Are Morgan Horses Gaited-Facts Revealed

Morgan's horse breed originated in the United States in the year 1789. Morgans are one of the earliest horse breeds and the second all-American breed. A beautiful crested neck, expressive eyes, and small ears are qualities that set the Morgan horse breed apart. The most heard questions come from Morgan horse breeders and keepers- Are morgan horses gaited?

Not all morgans, but some of them are gaited. The 19th-century horse breeders bred Morgan horses with unintentional gaits other than the walk, trot, and canter.

Are Morgan Horses Gaited?

Although there are a few Morgans in the breed, overall, the Morgan is not a gaited breed. The 1800s saw a great demand for trotting and pacing Morgans because of their utility as harness horses. There are still a few Morgans that can pace, rack, fox-trot, or do other lateral gaits. There are currently no dominating families or lineages that produce Morgans that can gait.

Some Morgan horses, along with walk, canter, and trot, can perform one or more other ambling gaits, which may include lateral and diagonal gaits. Morgan horses come from Morgan, Saddlebred, Thoroughbred, and Standardbred ancestry. Some are gaited, and some are not. It is not wrong to say that breeders of the 19th century accidentally created some of the gaited Morgan horses that are currently in use.

Morgan horses do inherit their "Gait" from their earlier generations, as shown by the SynchroGait Gene A study and DNA tests.

UC Davis analyzed random samples of the Morgan breed. He concluded 20% of the samples were positive for the gait gene. The gait gene is recessive, hence is less common among the Morgan breed of horses.

What Are Morgan Horses Best Used for?

Morgan horses have great conformation and strength, together with intelligence and kindness. They have sturdy legs and heavily muscled bodies. These features enhance the style and elegance. Bay, black, and chestnut are the most popular colors for Morgans.

1. Morgans are easy to keep

Morgans, being a robust breed, can survive for long on grass and hay. Even when they’re subjected to work, they rarely require supplements and additional nutrition.

2. Versatile nature of morgans

In the 1800s, Justin Morgan, the forefather of the present Morgan breed, worked in David Goss farms. They also used Justin for breeding in the other quarter of the year.

3. Morgans for draft purposes

In earlier times, Morgans were the desired breed for public transportation and private riding in the United States. With the development of technology, the use of carriage horses diminished.

4. Harness racing with the Morgans

Morgan Stallion was king of harness racing in the early 1800s. It would amaze you to know that one Morgan stallion, Shepherd F. Knapp, stood out. Because of his exceptional trotting speed, they bred many English mares in England for Shepherd F. Knapp.

5. Morgans are good for beginner riders

The most desirable trait in the Morgan breed is their temperament. Morgan horses are social, loving, and kind companions to riders. Morgans are gentle for beginner lesions to new riders.


Q 1. What is Morgan Horse best known for?

Ans- Morgans are exceptional in calm temperament, athletic ability, and versatility. The breed's calm and friendly nature makes them suitable as family horses. While their athletic ability allows them to compete in a variety of equine activities.

Q 2. What types of gaits do Morgan hoses have?

Ans- Not all the morgans are gaited, which implies have specific gaits other than the natural gaits of horses. Some Morgan horses, along with walk, canter, and trot, can perform one or more other ambling gaits, which may include lateral and diagonal gaits.

Q 3. What are the advantages of Morgan horses?

Ans-The Morgans served as draught animals and means of public transport in the past. Most people take part in several sports competitions with their Morgan horses because of their athletic ability.

Q 4. Are all Morgans gaited?

Ans- No. Only some members, nearly 10-20% of Morgans, possess the gait gene because the gait gene is recessive. Some Morgan horses, along with walk, canter, and trot, can perform one or more other ambling gaits.

Conclusion :

The Morgan horse breed is mysterious in the world where most horse breeds have well-known genetics. The history of Morgans date back to the late 1700s.

Morgans are versatile and are a multi-purpose breed. While they’re one of the most sought-after breeds, their gaited nature remains a question of debate. Scientific study findings prove that most Morgan horses are not gaited. Only some who gain the gait gene (recessive gene) are gaited.

Hence, you may find a Morgan that can perform a pace, trot, rack, or other lateral gait type.


Dr Akanksha Agnihotri is another animal lover like you cum veterinarian by profession. She has earned her B.V.Sc & AH from COVS & AH, Jabalpur, India. She has a knack for befriending animals/pets and treating them compassionately. She believes...