would take a horse who looked like this over a posty legged, pin-footed over-fed and over muscled halter horse of today. Form follows function.

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for sure my girl would not win a halter class, probably not even place. She has a slightly clubbed foot, too.

I'm pretty sure the Morgan Horse Association does not allow outside horses these days. At one point they had to have allowed outside horses, or their offspring, because otherwise the breed couldn't grow, naturally. According to AMHA, it looks like the stud book closed in 1948.

There's also only one official breed standard. Not sure if this is typical with all breeds. I'm not up to date on these things, tend to just enjoy the animal. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I like stock horses, I, too, like the old style Morgan. I understand that "way back when", Justin Morgan, the horse (can't remember his "real" name, dang it!) was bred to every horse under the sun practically. I get that. But then they came out with a "standard" and it wasn't a fine boned, dish faced, flat crouped horse. It was a short, tanky horse that could pull it's own weight all day and ride all night. The cavalry was fond of them because of their endurance.

And I just despise the whole "halter horse" industry. The lead-n-feed's, if you will. Like in the QH world, as Sis said, the "standard" isn't ridden. Yet the QH built it's reputation on a stocky built horse with good stamina and lots of cow sense. I bet a lot of modern halter horses would fall all over themselves getting away if put in a pen with cows ...

I have a little "bulldog" type QH who is nicely muscled, decent conformation, etc. but he wouldn't win at halter competitions. He's not the "standard". :confused0024:

I don't think I would know a modern Morgan to see one now ...

Edited by Andi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shes a good looking horse! I like her!

Bumper, I agree, the halter world is a whole different world.

When I was showing and breeding Arabs I tried to breed what I liked to get what I liked. I had a stallion who was top ten at Nationals and he was also shown in Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, Trail and Reining. He was not ever going to win a National Championship but he won many classes. I still remember one of his last shows (before selling him) when he was Grand champion in halter and the judge said, "This is the first time I have ever have a grand champion halter horse wearing sliders" I laughed because I didn't bring him for the halter I brought him for the reining, and just did the halter because I was there. He also won his reining class that day.

I also raised a reserve national champion halter stallion, he was also sold and they never did much with him for performance, whether by lack of ability or lack of owner participation I don't know. the horse wasn't as pretty as above horse but body wise he was pretty close to perfect for the breed at the time. I've been away from the Arabs quite a while now.

I am a fan of Doc Bar horses, and the cutting, reining lines, I have mostly reining lines, smart chic olena, smart little lena, hollywood jac, topsail cody, genuine doc, etc. I don't mind looking at the halter horses but I just don't have the desire to lead my horses, I prefer to ride. And, no offense intended, but I would pick some reiners over a halter bred horse if I was judging a halter class because I prefer them.

Good horse come in all breeds but there will always be a division in halter and performance, I think.

Oh, and regarding the club foot, don't get me started with halter horses and club feet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Justin Morgan the horse was named Figure?

Halter horses being bred only for halter weakens the breed standards, in my opinion. It is much like hunting or working dogs being bred only to show. The breeds that still require hunting trials and not just "bench" shows support and uphold the integrity of those particular breeds.

In a perfect world, a horse would not be able to garner enough points for a championship without being able to proove superior ability in at least ONE other discipline.

In a perfect world....sigh.

Edited to correct grammar!

Edited by Mia'sMom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Read this article. It explains the four distinct bloodlines of Morgans, each bloodline has a different "look", but they all still carry those distinct Morgan features.

http://www.sportmorgan.com/families/index.html

Thanks for posting this BB~!!

In reading down the article, when I came to Lippitt, the memories of my Uncle talking about out little Morgan mare Lippitt's (something) Lady.

Man, that brought back alot of memories.

She was a small up-headed Morgan, would go all day long (to my chagrin) in a smooth jiggy gait. It was annoying until you got used to it. Sort of a slow, rhythmic prance.

She also drove and looked dynamite hooked to a cart. And, Boy, was she fast and had stamina.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I have a Morgan, so I've done a lot of research in the past about their different lines and such.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why or when Morgans 'changed' so to speak. But there is a family in my local 4H and all they show is the old school Morgans. They usually place well in halter, but our 4H is fairly small.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the original older model morgan horse, I have a 100% foundation quarter, i really don't like the new style.

