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Equine Info Exchange Moriesian Horse Breed

Moriesians: A combination of Friesians (from the dark ages of Europe) and Morgans (from Colonial America).

The Moriesian Horse is the result of a breeding program initiated in the United States to produce horses that combine the elegance and charisma of the Friesian with the versatility of the Morgan. They display an up-headed stature, expressive face, compact body and long thick mane and tail. Their slope of shoulder and movement tends to be more Friesian-like which gives them a regal appearance. Their average size of 15.0 to 16.0 hands makes them comfortable for most riders.

Lighter boned than a Friesian, Moriesians have more of the qualities sought after in a sport horse. The balance and symmetry of this animal is truly art in motion. They make natural show animals that are magnificent to watch, ride and drive. Many have shown themselves to excel in combined driving competitions and have proven apt competitors in classical dressage.

Moriesians are adaptable and eager to perform. Coming from two breeds known for their heart, mild manners, and friendly dispositions Moriesians make wonderful family horses. The breed is honest and willing to please. Its versatility brings lasting value to the owner.

The Friesian horse reportedly dates back 3000 years though the horse we know today was developed in the twelfth century in northern Europe. Friesians were ridden by the Teutonic Knights and used as war horses for the crusades. They could carry large loads, exist on meager rations, and were agile enough to be effective in battle.

The Friesian is a heavy bodied, black, up-headed horse with an expressive face, high-set neck and outstanding crest. Their manes and tails are luxuriant and long and they have feathering from the knees down. They are intelligent, sweet natured and willing. Their powerful elastic gait, grace and agility make them excellent at dressage, driving and jousting.

Morieisian Horse

Morgans originated with Justin Morgan, a dark bay stallion born around 1789 in Springfield Massachusetts. He is thought to have been of Thoroughbred extraction but speculation includes possible Arabian and Friesian heritage. Justin Morgan was known for his strength, speed and stamina. The breed grew and spread quickly as thrifty New Englanders recognized these qualities stamped into the offspring

The Morgan is easily recognized having an attractive head set on a muscular crested neck. They have strong shoulders, short strong legs and are both flexible and maneuverable. Morgans are known for their versatility: they excel in park and pleasure riding or driving, dressage, jumping, trail, western, and cutting. Their stamina makes them excellent endurance horses.

The Moriesian is a horse of immense presence, with a full upright, sloping neck set into an open shoulder with the capability of huge movement. As a sport horse the Moriesian excels in dressage, due to his presence and superb ability to naturally come under himself and propel forward. The trot is up and forward with impulsion from the hindquarters. This comes naturally to the Moriesian, as does the uncanny ability to collect into a frame of roundness, and the ability to stretch and bend through the haunches, making the dressage work seem easy. The canter is usually big and forward and very comfortable. Lateral work seems easy for these horses and they love to learn. The classic beauty of both heritages is vividly apparent in these blends.

The common sense of these Moriesians will make people think they are more mature at an early age. They continue to mature until age six and it is not unusual for them to have a final change of height at that age. Most Moriesians are black, it being the dominant gene color of Friesians. Other, though less common, colors are bay and chestnut and brown. Palomino, dun and gruella are more rare.

Legendary Mars

Morieisian Horse - Legendary Mars The first and foremost Moriesian to win on line and under saddle was Legendary Mars, born in 1993. He won dressage at Devon in the 1990’s and at The Royal Dressage Festival and Gladstone in open breed classes. He is 23 now and still performing in classical dressage.

Quotes from Moriesian Owners

Martha Grantsourdes: "Mars came into my life nearly 19 years ago somewhat serendipitously. Although it was due to the injury of his amazing current devoted owner, and the need for a special horse in my life shortly after my husband died, Mars sort of saved us both. Mars has been that soulful and solid horse that has been rock solid in his work, and in his ability to teach and somewhat tolerate clumsy signals by the numerous riders who have had a chance to "get a ride". He is the beauty that captures everyone's attention as he dances through the waves, or gallops up a hill performing flying changes, or just is a presence in a field. As he ages with me, and his long forelock covers his gray, and I tend to mine, I cannot express what a constant treasure he is in my life. He is still the go to horse to steady an unsteady rider, or to quiet and lead a young horse. He is a once in a lifetime horse, who has found his way into many admirer's hearts. I adore him, he is my joy."

Cindy Marro: "I have had 2 Friesian x Morgan's-both very different and this was more than color, it was the personality of each, the movement, the build and they both have one thing in common-they have hearts like lions."

Susan M. Mabe: "I hosed Titan off this morning and put him in his stall, so that he would remain clean for the shippers. Well, imagine my surprise when I found him wandering about -- and his stall door was closed. I put him back inside of course, (shaking my head at the putz who may have turned him out), allowing him to munch on the bales of hay left for the shippers.

Well, with my eyes and those of David, we saw Titan first snake his head then lift his front legs over the bottom half of the Dutch doors, and then take a huge round -- with knees tucked under his chin- jump, and vaulted out of the barn -- over the stall door -- with a huge overhead ledge, over his head, landing about 10 feet from the door. Then he calmly sauntered over to me.

I put him away again. Closed the door, took steps away and he did it again in front of me and as he landed he whinnied as if to say "Hi there!" I think what I saw demonstrated to me more than ever what this particular horse can go and do it all, and with balance that is amazing and with caution and purpose. He remains round and his neck, it is so stunning, and it lifts him off the ground for every stride.'

Morieisian Horse

Jil Von Ilten: "Last weekend, I rode Green Gables Frogen with our 4H extreme riding group on our first ever Competitive Trail Ride through NATRC. WE (against all the experienced NATRC riders' advice) rode in the Open division. Frogan did AMAZINGLY well. His pulse and respiration was the lowest of all the horses that we rode with and around. He never got over 11 and 3 (which I learned was incredible). We rode 30 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday, all hills and at a pretty fast pace. He got a bit of attention when he kept up with all the cantering horses at a gorgeous extended trot!

Not only did our WHOLE group of kids finish (10 of us all together), but we all placed. Frogan placed 5th in the Open division on our very first a 5 year old (they are not allowed to enter if they are younger than 5). Not bad for a non-Arabian, young trotting horse! I LOVE this cross and am so glad that we have a registry for them. They are really an amazing blend of wonderful traits from each breed."

For more information about the Moriesian horse visit the Moriesian Horse Registry at:

There are more interesting articles in our section on Health & Education.

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