Are Morgan horses a profitable horse to breed?

Are Morgan horses a profitable horse to breed?

The Morgan horse was one of the original horse breeds in America. They originated in Vermont, and many are still found in New England, as well as throughout the United States and the world.

The breed is popular for its adaptability and charisma. Morgans can truly do it all, from carrying a small child to pulling a cart.

Breed Profile
Breed: Morgan Horse
Adult Weight : 900 to 1,100 pounds
Adult Height : 14.1 to 15.2 hands
Origin: United States
Use : driving, riding (English, Western, jumping, trail),
Colors chestnut, black, bay, brown, palomino, buckskin, smoky black, cremello, perlino, smoky cream, dun, flaxen, silver, gray, roan
Features Gorgeous head, big, friendly eyes, arched neck, short back, and little stature
Lifespan : 20-30 years
Character : Kind horses with outgoing personalities
Gait : Smooth and spirited
Best for: All levels of riders and any discipline

  • Characteristics
  • Care
  • History
  • Modern Morgan
  • Cost and Ownership
  • Buying a Morgan
  • Similar Breeds

Morgan Horse Characteristics

The Morgan horse breed is noted for its uniform traits; they all look the same and are simple to identify.

Figure, later known as the Justin Morgan Horse, established the breed. His descendants all have beautiful heads with large eyes, arched necks, and strong, compact bodies.


According to American Morgan standards, the Morgan breed is of medium size, measuring between 14.1 and 15.2 hands. (1) Stallions are normally somewhat bigger than mares, however this varies every horse. Morgans normally achieve their maximum height by the age of three or four.

When a Morgan horse is 14.1 hands or less, it is classified as a pony. Several have competed successfully in pony divisions of combined driving competitions.

A myth about Morgan’s size was that Figure was a small horse, but could outrun, out trot, and out pull any other horse in Vermont. Morgan horse height has not prevented them from excelling in a variety of disciplines.


A Morgan horse weighs between 900 and 1,100 pounds on average. Mares are normally lighter than stallions, weighing closer to 900 pounds, although this varies every horse. Foals weigh around 100 pounds at birth and rapidly expand during the following three years.

Because of their precise bone structure, Morgan horses weigh less than other breeds. Specifically, the legs have flat bones, are straight, with an adequate structure to support the horse.

The compact body bears the brunt of their weight, yet it is elegant, muscular, and athletic. The feet of the Morgan have always been proportionate to the size of the horse and adequately support their weight.


Morgan colors include chestnut, black, bay, brown, palomino, buckskin, smoky black, cremello, perlino, smoky cream, dun, flaxen, silver, gray, roan, and pinto. Flaxen and silver are most often found in horse manes and tails.

Morgan horses were originally bay, black, chestnut, and brown. The figure was a bay with no white markings, and his offspring had these same colors.

These are the main breed colors, and others have been prohibited for many years.

The breed registry now allows numerous Morgan horse colors, as well as additional white markings or chrome. Although the other colors are rarer, dedicated breeders are ensuring that they are carried on.


Morgan horses are alert, active, and friendly. They are known as “the horse that picks you” because they like humans and want to satisfy us. Morgans have a laid-back personality, are versatile, and like working.

The horses are curious and form deep bonds with humans. Their willing attitude makes them easy to train, and their versatility helps them excel in many disciplines. Morgan horses may be seen competing in dressage, endurance, and show ring events.

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rules prohibit children (junior exhibitors) from showing stallions. (2)

While the prohibition is in place for safety concerns, minors may still be permitted to exhibit stallions at non-USEF exhibitions. However, all Morgans are elegant in the show ring and share the joy of equestrian sports with their riders.

Morgan Horse Care

Morgan horses are enjoyable to care for; they flourish in backyard barns, show stables, and working ranches.

Basic housing, a healthy feed, and regular veterinarian and farrier care are all required.

Morgan horses like being around humans and are versatile and friendly. They excel in any living conditions with a basic standard of care.

