Moriesian History

Moriesian: Cross between Friesian and Morgan

The Moriesian Horse is the result of a breeding program initiated in the United States
during the mid-1900’s 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.


The Friesian:

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


The Morgan:

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:

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 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 colors are now entering the genetic pool.
The first registered 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.