It took fourteen long years but we finally found the exact location that Justin Morgan had settled at when he and his family came to Randolph Vermont. The search required us to come in contact with many people who thought that they had know the location. These different locations had to be dis proven in order for us to confirm the spot we thought was the location and the successes and the failure of trying to confirm these location became and emotional journey.
When you read hundreds of documents at libraries, on micro film, on the internet, at historical museums, and in town clerks offices, you get so that you almost know these people. You understand their way of life and why they did what they did. It was a very different world two hundred and thirty two years ago. It was a simple life but harsh. You worked to provide for yourself in harsh elements or you didn’t survive. Yet if you were down and out, neighbors would step in to help.
I could talk for hours about Justin Morgan, Judge Frederick Griswold, Joseph Griswold, Henry Walbridge, the Carpenter family and the Edgertons to name just a few of those who were involved with Morgan in his lifetime. Then there were the people who I have the pleasure to meet in doing my search, like Mr. Fish, Mim Herwig, Eaton Snow, Neil Rinehart, Robert Brinck, the Paranormal group and Brian Garvey to name just a few.
The story is an interesting one and you can read about it in my new book named “Justin Morgan And The Morgan Horse, Living On The Town Line”. You can purchase the book at www.justinmorgan1.com
The will be an unveiling of a Vermont Historical Marker at his home site location on August 29th, 2020 and you can read more about it at www.morganhomesite.com
Stay Safe and if you have any question, please email me at email@example.com
We are a small breeding facility located on the eastern side of the state of Vermont about twenty miles from the Vermont New Hampshire border. We consider ourselves to be a little different than other farms who collect stallions because we allow the owner or handler to handle their own stallion and become involved if they wish.
We have found that stallions collect better when the person they know, respect and love handles them. Stallions do have feelings and when you bring a stallion to a strange farm, handled by someone who he does not know, you may get a poor performance from him. It also allows us to be able to watch the stallion and evaluate his performance better because we can concentrate more on getting a good collection from him rather than on handling him.
Last summer we had a person contact us who had a stallion that was brought to another farm to be trained to the phantom and after several attempts at collecting him, could only get pre ejaculates. It was assumed that the stallion was not collectable. We agreed that we would try to collect him and the following weekend the owner and stallion came to our farm. The stallion was turned out in the paddock and we spent time with the owner on how to tease the stallion and approach the phantom so that the stallion would mount correctly. After several failed attempts of getting a good collection we noticed that the stallion was a little shy and that he was unusually large at the head and long in the shaft. We loosened the last buckle on the jacket of the AV which allowed the stallion to flare comfortably at the head and penetrate deeper. BINGO! We not only got a good collection but he also had many swimmers. We continued to collect this stallion and have shipped him all over the Country and to Canada with wonderful success. This year we started collecting him with no jump mare at all. We tease him in the barn, walk him out to the phantom and collect him. By the time the owner walks him around a little and loads him on the trailer, we have semen extended and off the owner goes to ship the container. It takes us as little as thirty minutes to collect this stallion now and as soon as he gets off the trailer he knows what is job is and he tends to business.
So you might be saying to yourself, what’s the point? The point is that animals are not just a possession or object. Some people think that animals have no feelings but that way of thinking is old and antiquated. Stallions are treated like they are crazy and out of their minds when around a mare and in some cases a stallion may be just that, “crazy” but those stallion should not be left a stallion. For the most part stallions lead a life of seclusion not able to be turned out with the rest of the horses but they are loving, sensitive creatures who will give you signs or signals of their needs through body language.
Yes, we are a little different in how we collect stallions. It takes a little more time and commitment from the owner/handler but we have found that it makes for a nicer collection experience for the stallion and saves the owner money by not having to board the stallion at my farm while being trained or collected.
It seems that horse people like to put other horse people in a certain class. For example people may associate Denny Emerson as a Warmblood person and knowing Denny he does indeed love a good Warmblood however he loves and owns a Morgan Horse as well. The same goes for myself. Many people consider me to be a Lippitt Morgan person but my Morgan stallion, Denlores Desert Storm is not a Lippitt Morgan. I have owned Lippitt horses and I have supported the Lippitt Morgan but the fact of the matter is that I just love a good horse! I love to watch a wonderful dressage horse yet I can get excited watching a nice Saddlebred racking down the rail. We collect all breeds of stallions at our farm from Morgans to Icelandics and they all have their good points as well as bad.
If I was a rich person I would own some of all the breeds including a nice Frisian but I’m not, so my preference is to raise Morgan Horses.
The thing that made me select the Morgan Horse is that you can do anything with a Morgan. From Saddle seat, hunt seat, western, cutting and reining, dressage or carriage, Morgans can do it all. It’s the complete package that I fell in love with. Besides versatile, the Morgan Horse is pretty, loving, great with children and it has a deep American history that goes back two hundred and thirty years.
So would you consider me a Morgan person? No, I am a horse person and that’s the way we all need to think and treat anyone and everyone who is in the equine industry. This separation between breeds or disciplines has to come to a stop and we need to all come together and support everything. Fifteen years ago the equine industry was flourishing because the economy was great. Gas was low and people had extra money but today many people have drifted away from horses because they cannot afford horse ownership. To add to the problem people have become lazy. Most people today, especially young people would rather play video games or text on their cell phone than ride a horse. I mean horses are work. They must be fed and their stalls need to be cleaned not to mention grooming or other things that go along with horse ownership. If you plan on competing with your horse you now must become dedicated to working your horse just as any athlete must work. It takes time, it takes commitment where as video games take none of that and is actually fun as well.
