My mare is a Morgan and I go to a college that specializes in Morgans. I'm a huge fan. First of all, I find there's a big difference from the "old style" Morgans and the "new style" Morgans. The old style is much more solid while the new style reminds me much more of Arabians. I prefer the more solid Morgans, but that's just personal preference.
Of course, I know my mare, Lizzie, the best. Lizzie is absolutely brilliant and needs a job or she either gets depressed or into trouble. She's 38ish and still going strong. I've found her relatively easy to train. When I first started riding her 10 years ago, she had been a saddleseat horse who had been standing around in a field for a few years. She started a new life as a lesson horse, dressage, jumping, trails, everything. I bought her 4 years ago and we do trails and have fun in the ring together. In the past year or so, I've taught her a number of tricks for fun. She does kisses, "high fives" with her nose, hugs and touches the ground.
Liz is the sweetest horse I've ever met- she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She's never even thought about biting me, even when she had a bad, painful injury being cleaned. She wants to be a part of everything and will butt into any gathering of humans to interact. Everyone at my boarding barn adores her
One thing about Morgans, in my experience, is that they tend to be "one person horses". Obviously not all Morgans are like this, but I've met a lot that are. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's something to be aware of. Lizzie is happy to interact with other people, but she doesn't want anyone else to ride her and gets jealous when I ride other horses.
I adore Morgans in general. I find them smart, sweet, and versatile. Let me know if you have any questions!
My grandparents bred, trained and showed Morgans. That's where I first learned about horses. At 5 years old I was working with grandpa and the Morgans. Mucking stalls, grooming, sitting on his lap driving the old tractor, field and hay work and when all the needed stuff done I could sometimes get to ride. (All .... except Sam the Stallion.) Every summer until I was close to 18 then they just got worn out and sold them all.
Ya... those Morgans and my grandpa "showed me" that I needed to get a horse some 45 years later. Very few Morgans where I am now... but at least I got horses and they showed me the way.
My first horse that I bought with my own money was a 6 yo Morgan cross (1/2 Morgan, 1/4 Standardbred, 1/4 Fox Trotter - or so they said). The Morgan part of her was very obvious - who knows about the rest. She was a level-headed, solid, surefooted, healthy horse who never ever tried any monkey-business with her then 12 year old kid owner (me). We rode alone through BLM backcountry (yes, I was a stupid kid), and no problems. She could really move out and was a blast to ride, but she never did anything until I asked her. She was very forgiving of my less than perfect equitation. She was however, not a horse you could bond with. She didn't fall in love with her human. She was well-trained, reliable, with lovely movement. She had a boring personality.
However, I bought her with a foal at her side. The sire was purebred Morgan, and the foal looked purebred - the sportier type, not the drafty type. She made it very clear that I was her human. A more gentle, intelligent, easy-to-train horse I have yet to meet. I worked her from the ground until she was 3, then just got on and rode her with a halter and never looked back. We rode very rough terrain and I can't remember her ever stumbling or balking at anything. She trusted me wholeheartedly. At that age, I just assumed that horses just load into trailers. The first time I tried to load her, I just led her right in, and that was that. The first time we crossed a bridge, she just went. I thought that was normal. I've had to deal with a lot of horses since her to realize that she was extraordinary. Whether it had anything to do with the Morgan breed, or if it was just her, I don't know. I rode her sire many times, and he was very similar in temperament. When I went to get her to show her to the guy who ended up buying her, she was a mile away. By the time I had hiked out to get her, I realized I forgot her halter, so I did my usual thing and just hopped on and rode her back. The guy didn't even need to ride her - her saw her be ridden down through the craggy, rocky hillsides and creeks naked as a horse can be, and took her on the spot.
I currently exercise a stocky-type Morgan for a friend of mine. He also is very smart, perceptive, and sure-footed. Tough tough horse. But he likes to test his rider. One the rider wins, he's done testing and is a good buy. I also always get this vibe from him that "you're not my mommy. I want my mommy. Who do you think you are, brushing me as if you're my owner". Every Morgan I've been around has been very loyal to their "person".
In a year or so I'll be ready to get my own horses again. If I see a Morgan available, I'll be checking it out for sure.
The pic is my "filly" at age 4, after 1 year under saddle. She loved her job.
If you want a calm, quiet, boring horse.... don't get a Morgan!
My Morgan is an absolutely wonderful horse, everyone that has ridden him has remarked about what fun he is to ride and they'd love to keep him but none are quiet, timid riders. He'll do anything you ask but if he doesn't WANT to, he has no problems whatsoever telling you that. I keep in contact with the trainer that started him (she breeds/trains Morgans only) and she and I always have a good giggle when I get an attitude filled ride because it's typical of a Morgan. Plenty of go, go, go and the attitude to go with it. Completely safe guy though, I can toss any decently quiet kid on him and he adores it (saves the attitude for those forcing him to actually *work*). Afraid of absolutely nothing under saddle and absolutely EVERYTHING on the ground but he isn't stupid about it.... just wide-eyed and snorty!
I used to ride a 14 y/o Morgan. She was the best horse I've ever ridden. She had this attitude that made you think twice before you messed with her, but she had a heart of gold. She taught me sooooo much, and she was so willing to work and learn from me. I'd love to own another Morgan in the future :)
My horse is an old style Morgan. He loves to show off and he always knows when its show day. He is really quiet and always tries his best for me, although not many others. He is defiantly a one person horse. He is very intelligent and remembers training he was taught 3 years ago and not used in between. I must say he is quite stubborn although I think that has more nurture than nature. He is always the calmest on a trail as long as he is leading. No matter what any horses around him are doing he always listens only to me. Like I said he is smart but stubborn, so he learns quickly but may not be nice about doing it until a show when he knows he is performing. Chewbacca is the most fun and challenging horse I have ever ridden and I learn a lot from him all the time. It feels like riding a freight train, especially when trotting, and he is very strong. I believe his only draw back is that he spends sooo much energy when trotting and cantering that he has little stamina. However, it is kinda fun to pass a western pleasure horse cantering while walking and I have had many uncomfortable occasions when we were just cantering out on a trail and he was just trotting along and almost going faster than the others! I know I would never let any one with any nervousness on him because he would walk all over them and you would have to have a good seat because his gaits are so powerful.
There was one other Morgan I rode, another old style, and he was just a doll. He was sweet as could be and was almost, but not quite, as fun to ride. His trot was more springy and less powerful but he had none of the stubbornness that my horse has.
Also my horse, at least, is a very easy keeper. He never gets grain and I have been riding him for 1 1/2 years now and he has probably not even lost a pound of fat!
Although I own 2 Andalusians, my second favorite breed is the Morgan. I rode them regularly before I got my Andys and found them to be smart, cooperative, comfortable (not quite as comfy as an Andy), athletic (again, not quite as athletic as an Andy) and easy to train and ride. All the ones I've ridden have been good natured and personable. None of them were sluggish or stubborn or boring. I like the old style best.
I grew up on a farm that raised, trained and bred old & new type Morgans. The new types acted much more spirited and flighty then the old type Morgans, old types are much more solid looking in appearance and are more level headed. Some all Morgans have some pep but for the most part the Old Type are more likely to show the spirit when it is needed. I've only met a handful of Old Type Morgans that were flighty in general. Every Morgan I've met acts like an oversized dog in one form or another, more so the old-types. They are a multi purpose breed that is good at just about everything you throw at them. Carriage, Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, Show Jumping, Eventing, Cattle work, barrel racing etc. In my mind they are a really good breed to start out with, just like a QH.
Here are two pictures of the two types, the one with the saddle is an old-type: