Monthly E-newsletters/announcements from MSFHA

Fall Ride Scheduled




Application for MaryMel Gaited Morgan Scholarship

application for MaryMel Gaited Morgan Scholarship

Scholarship 2014




Track Your Miles Gaitways

Gaited Morgan Horse Organization

Gaitways Program


The Gaitways Program has been developed to recognize Gaited Morgan Horse Organization Club Members for the time spent enjoying your Registered Morgan Horse/s.  As you Trail Ride, Show, Drive, Train, attend Expos, parades, or clinics, you are  an ambassador for the Gaited Morgan and the Morgan Horse Breed, promoting the versatility of our great horse.  While enjoying activities with your horse you can also accumulate hours that can earn  nice  awards.

Who Can Join

  1. You must be a Gaited Morgan Horse Organization Member
  2. You must pay an individual lifetime fee of $25 and complete the GMHO Gaitways Application

Gaited Morgan Horse Organization

Gaitways Program




1. GMHO Member at the time of logged hours

2. GMHO Gaitways member of $25 lifetime fee

3. Registered Morgan with number

4. Logged hours not limited to just one horse

5. Recorded hours on GMHO Gaitways log sheets only

6. No time limit for accumulating hours for awards


T Shirts Awarded for 100, 250, 500, 750 logged hours

Jackets Awarded for 1000, 1500, 2500, 4000 logged hours

Each T-Shirt or Jacket will be custom ordered with your name , the GMHO Logo and hours achieved

Start Logging your GMHO Gaitway Hours NOW!!

Gaitways application form

Gaitways application fWhat Hours Count

Enjoy Trail Riding, Driving, Showing, Competitive riding, Training, attending clinics and expositions.

Hours must be on a GMHO Gaitways Log Sheet

Gaitways Log Sheet

Gaitways Log Sheet

Gaitways log sheet page 1

HORSEFEST 2014 gaited Morgans

click to make big!
horsefest 2014

FOSH Sound Advocate Magazine

Enjoy the Friends of Sound Horses Magazine featuring Beacon Silver Miracle on the Cover. Mar2014WF.pdf

SA March Cover

AMHA Weekly Newsbrief April 17, 2014

AMHA Weekly News Brief
Apr. 17, 2014

Do You Want More News From AMHA?
AMHA News Desk
Starting in 2014, AMHA will be producing newsletters tailored to your interests! Youth, competition news, recreational riding, ranch horse and history are the topics that will be covered in these quarterly newsletters.More

Get Awards for Riding and Driving Your Morgan!
AMHA News Desk
AMHA’s Pathways Recreational Program was developed to reward your commitment to using and enjoying your Morgan horse! As a Pathways member, you are one of the breed’s greatest representatives, promoting the Morgan’s suitability for any job, be it work or play! More

Free Marketing Opportunity for AMHA Members
AMHA News Desk
Did you know that AMHA offers an online Morgan Farm Directory, which allows you the opportunity to promote your farm and Morgans on one of the most popular pages on This is an opportunity to tell the world about your farm and Morgans! More

Managing Horses With Excessive Tearing
The Horse
“Horse eyes are awesome,” began Amber Labelle, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVO, assistant professor and veterinary ophthalmologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. “But excessive tearing is not awesome.”More

Recognizing Pain on a Horse’s Face
The Horse
Humans, other primates and even dogs share a common feature: We express ourselves, including our physical pain, through our faces. Horses, maybe not so much. At least not in a way researchers have quantified until recently.More

Looking for That Awesome Western Working Morgan?
AMHA News Desk
Did you know that the AMHA now has the Ranch Horse Network? Currently, 63 farms are enrolled in this program spanning 23 states! Be sure to check out the participating farms. More

AMHA Board of Directors Meeting
AMHA News Desk
The AMHA board of directors will hold their second quarter meeting in Chicago, Friday, April 25, to Saturday, April 26, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. For more information, contact AMHA Executive Director Julie Broadway at 802-985-4944, ext. 201,

Is Your Registry Paperwork in Order?
AMHA News Desk
Show season has begun, so now is the time to make sure all leases and transfers have been submitted to AMHA. Has your stallion been gelded? Before showing in a gelding class, this change needs to be reported to AMHA. Transfers and leases that are not filed in a timely manner will show the previous owner in show results. More

Download a Decade Moves Onward to the 1950s
AMHA News Desk
Does the Morgan history buff in you wish you had access to old copies of the official breed journal? In a continuing series, The Morgan Horse magazine is providing the chance to peruse and download all of the historic TMH issues from 1950-1954, Part I. Part II will be available in the future. More

Morgans Go 2-3-4 at Southern Pines CDE
AMHA News Desk
The Morgan breed was well represented at the 2014 United States Equestrian Federation National Single Horse Driving Championship, which took place April 11-13 in North Carolina. Morgans placed second, third and fourth in the competition. Earning Reserve Champion honors was Suzy Stafford of Wilmington, Del., and PVF Peace Of Mind (Statesmans Signature x JPR Have Mercy) with a score of 122.43.More

USEF Board of Directors Names Chris Welton as CEO
AMHA News Desk
The United States Equestrian Federation board of directors has voted unanimously to appoint Chris Welton as CEO, effective June 1. Welton will replace John Long who announced his decision to retire from the position a year ago.More

Carbohydrates, Fats or Protein: What’s Most Important for Your Horse’s Diet?
We all admire the equine athlete, the captivating blend of speed, control, grace and endurance. But the added stress of performance requires an optimal diet, with plenty of energy from carbohydrates and fats, high quality protein, adequate minerals and vitamins.More

Meet the World’s Tallest Horse and Tallest Donkey
Cox Media Group via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
VideoBriefVisitors at the 35th annual Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wis., can meet both the world’s tallest horse and the world’s tallest donkey. Big Jake is the horse. He lives on Smokey Hollow Farm, near Poynette, Wis. He’s a Belgian gelding.More

Fescue Toxicosis…not just about broodmares.

Fescue Toxicosis in Nonpregnant Horses

Tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum) is a perennial grass adapted to much of the eastern half of the United States and widespread in the Central Ohio Valley, including Kentucky. Much of the tall fescue contains a fungus, called an endophyte, which, together with the fescue plant, produces chemicals called ergot alkaloids that can be harmful to grazing animals. The best known of these ergot alkaloids is ergovaline.

Fescue toxicosis in horses is most frequently associated with hormonal changes in late gestation mares, causing gestation lengths to extend beyond expected due dates. It is also associated with thickened placentas and abnormal placental separation when birth occurs, as well as with dystocia (difficult birth) and agalactia (lack of milk production by the dam).

In cattle, the most frequently reported signs of fescue toxicosis are associated with vasoconstriction (blood vessel constriction). This can result in cattle overheating in the summer because they cannot dissipate heat effectively and sometimes causes signs of gangrene in the winter due to insufficient blood flow to the hooves or tail switch. Fescue toxicosis in cattle is also associated with low average daily gain, poor growth rates, and lowered fertility. Reports in the literature of whether grazing endophyte-infected fescue can cause poor growth rates or reduced performance or fertility rates in horses are inconsistent, and researchers have not investigated the mechanisms that might contribute to these effects. Therefore, several years ago, the laboratory of Karen McDowell, PhD, associate professor at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, performed some experiments to determine if endophyte-infected fescue caused vasoconstriction in horses, similar to cattle.


Figure 1: Three images of the palmar artery of same horse before (A) or during (B and C) the treatment of adding endophyte infected fescue seed to the diet. During the treatment period the artery would sometimes appear as in B (circled) or as in C, both significantly constricted compared to A.

Photo: Courtesy Dr. Karen McDowell

McDowell, along with Laurie Lawrence, PhD, professor in UK’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, fed horses ground fescue seed containing either fescue seed containing ergovaline and associated alkaloids or alkaloid-free fescue seed. They used Doppler ultrasonography to measure blood flow in, and the diameter of, the palmar artery in each horse’s left foreleg, just above the fetlock joint. They found significant artery constriction in animals consuming alkaloid-infected fescue seed but not in animals consuming alkaloid-free seed (Figure 1). This was the first known report of endophyte-infected fescue causing vasoconstriction in horses consuming it, and the results appeared in the Journal of Animal Science (J. Anim. Sci. 2013. 92:1677. doi:10.2527/jas2012-5852).

Next, McDowell’s laboratory set out to investigate if mares consuming endophyte-infected fescue seed had altered blood flow to their ovaries. This experiment was part of the Master of Science degree of Drew Hestad, MS, who is currently attending veterinary school at Auburn University. Again, the research team fed mares either fescue seed containing ergovaline and associated alkaloids or alkaloid-free fescue seed. Each of 12 mares received non-infected seed for one complete estrous cycle and infected seed for another complete estrous cycle. Mares receiving the infected seed had palmar artery and palmar vein constriction and, importantly, reduced blood flow in the corpus luteum, the structure on the ovary that produces the hormone progesterone. This was the first report of infected fescue causing reduced blood flow to the ovaries in mares.

This spring, McDowell, along with Glen Aiken, PhD, from the USDA Forage Animal Production Unit located on UK’s campus, and Michael Barrett, PhD, and Tim Phillips, PhD, both from UK’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, will examine vasoconstriction and pregnancy outcomes in pregnant mares grazing fescue grass containing a novel endophyte. This grass produces alkaloids that give the grass the same competitive advantage over other forage grasses, but without the harmful alkaloids.

Although endophyte-infected fescue’s deleterious health effects in mares have previously only been associated with problems in late gestation, this recent work demonstrates that endophyte-infected fescue can cause vasoconstriction in the legs and reduced blood flow to reproductive organs in mares. Researchers have yet to determine these effects’ significance on growth, performance, fertility, or other physiological parameters. However, McDowell believes the use of Doppler ultrasonography to monitor palmar artery diameter in horses grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue pastures might provide a convenient and noninvasive biomarker to determine premonitory signs of fescue toxicosis, and she is continuing work in this area.

Karen J. McDowell, MS, PhD, a researcher at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center, provided this information.


Equine Eyes


eyes page 1
















Gaited Morgan wins AMHA Awards

Martha Duchnowski and her gaited Morgan Blythewood Barre Vermont  aka “PeeWee” is this years AMHA open competition trail winner as well as the winner of the General category (where the gaited classes go). congratulation Martha…ride on!


On February 4th, 2014, I received an email from The American Morgan Horse Associating asking me if I could come to the Morgan Horse Convention on February 22nd, 2014 because my morgan “Blythewood Barre Vermont” won 2013 high point trail and high point in the “General Category”.

OMG!  Did I read that correctly?   High Point Trail and High Point General?  My heart just soared!  For you see, I’ve had my share of “challenges” with this 8 year old beautiful, well bred horse.

I bought Barre in 2006 from Blythewood Morgans for my son Jimmy.   Jimmy’s morgan was getting up in the years and we were thinking about a younger morgan for Jimmy to show in his 4H shows.   I got Barre cheap because his gait was kind of pacey.   Having done my fair share of rescuing miniature horses, many of the babies were pacey too but grew out of it.

But Barre didn’t outgrow the strange gait.  He remained kind of pacey and my son Jimmy lost interest in him because he didn’t like the gait.  When we backed him and he went into that strange gait, I fell in love with it.  I have Lupus and bruise very easily which makes posting impossible if I don’t want big round bruises on the inside of my knees.  So Barre became my horse and I was riding again.

In the beginning, Barre couldn’t hold either the pace nor a trot, so I contacted a well-know international carriage driver of morgans and her suggestion was to get a vet out that specialized in acupuncture and chiropractic procedures.  I did that and was quite alarmed when the vet told me that my sweet beautiful spirited morgan had severe neurological problems.  After a month of acupuncture, I got my first bill from her and just about died from sticker shock.  So I stopped all treatments.

About this time, I learned that there is such a thing as “gaited” morgans.   When my regular vet came out to tend to another horse of mine, I had her look at Barre.   I put him through his gaits in-hand and she laughed at me and told me that Barre was doing a flat walk and a running walk and that there wasn’t a darn thing wrong with him and “don’t people pay good money for naturally gaited horses”?

I started out training Barre slowly.  Although I am an accomplished carriage driver, I had to learn to ride again and Barre had to learn to carry me.  Initial training took a few years during which my dressage training came back to me which I slowly applied to Barre.  I mostly did trail rides a with him and it wasn’t long before he was responding and yielding to my leg pressure.   I eventually taught myself how to neck rein so I could ride western.

When Barre turned seven, I decided that he needed to get off the farm and to start showing.  In the beginning he was very naughty.   He would whinny the whole time to his buddies tied to the horse trailer as well as refuse to be quiet in the line-up.    It took nearly all of 2012 for him to get used to showing and late in the year, we won our first championship in Country Pleasure.   He was also beginning to do well in trail classes as nothing really bothers him and he trusts me so much.

The show season in 2013 also started out poorly with the naughty behavior, but it soon stopped and before long we were winning most of the Country Pleasure and Trail classes.   We also did well in the all-breed western pleasure walk-trot or walk-gait classes.   We tried a few Judged Pleasure rides with trail obstacles and had a great deal of fun.  In addition to winning the American Morgan Horse’s open competitions trail and general divisions (where the gaited classes go) we won 3rd place in the equitation division. I knew we had improved somewhat from last year, but i never dreamed we would actually win!

Barre is so much fun to ride. He is very light and responsive in the mouth and smooth to ride. It is obvious he really enjoys all the attention and stimulation that riding gives.  His gaiting keeps improving as I read and re-read all the gaited articles that the Gaited Morgan Horse Organization posts to their website.   Combined this new-found knowledge with a solid dressage background from my youth, I hope we keep on improving in 2014.





Birth of a foal

10 Reasons not to Breed


Ten Good Reasons Not To Breed Your Horse


Submitted by News Editor on 

Newsdate: Mon 30 December 2013 – 7:45 am
Location: SAN DIEGO, California

With the arrival of the New Year, horse owners often begin thinking about how wonderful it would be to breed their mare and bring a new foal into the world eleven months later.

Thinking of breeding your mare? Don't be barn blind.Thinking of breeding your mare? Don’t be barn blind.

Experienced horse industry people are aware of the costs and complexities of horse breeding, but back-yard breeders often breed their horses based on emotion and the costs and complexities come back to haunt them later. New window.

Often the costs and complexities of bringing a new foal into the world go by the wayside and the idea of having a new foal is based on emotion without realizing the responsibilities attached to the undertaking. In the horse community, this is known as “barn blindness.”

Advice from knowledgeable people in the horse industry should be welcomed by back-yard or occasional breeders. This advice usually includes the following important points:

  • Breed your horse only when you know everything possible about the state of the health and the genetic make-up and/or pedigreeof the parents-to-be.
  • Know for a fact that you can take on the long-term costs and care of a new horse for the lifetime of the horse.
  • Realize that no guarantee exists that a foal will look or act like the mare and stallionthat produce it.
  • Know that a mare may die during a difficult pregnancy or as a result of giving birth to the foal, or the mare’s health may be seriously compromised. When the mare dies, not only do you lose the companionship of your horse, but your investment in time and money becomes irretrievable.