Diet and Nutrition

Morgan horses are regarded in the equestrian world for being simple to maintain. This implies they don’t need a lot of additional feed or special care to grow. Forage, such as hay or grass, is the cornerstone of every horse’s diet, including the Morgan’s. (3)

Grain or supplements must be added to make sure all nutritional requirements, including vitamins and minerals, are met. (3) Morgan horses need less feed than other regular-sized horses since they are renowned to be easy keepers. (4, 5)

Morgan horses may easily grow overweight and have insulin resistance concerns. (6) Owners and caretakers are careful to ensure that their horses do not receive too much grass or grain (7)

Health Problems 

One of the most frequent Morgan health conditions is insulin resistance, also known as equine metabolic syndrome. (6) Prevention is one of the best ways to manage this health problem, although treatments are available for afflicted horses.

Prevention methods include maintaining an appropriate weight and limiting the horse’s exposure to high-sugar diets (7) Type 1 Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy, which causes muscular discomfort and weakness when carbohydrates are accumulated in muscle cells, is also a risk in these horses.

Genetic problems in Morgan horses include an eye disorder called Multiple Congenital Ocular Anomalies that are found in horses with the silver dilution gene. It causes numerous eye issues including cysts, an enlarged cornea, and iris/retina issues. (8)


Morgan grooming is comparable to that of other breeds but yet distinct. First, they are easy horses to groom because they enjoy the attention.

To prepare for their classes, show horses must have precise grooming standards, such as cutting the horse’s bridle path, ears, mouth, and legs.

Show horses’ manes and tails must also be carefully selected and displayed in a long, flowing style. (9) Horses should be groomed a few times per week, and their feet should be picked out daily.

Grooming is important to bring out their shine and beauty, but that starts with the correct diet and nutrition and grooming enhances their beauty. (10)

Morgan Horse History

The figure, sometimes known as the Justin Morgan Horse, was born in Vermont in 1789. His three famous sons, Sherman, Bulrush, and Woodbury, carried on his bloodlines to help form the breed.

Morgan horses have played a role in many parts of our history, from early New England towns to exploring the west and building cattle ranches. (5)


Morgan horses have a 230-year heritage that is strongly linked to the United States. Their popularity has expanded beyond their New England birthplace to throughout the country and world, with active Morgan horse breed associations in Britain, Sweden, and Australia, among others.

Figure’s parents are unknown, however he is likely to have Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Dutch ancestry. His three most famous sons helped carry the breed forward, and numerous other offspring also contributed.

Morgans also aided in the discovery of numerous other horse breeds. Morgan horses originated on New England farms, hauling carriages to town and church. They were also utilized as riding horses by family members.

Historic Development 

Vermont is the home of the Morgan horse and has played an important role in its evolution. The figure, the foundation sire, was born in Massachusetts and then acquired by Justin Morgan, the man, as payment for a debt.

Travel was a little harder in 1789 than it is today, but Figure bred mares at multiple locations, and people quickly learned of the quality of the Morgan horses. The breed spread across New England, then throughout the country, and eventually abroad.

Morgan horses were utilized in the government’s cavalry remount program. The facility in Weybridge, Vermont was offered to the University of Vermont in 1951 and still has a Morgan breeding program.

Notable Morgan Horses 

There are numerous well-known Morgan horses. Marguerite Henry, an author, and Disney popularized the breed with Henry’s book, Justin Morgan Had A Horse.

Disney made it into a movie in 1972, and the story has delighted generations of equine enthusiasts. The breed was initially recognized for its adaptability, which has remained consistent.

Famous Horse – The Figure

Justin Morgan, the Morgan stallion, is our first notable horse since he is the breed’s founding sire.

In the 1700s, horses were often addressed by their owners’ names. Figure’s ability to pass his genetics on to his offspring created a breed of horse that resembles him and has the same characteristics.

Famous Horse – Sherman Morgan

Sherman Morgan was the son of Justin Morgan born around 1808. He helped out on the farm and hauled freight to Maine.

Sherman was small even for Morgan height, only 13 ¾ hands, it is believed that he was small because he started work so young. He had 44 sons and several daughters, all of whom contributed to the breed.

Famous Horse – Woodbury

Woodbury, a Morgan stallion, was born in 1816. He was said to be the finest of the three famous sons, the other being Bulrush.