I always thought morgan horses were short and stalky, some are so dang tall i just dont see the morgan in them at all, it's like they are breeding the morgan side out. for some new froo froo horse.

so sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll never forget boarding in Oklahoma City when the Morgan World Show came into town. Half of the barn was rented out to the morgan show horses and I remember thinking to myself how araby they looked compared the the stocky, deep gold, morgan mare that was a normal boarder. I kept my mouth shut thinking it was just me being a novice but I'm glad to know that it wasn't :smilie:

Edited by gopartygo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 4 years ago I picked up this super nice bay gelding, just figuring he was a grade horse. I took him to a local show soon after I got him and atleast ten people came up to me wanting to know where I found an old foundation style morgan. I was puzzled for a while because the only Morgans I knew of were the "Arab" type. So of course I was full of questions and found out that orginally they looked like they could pull their own weight and could go all day. Which he could, except that he was fat. lol. Later on a lady showed me some pictures of the horses they used in the calvarie and said that they were morgans, I could have sworn that my Duke was standing right there in the line up. According to his old owners he had no papers and was just a grade horse, but man was he handsom. I would have a barn full of them if they could look and act like him again.

I agree that the halter horse should be an exhibit of form following function. When I see a picture of the Grand Champion Quarter Horse (for example), to me he should look like he can turn a barrel on a dime, sort cattle all day, run a super fast quarter mile, and look handsom in the show ring. A horse who's only function is to look pretty on the end of a rope is useless to me and I see no point in reproducing long line of uselessness. I quess I'll never understand why there is such a huge division between halter and perfomance. Shouldn't the show model show function? This is the same for any breed.

Reinnin4fun- you mentioned something about club hooves in the show world, I take it that is a common problem? Just curious cause I stay away from the show world. Local shows yes, big shows NO. I like a horse that works for me, not one that everyone else is gonna think is pretty. I'm not saying that they can't be both but I take performance and longevity over "show pretty".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny enough, there used to be a rule in the arab world that halter horses HAD to show performance. I dont remember when that rule disappeared, but I think thats when they started breeding these extremely hot, difficult to handle halter arabs who are useless under saddle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they crossed morgans in past with saddlebreds and some arab to get the park morgan.

many of the morgans have lost the original form and function. I have seen some that absolutly looked like a saddlebred with a little more substance in their legs. and other times they are arab like. but I have seen the original forms too, one horse I looked at looks like a mare version of justin morgan. they think that justin morgan was welsh cob or friesian and arab. some think spanish andalusian and welsh cob.

I do not like the looks of the morgans we have today I looked up the old morgan breeders and it is just to much money to get the old fashioned morgans breeding that wasn'[t crossbred with arab or saddlebreds. if justin morgan looks like the statue of him that is the build I like.

RRRR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well ya know it kind of hurts my feelings...guys! cause I think I got a pretty good Halter bred horse that CAN move! and she is Doc Bar yes! and looks a lot like him! But it hurts when people say OH>>> she can't possibley Rein or Run barrels cause she a HALTER bred horse!! I think it what people turn them in to! I've never let honey get fat just standing in a stall she works everyday! And I don't think I would(even if I kept her) let her get that fat.and useless! she Love's to work,and can spin on a dime even though she has now clue what she is doing,, But there are good halter breed horses out there that can if give'n the chance to be more than lead n feed..like Honeys grandpa on moms side and he was only just short of his superior in halter and still breeds! and is in much demand in Europe.

Edited by honeysmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I intended to add a photo of Doc Bar, oops!

doc_bar.jpg

I would take a horse who looked like this over a posty legged, pin-footed over-fed and over muscled halter horse of today. Form follows function.

Bumper

[Not Worthy] [Not Worthy]

I agree, the horses in the "halter industry" IMHO are a bit scarey. That and the HYPP disturbs me even more. You don't need to breed a horse with a preventable disease to get a good horse.....

