Why Did You Pick Morgans?

In the recent posts regarding the new AMHA Logo and How Do We Create More Breed Interest, a thread of discussion regarding how to bring new folks in the breed started. Right now the Morgan publications (ie The Morgan Connection, Morgan Horse, Saddle Horse Report…) all are geared toward and read by those individuals that already own and/or show Morgan horses. Bringing new people into the wonderful world of Morgan Horses is going to be something that will have to be done out of the mainstream Morgan world.

Because many people of all walks of life (and countries for that matter) search the Internet for horse information, there is a possibility that non-Morgan owners could end up here, at AboveLevel.com. My husband came up with the idea of setting off a section of the new Forums to be dedicated to Marketing with one topic being “Why I Chose Morgans” (or why they chose me, as the case may be!!) or something of that nature. It would give people the opportunity to write why they became a Morgan horse enthusiast and maybe even tell some heartwarming or funny stories about the horses they have owned or known. I can then pick some of them and cross post them on the front blog page so that more people will have the opportunity to see how wonderful this breed is.

I will alert you when we get that set up which will probably be in the next couple of days. Be thinking about how you got involved and why you find this breed so irresistible. 

In addition to these stories, please feel free to start topics of other marketing ideas.  Maybe if we can consolidate everybody’s ideas we can be a positive influence in helping the Morgan breed’s popularity.

12 Responses to Why Did You Pick Morgans?

  1. Anonymous says:

    When I was little I begged & begged my parents for riding lessons. They didn’t really know of any place so my dad asked around at work. A guy gave him a business card for a farm and it just so happened that it was a Morgan farm. So I started out riding Morgans by chance and just was hooked from there. I fell head over heels in love with them and just think they are amazing animals and the best breed out there.

  2. Kelly says:

    I started riding Morgans when I was young, too. I think showing them was what made me stick to the breed. Once I became involved in the industry I was there to stay.

    I saw a really great slide show with music online once that was about Morgans. I can’t remember where I saw it though, I will search around to see if I can find it so I can share it with everyone though. It just struck me as a great promotion video.

  3. colwilrin says:

    My first horse, an appendix QH, needed a place to be boarded. We found a local stable that specialized in teaching kids to ride. It just so happened that the trainer had Morgans. She invited me to help groom at the NY State Fair and also the Morgan Regional show.

    One night she pulled me and a few other of the girls off of our duties and took us up to ringside to see the Park Harness class. Saddleback Supreme came trotting in…I was hooked.

    We sold my QH and I traveled to Vermont on New Year’s Eve to purchase my first Morgan.

    Since then, I did take a few years off when I dabbled in Saddlebreds, but came back to Morgans. A beautiful black western horse hooked me back again in the early 1990′s with his HUGE attitude and mischievous nature. It is their personality, heart, and genuine love of people that sets them apart from the rest.

  4. IED says:

    I got into Morgans quite by accident. As a horse-crazy young kid, the ONLY THING I ever wanted was riding lessons!! I saved and saved my money and finally, when I had enough, I called around to see what places had openings for lessons. (Keep in mind I was 8 years old here; I can only imagine what the trainers at the other end were thinking.) I went to a few places and finally went to the place I ultimately began taking lessons. I watched a group lesson and there was this horse called Tuffy who was giving his rider a hard time, bucking (little, tiny bucks) and not doing anything TOO crazy but to my untrained eye he was a rodeo bronc!! The girl who was riding him just rode it out and didn’t hardly move. I thought, I want to be able to ride that well, and I want to ride that horse when he is being naughty and prove that I can ride just as well as she can!! (Can we see exactly why showing appeals to me today? :P) Turns out, Tuffy was a Morgan, and an English Pleasure horse to boot. At that time he was one of the barn’s better horses. It’s funny it happened that way because I REALLY wanted to become a jumper rider, eventually becoming the world’s greatest eventer. (hey, we all have dreams as a kid! Karen O’Connor was my IDOL.)

    Fast forward about two years later when I got to go and just watch my first Morgan Horse Show. Boy, was I ever hooked. The only thing in the world I wanted was to be in that ring, showing a horse. It took a year (mostly of convincing my mom and putting together an amalgam of hunt clothes) but I finally did it and showed at my first A-rated Morgan show, the North Star Morgan Americana. I think we got 5th and 6th in 13&Under Hunter Pleasure and Equitation, and I showed this rather naughty 4 year old. (Trainer didn’t have a ton of horses to go around) I wanted more!

    So, a few months later, my parents bought me my very first horse, who was a Morgan… she was insane, but she was strangely successful in the showring. However when she became dangerous and started rearing and attempting to dump me in every way possible, a lady at my barn offered to have me show and ride her Arab. That turned into a several years long thing where I showed and trained her Arabs. I eventually sold my crazy first horse and ended up with another Morgan kind of on accident. (I really didn’t WANT another Morgan… but this one spoke to me.) I trained her (she was a yearling when I got her – I know, I know) and showed her and we won and won and won. I started paying attention to the politics of the Arab world, decided I hated it, and devoted myself to Morgans – especially since I fell in love with the high-stepping hunters. I eventually took her to Nationals where we did fairly well for an amateur owned/trained/shown horse.

