The old style Morgan is my favorite breed…here are a few photos taken long ago by Tamarack Hill Farm.

As most of you know, I raised and showed Morgan horses for many years.  One of those Morgans was Mama Tess.  She had 6 babies.  Two of those babies are Gwen and Wrigley.  Those are the only Morgans I have left.  I wish I had a riding Morgan.  I’d love to have another Aladdin someday very soon.

For those of you who don’t know the history of the Morgan, it is the first American Breed.  Many early Morgans were used for the cavlary, which is why foundation Morgan sires will have a prefix of “General” or “Colonel”.

These old style Morgans are usually mixed with Lippett blood.  Lippet thorses are Morgan horses known for their hearty and stout build.  Foundation or ‘old style’ Morgans usually have government bred or Lippett breeding or both.

As times went onward, the stout breeding was mixed with Saddlebreds (under the table) to create a more sleek body and hingey neck.  That style became popular and most of the ‘new’ Morgans look this way.  Mama Tess was a new Morgan (her official name:  HVK Noble Heiress).  Her sire was a mix of old and new (Noble Flaire) but her mother was questionable – Saddlebred mix.  Although the books would never admit the Saddlebred in the woodpile, it was there.

Gwen’s sire was a pure Government bred stud (General Crook).  So she is a mix of new and old.

That’s a very short history and explanation.  There is much, much more.

This is a great example of an old style Morgan. I really wish I knew which horse this was… anyone?

Another great example. I don’t know who this is, either. Anyone? Someone thought ‘Paramount’s Ambassador’.


Anyway, for you Morgan lovers, this little bit of personal photo history from Tamarack Hill Farms, should delight you.  The owner’s name is Denny Emerson who is now into 3 Day eventing.  But when he was young, he loved the Morgans.

Tamarack Hill Farm
January 17 at 5:08 AM  ·
About 60 years ago, while I was at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, NH, I was already a horse photographer, not in the brilliant way that people like Ashley Neuhof are, but as someone with a cheap camera who liked horses.
These were Morgan brood mares at Harriet Hilts’s High Pastures Farm out past Billings Farm in Woodstock, Vermont.
You’ll see a couple of Lippitt Ramona. I probably took these because a year or so earlier, I’d ridden one of her daughters, Lippitt Rebecca, on the GMHA 100 mile trail ride for Mr Knight, breeder of all the Lippitt Morgans.
Justine Morgan was another here, notable because the breeder Dana Kelley named his farm after her, the “Justine Morgan Horse Farm,” home of the Royalton line of Morgans.

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3 comments have been posted...

  1. Nancy J Miller

    I was lucky enough to have an old style body type Morgan Horse . My Morgan was very special at 1,500 pounds and his neck was as thick as his hips were wide, he was so intelligent and intimidating to most. My Morgan was registered and built like a tank. I do not think these refined Morgan Horses resemble the original.

  2. Rox

    The infusion of Saddlebred lines happened in the Arabianbreed as well before the advent of DNA testing. There was one or two (now fully disgraced) breeders/trainers in this country who were actvely doing that. I remember one Arabian breeder saying in disgust, for heaven’s sake if people WANT a Saddlebred they need to just go BUY a Saddlebred. Full disclosure: I am a lifelong fan of the American Saddlebred, have been fortunate to have had three over a lifetime including one who lived to age 37 (talented dressage horse in his day), but am absolutely and adamantly outspoken against the abusive practices seen in the showhorse barns, including certain training practices as well as long feet, weighted shoes, tailsets, etc. I don’t know what it is about Americans, who care less about preserving the heritage of established breeds known for their usefulness and great temperaments and trainability than about flash for cash.

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