What Does it Cost to Buy a Morgan Horse?
The Morgan is one of the oldest horse breeds developed in the United States, with the American Morgan Horse Association founded in 1909. Morgans are versatile horses, able to hold their own on the ranch, but elegant and refined in the English arena as well. If you’re interested in purchasing a Morgan, you must know whether the breed is within your budget.
How much does a Morgan horse cost? While you can find project horses for a lower purchase price, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $10,000 for a well-trained registered Morgan. For this price, you should be able to find a horse that is broke to ride and safe for a wide spectrum of riders. A horse of desired bloodlines or one that is an elite prospect for a particular discipline will, of course, cost a lot more.
Morgan horses are amazing horses that can make great mounts for kids, husbands, and avid horse riders. They are also relatively low maintenance and may be cheaper to care for than other horse breeds. To learn more about the cost of Morgans in 2023, where to find them, and more, keep reading!
The Average Cost Of A Morgan Horse
Morgans are not a rare breed by any means, but they are also not the most populous breed in the United States. Regardless of where you live in America, you should be able to find a horse of this breed, and the average price is reflected in that. In most cases, you can find a well-trained Morgan for under $10,000. As an example, I did a search for Morgans in my own local area and found the following to represent the average:
- 9-year-old well-trained mare used for trail riding; $8,000
- 11-year-old broke mare; $7,500
- 17-year-old broke gelding; $7,000
- 4-year-old gentle gelding; $7,000
This was the average for a broke-to-ride Morgan of good health. I also found several Morgans in the $3,000-$4,000 range that were either very young or older and needed a tune-up.
The price you end up paying for a Morgan will depend on what you are looking for. Are you looking for a project? If so, you can expect to find a horse that is under, or close to, the $5,000 mark. Are you looking for a safe trail horse? You may want to raise your budget to closer to $10,000. And finally, if you are looking for a horse that will shine in the dressage arena, you should expect to pay even more.
Finding A Morgan Horse For A Bargain
The fact that you should anticipate spending $7,000 – $10,000 on a well-trained Morgan does not mean that you are out of luck if that is outside of your budget. Depending on your criteria, you can likely find a Morgan for significantly less than the average.
Buying a young Morgan
I purchased my Morgan Percheron X for $1200 in 2023, and he was around ten months old at the time. You can usually buy a foal for much less than a trained adult horse, regardless of the breed. Foals require a significant amount of training and time before they can be “finished.” Horses should not be started under saddle until they are at least three years of age, depending on the breed, to allow for appropriate skeletal growth.
Buying a senior Morgan
Morgans are a generally hardy and long-lived breed, so purchasing a Morgan in his late teens or early 20s is still likely to give you plenty of time in the saddle and has the potential to save you quite a bit of money.
When I was growing up, the main lesson horse I rode was a 26-year-old Morgan, who had been a show horse at one time. That horse lived to be over 35 years old and was still lightly ridden at 30. If you’re looking for a Morgan, don’t disregard the older ones; there are plenty of senior gems out there!
Buying an unregistered Morgan
If you are not interested in competing in breed-specific shows or in breeding your horse, you should be able to save quite a bit of money by purchasing an unregistered or unpapered Morgan. A lack of papers does not equal a lack of quality!
Buying a “project” Morgan
Aside from a young age, there are several reasons that a Morgan may require training. You may find a Morgan for a steal of a purchase price if the horse has been sitting for a while, has been used exclusively as a driving (or riding, if you are looking for a driving horse), or otherwise needs finishing or a tune-up. While a project horse would not be suitable for every rider, if you are experienced in putting in some work to train your horse, you can save a significant amount of money this way.
Why Buy A Morgan Horse?
Morgans have something for everyone and are extremely versatile. They are generally good-natured and are well-known for their desire to please their humans. This makes them highly trainable and willing partners. They are naturally patient and gentle, making them lovely family horses or a good option for a beginning rider. They are known for their willingness to work and show this in their endurance and flexibility. Morgans can excel in almost any discipline, whether this be driving in teams, Western disciplines, or English competitions.
Morgans are not only athletic and easy-going, they are also quite beautiful. The average Morgan is between 14.2-15.2 hh and typically has the strength and ability of a taller horse. They can pull or haul a load that is heavier than a similarly-sized horse of another breed. They have large expressive eyes, smaller ears, and necks that are held high and gracefully, giving them a “proud” appearance.
Disciplines Morgans Excel In:
Morgans can excel in almost every discipline, making them one of the most versatile breeds in the world. This is due to their history and what was required of them during their development.
The History of the Morgan Horse
The Morgan was developed in New England in the late 1700s, almost unintentionally. A bay colt named Figure was given to a Vermont schoolteacher named Justin Morgan as a partial payment for a debt. Figure soon became widely known for his many impressive abilities, including his incredible strength when pulling stumps and clearing land and his speed, which allowed him to win races. As he was used as a sire, a new ability was discovered: it was found that Figure had an uncanny trait to pass on his physical traits to his offspring. Thus, Figure became the foundation sire for the Morgan that we know today.
Because of the many attributes of the Morgan, they were used for just about anything that required equine help during this time. Their strength led to their being used not only for clearing land but also for pulling stagecoaches in large cities. They were the preferred breed for stage lines in Chicago, for example.
Morgans were then transported to California, where they were found to excel in harness racing due to their speed. While in California, they were discovered to make excellent ranch horses, and they were used to work cattle.
Finally, Morgans were used widely during the Civil War as cavalry mounts and artillery horses due to their endurance, strength, and willingness to work. Morgan horses clearly bring the term “versatile” to a whole new level.
The Modern Morgan Horse
The range of the Morgan horse’s abilities did not die in the past. Morgans are still used for just about everything. The Morgan horse’s sound mind allows for a great trail horse; the breed is generally calm and does not spook easily. Their endurance, speed, and hard-working natures allow them to work on both the ranch and in Western disciplines like reining and cutting.
Their expressive gaits and flashy movements give them success in the dressage ring and sometimes even in saddle seat. Morgans are still widely used as carriage horses. Whether you are riding English or Western, whether you are a beginning rider or an advanced equestrian, whether you want to focus on driving or working in the saddle, you can find success with a Morgan.
Buying A Morgan Horse In 2023
Morgans did see a decline after their initial development and growth due to a desire for larger horses, but since interest in their original attributes was renewed in the late 1800s, the breed has thrived. While not a horse breed that you will find in every pasture, they are far from uncommon; it is estimated there are approximately 180,000 Morgans around the globe, with the highest concentration being in the United States, from where they originated. Other countries with large populations of Morgans include Great Britain, Sweden, and other European countries.
That said, while you may have to pay a little more than the minimum for a well-trained horse, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a healthy, willing, and versatile Morgan to be your next equine partner.
Want to learn the 2023 average purchase price of some of the most popular horse breeds in America? Check out these articles:
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- How Much Does a Quarter Horse Cost? 2023 Pricing Guide
- How Much Does a Mustang Horse Cost? 2023 Pricing Guide