morgans gaited? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-21-2013, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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morgans gaited?

I have heard that prior to the 'government" morgan, many of the breed were smaller and may or may not have been gaited. Is this fact? or are they more of a 5-gaited horse like a saddlebred, not really intended for extended gait? Im not really familiar with the breed and am interested after a recent conversation.....

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post #2 of 23 Old 11-21-2013, 11:31 AM
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Well, I do know that there are gaited Morgans out there. They aren't overly common because the gaiting gene is recessive. They use a gait called the Single-foot. It can also be known as the Rack. Unlike with Saddlebreds, it's a natural gait. They are born with the gaiting gene. I've ridden one and I loved the feel of the gait. You can Google more information on them but I've listed a website that will tell you more about them.

Gaited Morgans aka Naturally Gaited Morgans

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-21-2013, 12:03 PM
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I think that the original Morgan was a TB and given the look of the breed and the types of pony the British settlers brought over I would think that it had a lot of welsh cob in it too - which would explain why it was said to be very strong for its size. The welsh cob evolved from older British breeds but was around in Mediaeval times when it was valued as being a comfortable riding horse because it had a smooth but fast trot
The Icelandic 5 gaited pony is said to have been taken there from Britain by the Vikings and the riding horses known as Palfreys in the Middles Ages when roads were either really bad or non existent were preferred as a means of travel above riding in carriages because they had a smooth ambling gait. The Saddlebred is a descendant of these palfreys that were brought to the US so they must have had a gaited gene
I would think the first Morgans were a lot broader and sturdier than some I've seen
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-21-2013, 12:40 PM
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Yes there are occassionaly "gaited" variety of Morgans. Like stated above they realy arent that common because the gene is resessive and sparse so finding two resessive gaited genes is not that easy to come by in the Morgan breed. Also, history states that no one REALY knows the true breeding of the "original" morgan (named "Figure" later named "Justin Morgan") but that historians speculate that a Thoroughbred was the original sire but the dam was and still is unknown. The Morgan is noted primarily for its ruggedness, compact body and animated gait. Through selective breeding much refinery of the breed has been done to create a more "showy" animal. The Calvery loved Morgans because of thier ruggedness and sensible attitudes and the fact they were easy keepers. The "rack" is the most common gaited variety though some may fox trot and amble.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-21-2013, 01:50 PM
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As noted, the ancestry of "Figure" is open to all manner of debate. A TB ancestry is possible. In NE at that time the "Narragansett Pacer" was also common, as was the "Canadian Pacer." Frontier horse breeding was not known for its accurate record keeping.

I've always liked the Morgan horse because it is a compact, stong, and capable horse.

It was not so much a favorite of the Cavalry (they preferred the TB type horse) as it was the Artillery. It was quite capable of pulling light, field pieces and also rode well. This was a winning combination for any thinking Red Leg.

I've seen a few gaited Morgans over the years. Some were good horses; some were pretty sorry horses. I don't remember the specifics of their gait.

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 07:49 AM
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1. Morgans are, indeed, naturally gaited as has been stated. Sorry to oppose Guilherme, but I was raised in NE Ohio where the Morgan horse was held in highest regard by the old timers, both as a work horse and a saddle horse.

There are "sorry horses" in every breed, I don't care which one is being discussed and that is generally the fault of the breeder or caregiver.

There weren't too many breeders and serious Morgan folks often went into New York to buy them; paying enough for one, to buy two or three well bred Quarter Horses (back in my youthful days).

Thankfully there are breeders out there, trying to preserver the gait, rather than think they can breed the gene out, like so many trotting Morgan breeders have tried to do.

Gaited Morgans aka Naturally Gaited Morgans

Just like there are breeders trying to preserve the naturally gaited Appaloosas that perform the TRUE Indian Shuffle, not an Appy that's been crossed with a Tennessee Walker.

2. Do your Walking Horse history and you will know the Foundation Mare of Record for the Tennessee Walker is a black MORGAN mare by the name of Maggie Marshall. She is great great grand daughter to the famous Figure, a/k/a "Justin Morgan Had A Horse".

If you look at my avatar, you should be able to see why that TWH got mistaken for a Morgan more than once in his life. Only being 14.3H added to some folks confusion.

Maggie Marshall is allegedly well documented as having seven gaits.

Ivory Pal

Where it says in part:
the horse chosen as the foundation stallion of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed was ALLAN. Foaled in 1866, his sire was ALLENDORF, of elite Standardbred breeding, and his dam was MAGGIE MARSHALL, a documented seven-gaited, great-great granddaughter of FIGURE, the original Morgan horse.

Google "gaited Morgans" and more hits will come up than you have time to read:)

Yes the signature gait of a gaited Morgan is the Singlefoot. Way back in the early 1960's my granddad had a Morgan/cross mare that was a beautiful single footer.

I'll give my post about three followups before an argument ensues. Anything about Walking Horses seems to elicit beyond heated debates. Guilherme couldn't even talk about his saddle find without someone starting an argument over it

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post #7 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 09:05 AM
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What are you opposing?

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of your replies. I have never been around any morgans other than a few morgan draft crosses, but the other day I was talking to a few old timers and they were discussing morgans and the debate of gaited vs. non gaited morgans came up.

I had always heard of morgans being used more like a saddlebred where it was more of a trained rack for shows.

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post #9 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 09:46 AM
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I think the build of the modern day Morgan has probably changed and a lot and the breed suffered as a result to suit the needs and fashion of the show ring
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-22-2013, 11:31 PM
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For many years, before DNA testing was required, many of the people who bred Morgans and competed saddleseat with them had a Saddlebred stallion on the place that they bred to, but the Morgan stallion got the credit for the offspring.

Which is why they are so different from the lovely Morgans of years ago.

Once DNA got going, that stopped, but of course there were Morgans that were gaited and did single footing, foxtrotting or racking, or a stepping pace.

And I've seen more than a few QH's that were loose enough in front and had a stride that I think they could have been shaken and would have hit a nice little gait too.

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