Woodbury was 15 hands tall, weighed roughly 1,100 pounds, and had superb conformation. He was sold to a man in Alabama and made significant contributions to the breed.

Myths and Legends 

The origins of the Morgan breed and Figure’s narrative are hidden in myths and folklore. There are several stories regarding the horse’s skill in both the field and racing. We’ll never know how many of these tales are real, but we know he was a great horse.

Superior Strength 

The guy dragged a fallen tree that the other horses couldn’t move. This scenario is continued in the film, as Justin Morgan, the man, examines what the horse must do. He has some of the other guys sit on the other end of the tree to raise the front of the tree, and then Figure pulls it out.

Impressive Speed

General Sheridan rode Rienzi, his Morgan horse, during the Civil War. In 1864, the Union Army won a decisive battle in Virginia. General Sheridan was 12 miles away when it started, but Rienzi was fast and had the Morgan horse speed. They arrived in time to rouse the soldiers and lead them to victory. (11)

Poetic Muse

Robert Frost resided in Vermont, and one of his poems is titled The Runaway. It is about a Morgan colt that is terrified of snowflakes. The poem describes the colt’s antics as he is alone in a field as snow starts to fall. One wonders if the colt later became a Morgan gelding.

Modern Morgan Horses

Because of its charm, adaptability, and family-friendly disposition, the gorgeous Morgan horse remains a favorite breed among equestrians.

Morgan horses are well-known for being versatile and easygoing.

The horses seem to know how to treat each individual they come into contact with, being calm and kind with children and energetic with adults.


A journey to Vermont means visiting Morgan country. They are Vermont’s official state animal, and a Morgan breeder is delighted to call the state home. Yet, the Morgan is well-known around the world.

There are four major bloodlines within the breed, including the Brunk Family, Lippitt Family, Government Family, and Working Western Family. Each of these Morgan horse lineages has distinct characteristics, yet they all go back to Justin Morgan.

One of the differentiators is which famous son of Justin Morgan these horses trace back to. The biggest is the Government Family, which is carried on by the University of Vermont and several other breeders.


Morgan horse numbers are increasing. The American Morgan Horse Association has over 90,000 Morgan horses registered (2). The breed’s numbers are increasing, according to registry trends, as Morgan horse information reaches more audiences.

Most of the Morgan horses are in the United States, however, there are active organizations and breeders in several countries that are also breeding the Morgan horse. Precise figures are unknown, however the great bulk of Morgan horse breeding continues to take place in the United States.

While there are numerous Morgan horses across the globe, they are on the Livestock Conservancy’s (12) critical list because several other breeds have bigger registrations.


If you can dream it, Morgan can do it. Morgan horse applications include any discipline that their owner want to attempt.

They are a popular breed for carriage driving and may also be found in working western disciplines, eventing, trail riding, dressage, therapeutic leadline programs, and the show ring.

Morgan horse traits indicate that they are a really adaptable breed capable of doing it all.

In reality, since the Morgan horse has a lifetime of roughly 30 years and remains healthy and willing to work and delight their humans, it is fairly normal for a horse to have many occupations during its life.

Morgan horse gaits are smooth and easy to ride.

Morgan Horse Prices

A Morgan horse requires a long-term commitment. The purchase price of the horse is the first in line of costs that come with owning a horse.

Hay, feed, and bedding are all continuous costs. Horses also need routine care from veterinarians, farriers, and equine dentists.

The pleasure of having a horse justifies the High price.

Purchase Price 

The purchasing price is determined by the horse. Morgan horse foals are less expensive than fully developed and trained horses. A champion Morgan horse in any discipline is going to cost more than a riding Morgan horse that is a teenager’s pet in the backyard.

Even with all these variables, the Morgan horse is an economical breed to purchase. A trained horse will cost you between $2,500 and $5,000.

Younger horses capable of competing at the top levels may cost $50,000 or more. An older horse retiring from a more strenuous career can cost less but may have an extra vet or hoof care costs.

