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A breeding program, even one as modest in size such as ours, should have clear goals. Our goals are to produce registered Morgans that are versatile sport horses, have traditional Morgan type with correct conformation, and have amateur friendly temperaments and trainability. We hope to reach these goals through thoughtful attention to the phenotype, pedigree and performance records of the horses we select for breeding.

Phenotype

Justin MorganWe believe that traditional Morgan type is fully compatible with our goal of producing versatile sport horses. Justin Morgan, the original Morgan horse, was valued for his ability do any task asked of him and do it well. Later, he was recognized for being the source of a line of horses that offered a unique combination of stamina, speed, strength, hardiness, tractability and beauty. We want to produce Morgans such as these. One does not have to breed Morgans that look or move or act like any other breed to get an athletic and versatile sport horse that is a joy to ride and own.

When evaluating horses for this purpose, we pay particular attention to the following qualities:

  • Three correct and expressive gaits. Although an elastic trot with suspension is important, we place even greater emphasis on the quality of the canter and walk, because these gaits are less amenable than the trot to improvement through training. Accordingly, we want to see our foals prefer to canter and gallop rather than trot, and we especially like to see foals offering clean lead changes.
  • Horses with strong loin couplings and that naturally use their backs and work off powerful hindquarters in an athletic way. When a horse runs up to a gate, we want to see it stop with its hocks well under and hits back up, and light in the front.
  • Finally, we want horses that have a confident, friendly and willing nature. They need to be easy and safe to handle by all members of our familyyoung and old. When our horses are ready for training, we want to be able to start them ourselves, rather than have to depend on the services of a professional trainer. Overall, we want to produce horses that are fun! Not only fun to ride, but fun to watch and live with on a day-to-day basis. 

Pedigree

Our breeding programs is largely based on Brunk, Red Correll and Government Remount lines. Significant sources of our Brunk breeding include Flyhawk, Squire Burger, and the mare Sentola. Red Correll breeding comes through a number of sources, but the most prominent is Blackwood Correll.

Most of our breeding goes back to lines developed on ranches of the Great Plains and Mountain West, and by Morgan breeding programs that were carried out on a number of American Indian reservations. The ranch and reservation breeding programs selected for versatile athleticism, durability and work-ethic. It is not surprising that many outstanding sport Morgans have come from these so-called "Working Western" lines.

Performance

Because our goal is to produce versatile sport horses, we look for a strong performance record when selecting breeding stock. We use stallions that have proven themselves in demanding sport competitions to included upper levels of dressage, reining and eventing. Likewise, our broodmares are either sired by such stallions or are closely related to horses that have excelled in these disciplines. Noted equine authority, Dr. Deb Bennett, lists these among the types of equine competitions that are more valuable in assessing horse-like athletic capability, because they require diverse equine skills. Unless a meaningful performance record is a central part of selection, a breeding program can drift into producing horses that may look like sport horses and have impressive pedigrees, but lack athleticism and trainability.

We campaign our horses, including our stallion Black Harris, in open dressage and aspire to produce horses that have the talent to move up the levels to FEI. Dressage is not the be-all and end-all of equine sports, but we focus on this discipline for two reasons. First, we do so simply because it is the equine sport we most enjoy. Second, and of greater relevance to our breeding program, we believe the ability to compete successfully at the upper levels of dressage is an excellent indicator of a horse's overall athletic ability and trainability. It requires quality at all three gaits, not just the trot. It demands a hindquarter that can generate a powerful push, but also can carry a horse's weight in highly collected movements such as canter pirouettes, passage and piaffe. Lateral work requires flexibility and agility. Dressage training, especially at the upper levels of FEI, tests a horse's willingness to work and ability to learn. Furthermore, reaching the upper levels of dressage is a long-term, physically demanding process that tells a lot about the fundamental soundness of a horse. Overall, we believe that if given the opportunity, a Morgan having the ability and temperament to successfully reach the FEI levels can probably excel at a wide range of equine sports.

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