The American Horse Council estimates that over 9.2 million horses are living in the United States. Of these, over 170,000 are “unwanted,” and suitable homes are not available for them. Most unwanted horses become so for one or more of the following ten reasons:

  1. Many horses are the result of irresponsible or over breeding,
  2. Owners breed horses believing that a ready market exists and they will make money on the sale of the horses,
  3. Owners lack financial ability to feed and take care of the horse,
  4. Older owners lack physical ability to care for a horse,
  5. Horses grow older, become ill, injured, or unmanageable,
  6. Horses fail to live up to owner’s expectations either in performance or appearance,
  7. The horse was obtained originally as a “pet” without any consideration of the responsibilities of ownership,
  8. Not enough horse rescue places or funds exist to care for horses that lose their homes,
  9. The high cost of euthanasia causes many horses to be kept alive long after they begin suffering from any number of distressing terminal illnesses, and many older horses are abandoned when they no longer serve their owners’ needs.
  10. Breeding any animal is a huge responsibility that needs to be carefully thought through and planned. Since horses are large animals that live for many years and have specific needs, careful consideration must be given to the responsibilities involved in breeding your mare or stallion.

The reality of breeding is that the best-laid plans can go awry and foals may fail to live up to the owners’ expectations. Whether it is a conformation or temperament problem, or a lack of the desired color or physical appearance of the foal, it may become one of numerous unwanted horses for which homes are difficult to find.

Ill health, loss of income, a change in jobs or location, and many other factors can affect the horse owners’ ability to keep and care for their horses. Before breeding another horse, consider all the “what if’s” that could happen in your life and determine what will happen to the horse, if you should become disabled or can no longer afford a horse.

Don’t let “barn blindness” influence your decisions when it comes to breeding your horse.



3 Morgan Clubs Missouri Horsefest 2013

press release about the horsefest

A Voyage to the Country of Houyhnhnms

Did you know?

According to legend, when the author and Historical Long Rider Jonathan Swift made an equestrian journey across Ireland, he arrived at a remarkable conclusion. The beloved mare who carried him faithfully was a paragon of reason, understanding and sympathy, unlike his fellow human beings.

At the conclusion of the ride, Swift penned his famous book, Gulliver’s Travels. It told the tale of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship’s captain who sailed to four remarkable kingdoms. While the simple children’s version focuses on the little people of Lilliput, it was the talking horses found in the fourth adventure which outraged civilised English society.

A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms recounts how Captain Gulliver’s crew mutinied and set him ashore on an unknown island. There he encountered a race of savage humanoids who threatened to kill him. The bewildered traveller was rescued by horses, who it turns out could speak and in fact ruled the island.

What follows is an astonishing tale that turns man’s definition of himself on its head. The naked, warlike and murderous humans are known as Yahoos, a term still used today as a synonym for “ruffian.” In order to draw attention to the evils of materialism and elitism, Swift described the Yahoos as savage creatures with selfish habits, who are obsessed with digging pretty stones from the mud.

In stark contrast the Houyhnhnms, which in their language means “the perfection of nature,” are a race of intelligent horses that enjoy a peaceful society based upon reason. Though he is biologically akin to the Yahoos, Gulliver prefers the company of his benevolent equine hosts. When he learns to converse with the horses, Gulliver attempts to explain human society. His equine hosts are perplexed with the alien concepts of greed, war and injustice. Nor do they have a word for ‘lie,’ and must substitute the phrase “to say a thing which is not.”

A Voyage to the Country ofHouyhnhnms

Jonathan Swift

When Gulliver reluctantly returns to England, he finds the company of his countrymen, whom he now views as Yahoos, so intolerable that he spends most of his time in the stable near his home. Thus, this equine episode is the keystone of Gulliver’s Travels and reflects Swift’s disenchantment with popular society.

Originally it was believed that A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms was a metaphor used by Swift to highlight England’s treatment of slaves as lesser human beings. More recently, it has been described as an early example of animal rights, in that Gulliver’s role reversal highlighted how cruelly English horses were treated. First released anonymously in 1726, it sold out in less than a week. Since then, the challenging tale has never been out of print.

Nor has there arrived a human who has answered the challenge Swift wrote for his own epitaph. “Go forth, Voyager, and copy, if you can, this vigorous champion of Liberty.”

For more information, please visit or Barnes & Noble.

Skeletal Test your knowledge

match the dot on the skeleton with the question in the box …timed score

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