Ownership Costs 

The buying price of a Morgan horse includes yearly board, feed, veterinary care, and foot care. These are not optional expenses; they are essential to the horse’s health and well-being.

Horse owners should budget between $1,770 and $12,930 each year. The cost varies based on geographic location and availability of horse board, and types and amounts of feed.


Paying board is the equivalent of rent or mortgage payments. Board pays for your horse’s stall or run-in shed on another person’s property.

Annual fees vary from $1,200 to $7,200 depending on the institution. You still need to factor in costs for repairs and property upkeep if you keep your horse at home.


Feed is the second most expensive cost for every horse owner. Horses must have a consistent source of forage and grain to maintain their weight and energy.

Access to pasture reduces feed costs, whereas those in colder climates can expect to pay more. Feed might cost anything from $250 to $4,380 per year.

Vet Care 

Veterinary treatment includes yearly vaccines, deworming, and dental care twice a year.

The cost will vary between $250 and $350 every year, assuming your horse stays healthy and is never injured.

Horse owners may get unexpected vet fees ranging from $500 to $1000 after one of these events.

Hoof Care 

“No foot, no horse,” as the adage goes among equestrians. Your horse will need routine hoof care to remain sound and healthy.

Hoof care occurs every six to eight weeks and the farrier will trim the horses’ feet, or trim and shoe them. The cost ranges from $120 to $1,000 every year, depending on the horse’s requirements.

Buying a Morgan Horse

Morgan horse personalities entice you to acquire one straight immediately. First and foremost, do your research. Determine your horse ownership objectives and choose a horse that will assist you in achieving them.

The Morgan is versatile, but they also have preferences, just like we do. To ensure a good fit, meet the horse first and test them out.

Is the Morgan Horse Right for You? 

Yes, the Morgan horse is right for you if you find the right horse. Riding a Morgan horse transforms and enriches your life. Each horse is, once again, unique.

Align your personality to the traits of a Morgan horse before purchasing one. A person that has always dreamed of roping cattle would be happier with a Working Western Morgan than one of the other families.

Any Morgan could do it, but you also want the horse to be pleased. Similarly, Morgans can be enjoyed by all ages, but make sure you choose one with the temperament to match the use and person.

How to Buy a Morgan Horse? 

To begin the Morgan horse purchase process, define your dream horse. Then begin your search. The American Morgan Horse Association lists Morgan breeders and organizations on their website.

Learn more about Morgan by visiting individuals in your area. Check out many horses for sale before making a decision. This gives you a better idea of what’s available, even if you later return and buy that first horse.

Look for horses that fit your goals and you enjoy riding or driving. The Morgan horse head is lovely, but don’t simply get a gorgeous face.

Avoid horses with physical impairments, personality issues, or behavioral challenges. A pre-purchase veterinary examination may give useful information.

Similar Breeds to Morgan Horse

The Morgan horse was instrumental in the development of numerous other breeds. Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, and Standardbreds all trace their origin to the Morgan and are similar in size, appearance, personality, and versatility.

The Quarter Horse possesses the same versatility, while the Tennessee Walker has the appearance and personality of the Morgan. The speed of the Standardbred was also a Morgan characteristic.

American Quarter Horse

The Morgan is a part of the history of the American Quarter Horse, which is one of the most popular horse breeds in the world.

Quarter horses are well-known for their friendly attitudes and adaptability.

Quarter horses are comparable to Morgans in size, height, and color, and they are also noted for their burst of speed while racing a quarter-mile.

Tennessee Walking Horse

Tennessee Walking Horses are a type of horse that was bred to transport people around plantations. They are known for their smooth, ground-covering gaits and are beautiful horses.

Tennessee Walking Horses are taller than Morgans on average. The smooth gaits and big stride are similar to those of the Morgan horse.


Standardbreds are a kind of horse used in harness racing in the United States. There are two types of Standardbred racehorses, trotters, and pacers.

The pace is a lateral gait where a set of legs (right or left) move together. This breed’s foundation lineage includes Morgan horses, and we find parallels in height, physical traits, and speed.


What is a Morgan horse? 

The Morgan horse is an American breed recognized for its gentle demeanor, beauty, and adaptability.