    It’s been several years since that time now, and while I miss the Arabians occasionally, the Morgans are what really do it for me. From their proud carriage to snapping knees and beautiful faces and necks, there’s no other breed quite like them. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and show under some really amazing Morgan trainers and what they do makes a lot of sense to me. Sometimes, in Arab land, it didn’t so much…

    Long-winded! ;)

  5. candlelitemh says:

    I had a similar experience.I grew up twenty miles from Saddleback Farm.At the young age of nine I thought I wanted a quarter horse and to be a barrel racer.My 4-H group visited Saddleback and out came Saddleback Sealect…WOW 25 years later I’m still hooked.In fact our little breeding program is totally influenced by the Herricks.Its not just their beauty though, I love the way they greet me every time I pull in my drive.I love the fact that I can trust my inexperienced daughter on one during a trail ride. I love their gentle eye.Oh my, the list is long:)

  6. Janie Denning says:

    I grew up riding before I could walk, breaking and showing my own mixed breed horses in 4-H. My father was so cheap he bought me a 3 yr old 1/2 QH, 1/2 welsh pony when I was 8. Of course nobody had ever been on her back. I loved horses of any breed.
    When I was 13 yrs old and showing at the state fair, an arab trainer approached me to show his horses. I rode arabs until I went to college and then did hunter jumpers. I quit riding in my 20′s and in my 30′s had kids.
    I bought a POA for my daughter and fell in move with the most beautiful black horse at the barn. He turned out to be a morgan and my husband purchased him for my 35th birthday. My friend and I now own at least 8 morgans and would never ever look at anything else. After you have a morgan, how could you ever own anything else?

  7. your_starr says:

    I grew up riding HJ, and thought thats what i wanted to do for a career. I worked for a farm that had a lone morgan boarded at it. I really had no idea what a morgan was and swore up and down to his owner that i would NEVER be a “breed person”. after several terrible run-ins with HJ trainers, i moved my jumper mare to a farm closer to school that happened to be a morgan farm. i volunteered to help out at ASHAM, saw the classes and never turned back. the funny thing is, a few months later (at a morgan show) i saw the lady whom i had told i wasnt a breeduperson… and she literally said “i told you so”

  8. Anonymous says:

    I got hooked on Morgans while attending Mid A when it was in Devon many years ago. The first class I saw was a Stallion In Hand. In the ring was Windcrest Music Man and Bennfields Ace along with many other well known stallions. From that moment on I was hooked and have never looked back.

  9. jns767 says:

    I have always loved horses (that’s probably the tune we all sing), but never really knew what “my” breed was. I had QH’s for trail as a little girl, I took Dressage lessons, considered thouroghbred’s and appys, and even dabbled in TWH’s with my best friend down the road. It wasn’t until I started lessons at a Morgan farm in town that I began to see the light. What reallly really hooked me though, was my Shaker’s Sierra. My parents purchased him for me when I was 16-years old. He was a very flashy and beautiful horse (atleast in my eyes) I felt so proud to be on his back. With his arched neck, gorgeous face and snorty little knee popping jog, I felt that he commanded attention wherever he went (whether he did or not) ;P.

    Because we couldn’t afford to go to only A shows, my parents would trailer to local open shows from time to time. I remember one such show where Shaker and I won almost every class we went in. Mind you, we were the only Morgan in a SEA of QH’s. That day we were true ambassadors. Many parents asked us what breed he was – even expressing surprise when they were told he was a Morgan. People even wanted pictures with Shaker! Two seperate parents even asked us to leave because it wasn’t fair to have such a seasoned horse at an open show – as if!

    Shaker and I never made it to Nationals, we didn’t even do extrememly well at the All Morgan, but just that one gorgeous horse, and the idea that some day I may own a horse that special again, has kept me a morgan horse enthusiast for life.

  10. wctigger says:

    I begged my parents for riding lessons when I was little, and friends of theirs gave them the name of the farm their daughter rode with. It turned out to be a Morgan Farm. I rode a few different breed lesson horse while I was there, but I just fell in love with the Morgans. I started showing on the A circuit when I was 10 or so, and I haven’t look back since. 14 years later, I am still with the breed and can’t imagine riding anything else. I am currently a AOTS and still showing on the A circuit, and my two hunter morgans are favorites at the barn. Everyone is always commenting on how beautiful they are and how much they like to watch them go.
    Taryn Farnsworth

  11. leslie says:

    When I was a horse crazy 7- or 8-year-old my grandparents came back from a trip to Vermont with a bunch of AMHA brochures. Since I was young and impressionable, I think those brochures were enough to convince me that Morgans really were the best breed out there, so whoever produced the AMHA/AMHAY brochures that were distributed in the 80s gets a win.

    I might have fallen into any other breed, but when my parents finally gave in and let me take riding lessons, the instructor I found happened to teach saddle seat (I had no idea what that was at the time, and really didn’t care. I just wanted to ride.) My instructor had a Morgan, a Saddlebred, and a Morgan/Saddlebred cross, so I guess I could have gone either way. And maybe I preferred Morgans to Saddlebreds because of that early indoctrination, but I also tend to prefer the more substantially-built horses and I like the Morgan attitude.

    I just got rid of my suit and my horse is mostly retired from the show ring, so I’m contemplating taking a break from saddle seat and trying the sport horse thing again. But I kind of always figure whenever I’m in the market for a horse again (a million years from now) no matter what kind of riding I’m doing I’ll still probably look for a Morgan.

  12. KayITM says:

    I have been around Morgans my whole life. I first started riding when I was about 3 on a mini horse and fell off because my grandfather forgot to tighten the girth. But I got right back on. My Grandfather worked at a 20 stall Morgan barn with one miniature horse. When I was about 6 I started to go to work with him on the weekends. I loved it, I would turnout horses, feed, and clean some stalls.
    Then, when my Grandfather retired from working he gave me his champion carriage driving horse for my 13th birthday. I then started to train him under saddle. He is a very quick learner so within a couple of months I was competing in shows in the Hunter Pleasure division, Road Hack, and Dressage. I love my horse. I am at the barn riding and hanging out at least 5 times a week. When I graduate High School I will either be attending UVM or UMass Stockbridge studying farm management and training technique. My goal is to set up my own morgan barn of my own for training and boarding.

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