This all means that there are fewer of us supporting the equine industry and those who are still into horses are the people who are really into horses. This is why we all need to stick together and support one another. God bless the horse.
I really love to show a nice Morgan Horse in harness but the thing I really love is to show a nice Morgan Horse in hand. There is a skill to showing a Morgan in hand and nothing frustrates me more than watching an in hand class and see a nice Morgan get placed back in the ribbons when it should have taken a blue instead. It’s not because of the judge but it’s because of the handler and how the horse was presented. For some reason people think that all you have to do is walk your horse to the judge and trot off down the rail. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes a skill that not everyone has in order to show a horse in hand and a person who has that skill will take a horse and get it pinned with the best ribbon possible.
I have shown horses like Half Lippitt Royalton Supreme Aire, Full Lippitts Rohan Deor, Weathermont Ethan and others as well as my own stallion Denlores Desert Storm. Storm took in hand championships at many A rated shows, presented at presented at Equine Affaire and then was sponsored by Nutrena for four years in which he took year end championships on the VHSA circuit for stallion in hand, open in hand and he has never been defeated in the Justin Morgan Standard class anywhere. The horses I have shown were nice horses no doubt but they were shown at nothing but their best.
First of all if your showing in hand someone else should be getting your horse ready. My wife Laura puts the final touches on Storm while I go out and watch the judge. Every judge is different in what they will allow and what they like. Some judges will let a horse skip a beat going down the rail or forgive a horse if he acts up a bit. Other judges like to see a horse stretched a bit and others want a horse to stand square. I am not talking about sport horse in hand class I am talking about a stallion or mare in hand class here so you’re going to want your Morgan with his head up and alive looking. I see people all the time trot their Morgan down the rail dragging the head down to the ground. Lift your arm up and bring the curb bit in so that you get your horses head up and slightly in so he looks arched or well-rounded and not all strung out. You may want to practice this at home so that you get his head set just right. At home is the time to train your horse, not in the show ring. A judge likes to see a Morgan bright and excited but yet controlled. I usually work my horse at home and teach my horses the kiss method. When I kiss I want my horse to move so that as I am going down the rail and I want my horse up more in the bridle I will kiss to him which tells him to give me a little more gas pedal. I may also have someone use a small plastic shopping type of bag behind him when I kiss so that he gets the idea that when I kiss I want him up more in the bridle. Desert Storm is such a well-trained stallion that anyone can walk him anywhere however the minute I take him and kiss a little he knows it’s show time. When I show a horse that is not mine and I did not train, I will always talk to it. I may grumble or kiss to it but I will look for something that will excite that horse in order to make it look brilliant. I might use a candy wrapper or clicker but I’ll use something that will excite that horse. I test him a little using these things to find that out before I go into the ring.
When you trot down the rail you will line up head to tail and the judge will ask each person to walk their horse to him/her. Walk your horse right to the judge. Don’t stray to the left or to the right because the judge wants to see your horse walk from the front. I see so many people pay no attention as to where they are walking. Stop your horse and show him in the direction that the judge requests and stretch him a little and make him stand. If the judge wants your horse square they will tell you to square your horse up. Please do your homework and teach your horse to stand when you are at home. There is nothing more aggravating to a judge than when they have to run in circles because a horse has not been taught to stand.
Make sure your horses head is up and the curb bit flexed in a bit to give the horse that well rounded look. Scratch his neck and talk to him nice and calm so he knows that what he is doing is correct and what you’re looking for. The judge will ask you to walk to the rail and trot down. Again walk directly away from the judge turn left and trot your horse down the rail just like you did when you came in the in gate. Go back to the lineup with your horse.
You always want to be showing your horse. While the judge is looking at other horses you will want to have your horse stretched and looking brilliant just as if your showing to the judge. Many times while judging the horse in front of them a judge may look up briefly or without notice because he may be comparing your horse to the one he is judging. Always show your horse and never stop until the judges card is handed in.
Here are a few tips. Know the conformation faults the horse that you are showing has before you show him. You can set your horse up so that they may not be so evident to the judge. A horse may have a leg that does not place right when over stretched so if that’s the case just don’t stretch the horse so far that it shows that fault. Always know how you want your horse to stand in order for him to look his best. If you see a spot on the ground that goes up slightly you will want your horse so that he is facing on the up slant if you can. Most judges will let you reposition your horse as long as you can do it reasonably fast so you don’t hold them up. Learn little tricks that may mean the difference between a blue ribbon and a red ribbon. Many times the difference between horses will be small that the little difference you make could help you take a championship ribbon. Let me give you one last example. I was showing Desert Storm in a stallion class and we had been to a show the day before so between the showing and the traveling he was not as brilliant as I wanted him to be. So I had kissed to him and got him to show fairly well in front of the judge but I wanted a great final impression so in the final line up as the judge was walking down the line one last time, I turned Storm around so he was facing the stallion that was behind him. I then took one step toward that stallion which made Storm look really excited and brilliant. The judge did make us turn back around and face in the same direction like all the other horses but that brilliant moment was enough to take a blue ribbon.
Remember, I’m not saying that you can take a horse with poor conformation and make it a winner but the person handling a horse can make a difference in an in hand class when the judge is trying to decide between two very close horses and that could mean the difference that makes your horse win the blue ribbon.