LeDan Morgans/Southwest Scoot Boots
LeDan Morgans/Southwest Scoot Boots
The Morgan horse is known as America’s oldest surviving breed developed in America. The only breed developed in America before the Morgan was the Narragansett Pacer, which is now extinct but may have been part of the Morgan's development. The breed name Morgan comes from the man, Justin Morgan, that owned the horse that started it all, whose name was Figure. Figure was a tough little stallion in the New England area in the early 1800’s, who had a reputation for doing feats of strength and stamina that far exceeded what was expected by his size. He was also prepotent, meaning his offspring were stamped with his characteristics, and near perfect copies of him, a characteristic passed on down the line to his sons which gave rise to the consistency that started the breed.
Many people believe that the Arabian horse and thoroughbreds are in the original blood of the Morgan, but there is far more evidence that it is more the French-Canadian horse that is the base of the Morgan horse, which share many characteristics and were far more prolific in the part of the country where the Morgan originated.
Morgans are also known as America's most versatile breed. They have been driving, or carriage horses pulling a wide variety of wagons, and even artillery caissons for the military. They were also used as mounts for the cavalry units, and there were famous ones such as Stonewall Jackson’s horse in the Confederate Army, which he rode until he was killed by friendly fire. Letha and I have been to Fort Robinson, Nebraska several times which was a remount station for the U.S. Army, and where many Morgans were bred by the government for cavalry mounts. Fort Robinson is now a Nebraska state park rich with history and an outstanding place to ride on its 22,000 acres.
Another interesting and not as well-known aspect of the Morgan horse is their prominent place in the development of gaited horse breeds in America. Morgans have gaited from the beginning and are part of the foundation of several gaited breeds in the United States, including the Tennessee Walking Horses and Missouri Foxtroters, with Morgans in their foundations. Today it is estimated that about 10% of Morgans are gaited to some degree and they are becoming more popular as the demand for the smooth ride of a gaited horses is being re-discovered in the already exceptional Morgan horse. Registered Morgan mares were also in the foundation of the development of Quarter Horses such as at the famous Selman Quarter Horse Ranch in Texas. This was studied and documented in his book by David Ladd who visited the ranch and visited the family. He heard the story from them of a train load of registered Morgan mares who left New England for the Selman Ranch and arrived there as registered Quarter Horses.
Morgans are also known for their good minds and have better than the average intelligence among horse breeds. They have the stamina that rivals the Arabian horse in endurance circles and have been very competitive in endurance races. Some ranchers we know personally use Morgans in lieu of quarter horses to work cattle, and they are competitive as reining horses too. They are being used as dressage horses and sport horses as well. The Morgan horse Is being imported in significant numbers to European countries such as Sweden, to Australia, and even to Arabian countries such as Dubai. All in all, the Morgan horse is a special horse that does many things well and is without question one of the most versatile horses in the world. If you haven’t seen or ridden a Morgan, you’ve been missing out!
(Note: The horse in the pictures of this blue section above and to the right is Missouri's Silver Rhythm; our former stallion here at LeDan Morgans. The picture at the top is of me riding him in his and my first ever, and only, show. He won all four classes I entered him in, and Reserve Champion of the whole show! The picture on the right is of Rhythm in his corral at a Caballos Del Sol Trail RIde by a photographer unbeknownst to us at the ride and later sent to us.)
At LeDan Morgans our mission is to take every opportunity to promote the Morgan horse, and gaited Morgans in particular, to equine enthusiasts via our membership of numerous trail riding clubs and equine associations to help preserve and expand the awareness of this wonderful breed.
This is Dan on Jondalar , his lightly gaited Morgan colt we bred out of Ayla by our former stallion Rhythm . Dan and Jondalar are very bonded and is Dan's heart horse and now pretty much Pearl's equal on the trail. He's got his dam Ayla's looks too!
We bred gaited Morgans for several years as a business but now mostly just ride them along with one quarter horse, and a mini learning to drive. The above is Pearl, our one remaining gaited Morgan mare, currently in foal and one of Dan's rides. Now that we're both retired , trail riding is our passion and what we do as often as we can!
This is Letha on Ayla, a Morgan mare now owned by a friend in California. This picture was taken on our 2011 Monument Valley ride and was on the 2013 American Morgan Horse Association breed calendar. Letha has Cimarron, one of our gaited Morgan colts we bred, in training, and our one quarter horse, Stormy a former Reiner and Ranch Versatility horse as her rides.
Letha grew up on a farm in Kansas and had horse experience from an early age. As an adult while raising her kids in Arizona she studied natural horsemanship for years and attended numerous clinics by the top clinicians on the subject. Once the kids were on their own, she decided it was time to get back into horses and started with an abused quarter horse which she soon turned around and made into a viable riding horse. She discovered after a while though that quarter horses didn't have as much go and energy as she did (no surprise if you know Letha) and she gave a Morgan a try. There was no turning back from that point and she became a dedicated Morgan fan. After a acquiring her second Morgan, who came with her feet in horrible condition, she learned about the benefits of barefoot trims and has become an equally dedicated barefoot practitioner and has attended clinics to increase her knowledge on the subject. Equine nutrition is another passion of Letha's and she spares no effort in making our horses' diet as nutritionally healthy as she can.
A native Arizonan, my experience had been quarter horses and one Arab in the mix prior to meeting my bride Letha. She quickly converted me to Morgans and I haven't regretted it; these horses are so much more a combination of beauty, brains and stamina than anything I have ever experienced before. Though I had a lot of riding experience with my brother and friends hunting and trail riding in the back country in all sorts of terrain and was very confident on a horse, I had never really educated myself on the finer points of horsemanship; in short, I was a good passenger, but not really a horseman. Letha inspired and helped me go about changing that and I have learned so much more about all facets of horsemanship both in the saddle, in training, breeding, hoof care, general horse care and nutrition via numerous clinics, the University of Arizona Equine Sciences Center, and other assorted horse training media. I think I can now qualify as a horseman. This picture is of Rhythm and I in Monument Valley in 2016
We have built a small Morgan farm in the high desert east of Tucson in Mescal Arizona with the goal of producing quality Morgans with the diverse talents they possess. After several years of breeding and producing several quality colts, we have now decided to stop breeding, retired, and focus on trail riding our wonderful gaited Morgan horses and exposing them to the equine community in Arizona and beyond. Trail riding is our primary personal interest and our horses have ridden all over the state and longer trips beyond. We have also participated in cattle drives on local ranches, and Letha is getting into driving as well at some point, as these wonderful Morgan horses do it all well.
We are always happy to share our knowledge on the Morgan horse and welcome any inquiries or opportunity to help people get to know this wonderful breed. Feel free to give us a call anytime for information or to make plans to drop by if you're in the area.
Letha on Ayla in Monument Valley in 2011, in the calendar for August, 2013.
Bottom half of calendar from left.
Rhythm & Dan featured in back of 2016 calendar.
Same picture used in The Morgan Horse magazine March 2013 issue as a full page ad for the Morgan Pathways Program, and as a half page add in the April issue of Trail Rider magazine.
This picture of of Dan and Spirit in Texas Canyon was used as a full page ad in the September 2013 issue of The Morgan Horse magazine; don't know if it was also a half page ad in Trail Rider like Letha and Ayla's.
Hoof boots designed by a master farrier that fit a larger fitting range, no cables or Velcro, easy on easy off, secure fit, low profile, lightweight, and excellent drainage.
See more detailed information about Scoot Boots on the Scoot Boot pages of this web site including products, pricing, How -To videos, Frequently Asked Questions, boot sizing, and catalogue.