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The Western Working Morgan Horse
America's First Native-Bred ‘Blooded’ Stockhorse. When Western expansion got underway in earnest, those that came West very often had a Morgan under their saddle or in harness. The Morgan brought the cavalry out West to pave the way for 'civilized' society to follow. And so they came...Settlers, Cowboys and everyone in between. The birth of the Old West had it's mascot in the Morgan Horse who was already an experienced veteran in helping America carve out it's future.
As the settlers migrated westward, they brought Morgans with them for the hard work that lay ahead ‘out West’. Many more were "imported" from their native stomping ground in New England. Thus the Morgan horse became firmly established as man's servant on the Western frontier. The hardy Morgans were used on Stagecoach lines and as tough Pony express mounts. The Morgan had gone from pushing back enemy lines in the Civil War for the Union, to pushing cattle from Montana to Texas...from Kansas to California and on up through the Pacific Northwest. The Morgan Horse slipped easily into the role of becoming the Cadillac of Cowhorses.
Ranchers realized this and bred and fine-tuned what we now call the Western Working Family within the breed. Men like Richard Sellman in Texas, Roland Hill in California, Elmer Brown in Kansas, Ab Cross in Wyoming, the Jackson family in Montana, the LU Ranch in Wyoming...they all deserve credit for contributing to the foundation of this distinct family within our breed. The list of ranchers throughout the West who used and bred Morgans for stock work would be as long as your arm. Purebred Morgans and Morgan cross-breds of every kind were the norm not the exception.
The WWF began as a collection of horses that were carefully selected to excel as Stockhorses that would thrive in a tough lifestyle and oft-times harsh environment. It was a line of work that he would not only have to survive in but work in. He saw daily work in an era when the only kind of work was hard work and in every from of inclement weather that 4 seasons threw at him. Day after day and year after year. It was a life that knew nothing of pampering. What these Ranch Breeders didn’t cull in there herd, hardship did. The life these horses led required a 'hard - as - nails' athlete that held up, had a mind for it and he had to have alot of heart. The Morgan had never been one to shrink back from work...it has always been a family tradition. He was well known as a horse that could stand up to hard use and lean into a challenge with gusto. The Morgan horse is indeed a marvel, being able to endure grueling work and look like fine sculpture doing it. The Morgans that were chosen as founders of this special family~ the WWF~ went on about their work and in so doing, the Western Working Morgan’s history spans the American Old West in it's entirety.
Many a Morgan continued to do the work that remained in the West long after the wilder days of the Old West had passed - unto the present time. The WWF Morgan also gave his genes very generously to a new kind of Stockhorse that was emerging and evolving in the West...the Quarter Horse. Untold numbers of the WWF Morgan were quietly absorbed into the founding of the Quarter Horse breed. More and more of those horses are now known and documented. Much of what made the early Quarter Horse a successful venture can be openly credited to the Morgan Horse.
The Western Working Morgan of today remains just as he was...a source of bone, brains, brawn and beauty. He is the classic Western horse of the American West. But, he’s no longer limited to looking at the south end of a north bound cow. Today, he is just as likely to be found as a meticulously groomed and highly trained Sporthorse ranking at the Top in Open competition among the best of other Breeds that are fine-tuned for those disciplines. He also remains thee shining star in the Driving World – having never lost Owning that title. Of course this comes as no surprise since the Morgan was ‘King Of The Road’ before he was King of the Cowpunchers. Driving, for the Morgan, is his native tongue. He will deftly pull a calf to the branding fire but he was first appreciated pulling every known horse-drawn vehicle and farm implement invented by man. He is often the stylish horse you see in so many of the famous Currier & Ives prints of the 1800s.
The WWF Morgan of today is sought after as an all-around Pleasure and Trail mount by people from every walk of life. He’s an ideal "western pleasure" horse as it was originally defined...a pleasure to have under your saddle while you enjoy the great outdoors on a steady mount. He thrives on the challenge of competitive trail rides – like a duck in water. This same Morgan also retains the "look at me" pizazz that spells charismatic magic in the Show Ring. He and his kin are no stranger to rosette ribbons and trophies. He can turn it on with the best of 'em! Then, last but certainly not least, these Morgans still earn their oats doing what they were bred for, helping the Rancher scratch out a living on the Range. The WWF Morgan has remained true to himself, his working heritage and the original concept and visual image of the Morgan horse. Wherever you find him today...he is doing what he has always done...pleasing, serving, working and cheerfully taking his Master to wherever he is asked. Few breeds can answer the question "Where would you like to go?" with "Wherever you want !!". The WWF Morgan can, has and continues this tradition and trademark of his breed. As a family within the breed, they’ve never lost their place in living up to the breed’s legendary virtue of being working work of art ~ Walking The Talk ~ that’s the WWF .
Written by Shery Jespersen
This article may not be reproduced without permission from the 2WF Club.
For more information about the Western Working Family Morgan, please contact the 2WF Club at (970)669-3822 or visit our website at: http://www.2wfmorganclub.com/ or Email MLMORGANS@aol.com
RED ROCK ARABIANS REPRODUCED THIS WITH PERMISSION FROM SHERY JESPERSON. WE MIGHT ADD, THIS IS THE REALLY NICE LADY WHO BRED OUR TWO WWF MORGAN STALLIONS. SHERY REALLY IS THE GENUINE ARTICLE AND WE ARE PROUD TO COUNT HER AMONG OUR FRIENDS. WE DID NOT KNOW HER UNTIL WE INQUIRED ABOUT THE PURCHASE, BUT, SHE IS A GOOD PERSON.