Santa Barbara, California
Breed group: Crossbred horses
HistoryDetails: The Morab is a relatively new breed of horse which was created by cross-breeding purebred Arabian and Morgan horses. The cross-breeding of Arabians and Morgans was first done in the 1850’s, with the goal of creating a carriage horse that was still hardy and strong enough for moderate farm labor. Golddust, a famous stallion, was bred in 1855 and was the first recorded Morgan / Arabian in the Morgan Registry. Golddust was one of the most famous stallions of his day, and sired 302 foals. Golddust was never defeated in the show ring at the trot, and was said to be able to cover six miles per hour at the flat walk. However, the true development of the Morab breed began in central California in the 1920’s, at newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s San Simeon Ranch. There, Hearst crossed Crabbett-bred Arabian stallions to working Morgan mares in an attempt to create a “sure-footed mount” capable of working cattle on the steep hills of his coastal ranch. Hearst coined the name “Morab” to describe this particular breeding program. According to the Morab breeding formula described by the Purebred Morab Horse Association (PMHA), "any 1st generation Morab can be bred back to an Arabian or Morgan for improvements in type or qualities desired in the Morab. Breeding combinations with Arabians and Morgans produces desired qualities and type so long as there is no more than 75% of Arabian or Morgan blood or less than 25% Arabian or Morgan blood in the resultant Morab."
Current uses: Pleasure riding, competitive and endurance riding
Registration: There are several Morab registries, including:
The Purebred Morab Horse Association (PMHA)
The International Morab Breeders' Association (I.M.B.A.)
Size: 14 - 16 hands
Appearance: Morab's have a compact build and short back. Like the Arabians, the Morab has one backbone less than most breeds. This shorter back, combined with the longer croup of the Morgan, endows the Morab with great strength and smooth gait. The Morab's hindquarters are generally muscular and powerfully built. The breed's legs are rather thick, due to Morgan-influenced bone structure. They have comparatively short cannon bones, and solid, well-developed hooves.The Morab's head is generally very refined, and usually includes the Arabian's concave profile, while at the same time having the more muscular jaw and substantial muzzle from the Morgan. The eyes are large, bright, and expressive. Many Morabs have the upright, flagged tail carriage found in the Arab. All solid colors exist within the Morab breed, with bay, chestnut, and gray being the most common. White markings on the face and legs are acceptable, and are somewhat common.
Temperament: The Morab is typically intelligent, dependable and affectionate.
Gaits: Most Morabs display only the "natural" gaits of walk, trot and canter. However, due to inherited genetic variation from select Morgan bloodlines capable of producing gait, a few individual Morabs are able to perform ambling, or intermediate, gaits. The most common intermediate gait in these Morabs is the "singlefoot", also known as the "stepping pace". Other known gaits are the foxtrot and the true rack.