Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Encounter With Morgan Horses

This past week I headed to the east coast for a business trip which curtailed my riding lesson for the week. Happily, it turned out that my friend (and owner of the barn where I board my horses in northern Michigan) was going to be in the same area to visit her show horse in training. I extended my stay a day so I could see her Morgan horse.

The Morgan show world is something completely different than anything I've been to before. To put it in layman's terms, the horses I'm experienced with are the "jocks" of the equine world. They excel on the track, in team sports, and in field competitions (think racing, polo, and eventing). The Morgan horse, in my view, would be an equivalent to, say, an irish dancer. Beautiful and graceful to the eye accomplished by incredible athletic ability. They make it look effortless when they raise their legs up so high and the cadence of their steps along with a still upper body.

So off I went to visit Boardmoor which is owned and operated by Mike Goebig and Dwayne Knowles. They have a beautiful facility set on top of a hill in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. The weather was iffy and gloomy which presented a challenge for my camera when shooting indoors with poor lighting.


Above is a photo of the stallion Astronomicallee. He had an injury as a yearling and never made it to the show ring. However, he has sired many successful horses such as Get Busy who seems to have a sense of humor and chose to do the "down dog" yoga position rather than going into the desired park position:

equine yoga
Get Busy

The Broadmoor has had great success with many of their horses. Here is a short video of the 2006 World Championships with Mike Goebig riding the stallion Stand And Deliver:

Needless to say, it was an honor to visit and meet these movers and shakers (human and equine) in the Morgan show world.

A riding clinic was being conducted which is another reason why my friend came out. She referred to it as riding "boot camp" and seemed to have an endless supply of ibuprofen for the weekend. The owners of many of the horses were there for "boot camp" and were put through the paces to improve their riding for the upcoming show season. Some seemed to have an easier time of it...

happy horse happy girl

than others...

hanging on

But most importantly everyone had fun! Including my friend on her horse MSV Genuine Risk:

MSV Genuine Risk and stacey

I won't even attempt to explain anything about what they were working on except to say that much of what I'm learning in dressage is similar in saddle seat riding. Good basics are good basics for most disciplines!

Here is a short video clip of my friend riding her young horse for the first time in a double bridle! Kudos to her for a nice job:

And finally, I want to say that I have discovered where carousel horses came from - the Morgan Show World! I hope I get to visit again soon.

carousel horse


  1. Your friend's horse has the same name as one of my favorite filles! :)
    And all I know about Morgans is "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" LOL so thanks for the info!

  2. Me again; of course I had to stay and look around a little more. Just had to tell you that the horse before my current partner was a Morgan gelding. Bought him as a yearling from his breeder, and trained and showed him successfully through Prix St. George before he moved to Texas. So Morgans - some of them - can excel at dressage, too, not just saddle seat!