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Morabs Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Purebred Morab Horse Association PMHA

Native Country
Developed in the United States

Other Names

Adult Height
The size range of Morabs is quite broad, due to the involvement of extensive lineages from both Arabian and Morgan breeds. Generally, Morabs stand between 14.2 and 15.2 hands or larger.

Adult Weight

General Description

The myth that surrounds the Morab most often is their status as a breed. A lot of people misunderstand and consider a Morab a part-bred while others have termed them half-breeds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Morabs (the get of an Arabian/Morgan breeding) are not half-Morgans or half-Arabian horses. They are Morabs, a breed. The fact that Morabs have the proven ability to transmit their distinguishing characteristics with a high degree of certainty to their progeny puts this misnomer to rest. Only foundation stock or first generation Morabs possess both Morab registration and 1/2 Arab or 1/2 Morgan registries. Thus making them a triple registered animal. Succeeding generations are then bred Morab to Morab to ensure the growth of the breed.

The average Morab is between 14.2 and 15.2 hands high and weighs between 950 and 1200 lbs. The Morabs skeleton is very different than other horse breeds. Like the Arabian they have one less rib and three less vertebrae, but unique totally to the Morab is the shape of their hindquarters as well as the different pelvic angle. Along with other characteristics, these are the most apparent differences from any other breed. Taking the Arabian horse, often called the "Drinker Of The Wind" because of its powerful lungs, and combining it with the broad powerful chest of the Morgan, gave the Morab a naturally superior breathing system. A wide forehead sets off large, dark expressive eyes. A thick mane and tail balances out its muscular build. The Morab's head may be straight to slightly dished with a big powerful jaw in conjunction with a small muzzle. All well-bred Morabs have a consistently unformed look, with some degree of refinement; with successive generations showing very little if any change from the first generation.

It is this ability to transmit their distinguishing characteristics to their offspring that makes the Morab a distinct breed rather than just another nice cross-bred horse.


In 1857, D. C. Lindsley, a notable horse historian, wrote an essay entitled The Morgan Horse. In the essay, he recommended cross-breeding Morgans with Arabian mares if no pure-blood Morgan mares could be obtained, leading to a cross-breed which became known as the Morab.

One of the descendants of these crosses was Golddust, a famous walker and trotting horse who was very successful in the show ring and on the race track. He sired 302 foals, and over 100 Morab horses today can be traced back to him.

The next mention of Morgan-Arabian cross-breeds comes in the 1920s. Publisher William Randolph Hearst had an extensive Arabian breeding program and a short-lived, but important, Morgan program, which included a program of breeding Morabs. Hearst is credited with having coined the word "Morab" for crosses between the two breeds.

Hearst bred Morabs by crossing Crabbett-bred Arabian stallions to working Morgan mares. Mrs. William Randolph Hearst II said in her book Horses of San Simeon that Hearst, "... found the produce were excellent for work on his California Ranch." "He registered 110 horses in the AMHA, 18 of which were Morabs", she said. Quoted in an early American Morab Horse Association Brochure, "According to A. J. Cooke of the Hearst Corp, Sunical Div. … Hearst bred Morabs in the 1930’s and 1940’s for ranch work … and were desirable for the large, rough, mountainous terrain of the Hearst Ranches."

Another Morab breeding program was developed by the Swenson Brothers near Stamford, Texas on their SMS Ranch. Starting from two Morgan stud colts, seven Morgan brood mares, and three Arabian stallions, their program created several notable Morab horses.

Another highly influential breeding program was established in Clovis, California, by one Martha Doyle Fuller. In 1955, after several disappointing attempts to breed a horse that could successfully compete on the open show circuit, Mrs. Fuller developed a Morab breeding program focusing on show discipline capability and what she called "Morab type".


The Morab's temperament and personality is best described as a true combination of the Morgan and the Arabian. Morabs are generally very intelligent, curious, and personal horses. They are often very quick to learn, and establish strong relationships with humans, who they are eager to please. Morabs make excellent family horses, and are sometimes used as lesson and therapy horses.


Dressage, eventing, jumping, endurance, gymkhana, driving, cutting, reining, stock, equitation, park, parade, trail, and pure pleasure.


Very hardy

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