I think that is why the AQHA came out with "performance halter" now. Though I'm not sure why they split the things. Probably to make more money on different amounts of classes. But the horses that are form fit for their duty are "performance halter" the ones that are beefed up and look like they have too many muscles to get a decent trot are "halter" horses.

:confused0024:

honeysmom,

I know I'm not saying halter bred horses can't function, but the halter horses conformation is NOT fit to function. Anyone who looks at one of those almost 1 ton animals of muscle and misguided conformation knows that their trot is going to be off and gates possibly painful. I like the way Honey is put together myself. I had a horse that came out of a halter stud that she reminds me a LOT of and he's a good solid riding horse.

My prospect now is mainly foundation horse with a halter horse stuck in his pedigree 2 generations back. He's one smooth looking horse with an amazing attitude. Still have to wait another year to start riding though. :indifferent:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks!! Diluteme, All my Halter horses have been winning 1st halter and then in riding!I Also look for that kind of "Balanced Breeding".No POSTIE's for me either! I like a horse to ingage his Legs UNDER HIMSELF!not out behind! So they just need to get back to PROPER confor. (in ALL our breeds) I think!!! [Duh] what EVER they want to call it! I think they've lost there way....AND I pay dearly for all 5 of my registrations too!!! you'd think WE'd get a say ha? Also ya know I had Honeys Foundation lines run and she's 78% foundation!almost enough to be reg. SO foundation can be pretty too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Diluteme.

honeysmom, I think foundation is pretty.

Do club feet run in Morgan lines?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well ya know it kind of hurts my feelings...guys! cause I think I got a pretty good Halter bred horse that CAN move! and she is Doc Bar yes! and looks a lot like him! But it hurts when people say OH>>> she can't possibley Rein or Run barrels cause she a HALTER bred horse!! I think it what people turn them in to! I've never let honey get fat just standing in a stall she works everyday! And I don't think I would(even if I kept her) let her get that fat.and useless! she Love's to work,and can spin on a dime even though she has now clue what she is doing,, But there are good halter breed horses out there that can if give'n the chance to be more than lead n feed..like Honeys grandpa on moms side and he was only just short of his superior in halter and still breeds! and is in much demand in Europe.

Why would the comments about QH halter horses hurt your feelings? Nothing but the truth was said. And everyone, including me, said "most but not all". And that's true. Most of the top QH halter horses are not ridden, and in fact have conformation that would make them completely unsound if they were. There are many who ARE ridden and who perform well, and i admire that. But i'll never admire or accept the pig on a string halter horse. It's a monstrosity.

There are people who show halter who can no longer ride...and i admire them because they are finding a way to stay involved with horses in some fashion. I have a friend who had to quit barrel racing because of a bad back and went into halter horses.

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
well ya know it kind of hurts my feelings...guys! cause I think I got a pretty good Halter bred horse that CAN move! and she is Doc Bar yes! and looks a lot like him! But it hurts when people say OH>>> she can't possibley Rein or Run barrels cause she a HALTER bred horse!! I think it what people turn them in to! I've never let honey get fat just standing in a stall she works everyday! And I don't think I would(even if I kept her) let her get that fat.and useless! she Love's to work,and can spin on a dime even though she has now clue what she is doing,, But there are good halter breed horses out there that can if give'n the chance to be more than lead n feed..like Honeys grandpa on moms side and he was only just short of his superior in halter and still breeds! and is in much demand in Europe.

Arent you selling her because you cant get her broke to ride? :winking: That is a very common complaint about halter horses, they arent BRED to ride, they are bred to stand. I don't understand trying to make a halter horse into a performance horse - why not spent the $$ on a horse with performance lines?

eta: Bumper there goes that creepy "we sorta agree" thing again!

Edited by exes blue eyed devil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eta: Bumper there goes that creepy "we sorta agree" thing again!

STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

[ROTFL]

Bumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you agree with a western pleasure person often enough, your horse will start pushing legumes around barrels and going so slow it starts to go backwards. [Crazy] Its a true fact. [Crazy] [ROTFL]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now