Justin Morgan's bay horse, named Figure was
born in 1789. Figure's ability to outwalk, outtrot, outrun, and outpull
other horses was legendary. After Justin Morgan's death, Figure became
known by his former owner's name, the Justin Morgan horse. In the
1840's breeders in Vermont and western New Hampshire began efforts to
concentrate the Morgan lines. These horses were highly prized as
general-purpose horses capable of performing a wide variety of tasks.
The first Morgan Horse Register was published in 1894. Morgans have
always been noted for steady, comfortable gaits. Several sons of Justin
Morgan, including Sherman and Hawkins Horse have been said to
be gaited. Though it has only been reciently that some
breeders specialize in breeding for gaited Morgans.
Some breed estimates states that from 10 to 20% of Morgans
perform some sort of soft, intermediate gait. History shows
that there were many Morgans used in the Calvary mount
breeding program. A good percent of these were smooth
traveling, coveted singlefooters. General Stonewall Jackson's
favorite horse was a ground covering, smooth gaited Morgan. The Morgan
Horse has contributed to the formation of most American gaited breeds.
These include the Tennessee Walking Horse, the Missouri Fox Trotting
Horse, and the Racking Horse, among others. The foundation
sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed, Allen F-1, is the
great-grandson of the famous Morgan stallion, Black Hawk, who is
himself believed to be a Naragansett Pacer. Bloodlines that most
typically display gait include Jubilee King & Flyhawk.
The Morgan Single Footing Horse is a service organization of The
American Morgan Horse Association; the requirement for registry in this
association being that these are registered full blooded Morgan Horses
that are gaited. They may walk, trot, and canter, but, must also
readily perform their gait which may be a rack, running
fox trot or stepping pace.