What does a Morgan horse look like? 

Morgan horses have compact bodies and crisp, straight legs. They have a beautiful face with large eyes, fox-like ears, and an elegant neck tied into a flat topline.

How did the Morgan horse get its name? 

Justin Morgan owned the Figure, which was a horse. The figure was dubbed the Justin Morgan Horse. He inspired the breed’s name.

Can you ride a Morgan horse? 

Yes. They are known for their versatility and are ridden English and western, jumping and dressage, and out on the trail.

Are Morgan horses good for beginners? 

Morgan horses are ideal for beginning riders. They are kind horses and adapt to their riders and handlers, taking extra care of those that are new to horses.

How tall is a Morgan horse? 

At completely grown, a Morgan horse stands between 14.1 and 15 hands tall, or 57 to 61 inches tall.

How much does a Morgan horse weigh? 

When completely developed, a Morgan horse weighs between 900 and 1,100 pounds.

How big is a Morgan horse? 

A Morgan horse is of ordinary size; it is neither the largest nor the smallest breed. At 14.1 hands or less, certain Morgan horses qualify as ponies.

How much does a Morgan horse cost? 

A Morgan will cost between $2,500 and $5,000, while some may cost more or less.

How much does a Morgan horse ownership cost? 

The yearly cost of owning a Morgan horse is between $1,770 to $12,930 per year.

How long do Morgan horses live? 

Morgan horses live for 20-30 years.

How fast can a Morgan horse run? 

Morgan horses can run roughly 20 miles per hour.

How much can a Morgan horse pull? 

A Morgan horse can pull around 1,500 pounds.

How much can a Morgan horse carry? 

A Morgan horse can carry about 200 pounds.

At what age is a Morgan horse full grown? 

Morgan horses are normally completely developed around four or five years of age, while some may not be full-grown until age six.

What are Morgan horses used for? 

Morgan horses are utilized for riding and driving. They are versatile and ridden English, Western, jumping, cutting, and on the trail.


  1. American Morgan Horse Association. 2022. Morgan Horse. Link
  2. U.S. Equestrian Federation. 2022. Morgan. Link 
  3. American Association of Equine Practitioners, Lydia Gray, DVM, MA. 2016. Nutrition: The Key to Unlocking Your Horse’s Health. Link
  4. University of Georgia, Extension. 2015. How to Feed a Horse: Understanding the Basic Principles of Horse Nutrition. Link
  5. American Morgan Horse Association. 2022. Questions – About the Morgan. Link
  6. Nicholas Frank, in Robinson’s Current Therapy in Equine Medicine. 2015. Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Link
  7. Horse that is holistic, Jenna E. Smedley, DVM, and Frank K. Reilly, DVM. 2022. Insulin Resistant Horse Answers. Link
  8. UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. 2022. Connection to Morgan Horse
  9. American Morgan Horse Association. 2022. So you want to take your horse to a show? Link
  10. Katie Navarra, The Horse, 2019. Equine Detailing: Elevate Your Grooming Routine. Link
  11. General Sheridan’s horse Rienzi Winchester in 2022, according to Atlas Obscura.
  12. The Livestock Conservancy. 2022. Morgan is a traditional name.

Related Questions

  • What are the most profitable horses to breed?

    When deciding to buy horses for competition or resale, the most expensive yet profitable choice can be this one: the English Thoroughbred. It is sometimes referred to as the “horse breed par excellence” and is one of the most popular horses in athletic contests.

  • How much is a Morgan horse worth?

    between $2,500 and $4,000

    Pricing are often expensive. Expect to pay between $2,500 and $4,000 for a registered Morgan mare and from $750 to $1,500 for a weanling.

  • How much money can you make breeding horses?

    Horse Breeder salaries in the United States vary from $10,668 to $288,999, with a typical compensation of $51,672.

  • What are Morgan horses best for?

    The Morgan breed is well-known for its adaptability, and it is utilized in a variety of English and Western sports. They’ve excelled in a variety of disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, Western pleasure, cutting, and endurance riding. They are also employed as stock horses, as well as for riding and driving pleasure.

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