Quarter Horse VS Morgan: Differences & Questions Answered

Imagining a horse in your mind, you might probably first think of shiny mane, swaying tail, and dark hooves.

Horses’ distinct features and characters make them special and loved by lots of humans. 

With over 350 breeds, you might wonder what horse you will raise and train to be your companion.

If you want a horse with great temperament, you might want to consider a Quarter Horse and Morgan horse. Both of them are popular for their affectionate, loyal, and calm personalities.

To help you choose between these two breeds, let us compare them!


Quarter Horse

When it comes to horse breeds, the Quarter Horse or American Quarter Horse is one of the most commonly heard.

Being one of the oldest breeds in the United States, its ancestors were a combination of local Spanish horses and English horses brought by the first European settlers in the country during the 1600s.

The breed is dominating a quarter-mile race that is why it was named after it. Aside from racing, it is one of the top picks for show jumping, rodeo sports, and even fit for farm work.

It was bred with local horses as well such as the Chickasaw horses.

In 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) was formed. It is the largest breed registry today with more than 5 million recorded horses.

As the most common breed of horse, Quarter Horses can be found in approximately 64 countries worldwide.


In every list that you can see about the fastest horses around the world, Quarter Horses will always be included.

You can commonly watch them in different racing competitions, running swiftly with an exquisite aura.

The fastest speed clocked for a Quarter Horse in a 440-yard race is 55 miles per hour or 88.51 kilometers per hour.

On average, this breed can gallop around 30 miles per hour or 48 kilometers per hour.


Quarter Horses grow to be taller as years pass by with the addition of Thoroughbreds on their bloodlines.

A matured Quarter Horse commonly ranges from 14 hands to 16 hands; that is 56 inches to 64 inches.

This breed is known for being massive, weighing from 950 pounds (431 kilograms) to 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms).

However, Quarter Horses are prone to some health issues with their bulky physique. A weight-to-frame ratio is one of the skeletal concerns for them.


The compact and heavily developed body of Quarter Horses is one of their common identities. They have a delicate-looking short head with small ears, a muscular neck, robust shoulders, and a broad chest.

They have a short back and extremely powerful legs as well.

Currently, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) acknowledges 17 coat shades, counting solid colors, palomino, blue roan, dun, buckskin, and cremello. Quarter Horses’ most common hair color is brownish-red.

There are two types of Quarter Horses, the “bulldog” and the “racing” Quarter. Bulldog is typically used as stock horses while the racing one is simple for matches, looking like Thoroughbred horses.



The history of Morgan horses is a pretty interesting one.

Morgan was one of the earliest breeds of horses raised in the United States.

The founding equine of Morgan horses was named Figure, owned by Justin Morgan during the late 1700s. Morgans owe their pedigree to this man who was a determined enthusiast aspiring to produce horses that can be both competent as working horses and racing horses.

Figure’s true lineage was uncertain; though it has been widely acknowledged that it is a combination of Arabian, Thoroughbred, and possibly Friesian or Welsh cob bloodlines.

The Morgans were named after Justin Morgan then since he was the owner of their very first breed.

In 1894, the American Morgan Horse Register was first issued. After a couple of years, the American Morgan Horse Association was founded which then took charge of the Register in 1909.

Some North American horse breeds actually possess the Morgan blood in their veins. They are the Tennessee Walking horse, Saddlebred, and Standardbred, to name a few.


As a highly versatile horse, Morgan can be used in various jobs and activities. It can be pulling a carriage, carrying humans as a means of transportation, and being inside the show ring.

This horse is also raised to be racehorses. The fastest speed clocked for Morgans on a race track was 43.97 miles per hour or 70.76 kilometers per hour.

On average, it can run about 20 miles per hour or 32.19 kilometers per hour. A Morgan horse can run without stopping for 2 to 2.5 miles at maximum.

Aside from being one of the fastest horses for a long period, Morgans are greatly acknowledged for their cavalry remount service as well.

Today, you can still see this breed joining endurance riding and competitive trail riding which test the physical well-being of horses


Morgans are just similar to the size of average horses.

They can typically stand up from 14 hands to 15.2 hands or 56 inches to 60.8 inches.

However, some distinctive Morgan horses can grow as tall as 16 hands or 64 inches. Reaching this height among their breed is quite uncommon.

As for weight, Morgans are weighing between 900 pounds to 1,100 pounds; that is 408 kilograms to 498 kilograms.


With a set of large expressive eyes, little ears, and graceful neck, Morgan horses are always thought to be very sophisticated and charming.

They have a medium-sized head, muscular slanted shoulders, and a wide chest. They possess a firm, compact body with a short, deep back.

They own a set of proportioned and strong legs and, of course, their signature long flowing tail.

Morgan horses are typically bay and chestnut in colors. Some can also be brown, creme, gray, dun, palomino, buckskin, and black.

Differences Between Quarter Horse and Morgan

Quarter Horse and Morgan differ when it comes to diet, health, and life expectancy.

One main difference between a Quarter Horse and a Morgan is their diet. Quarter Horses require a strict and healthy diet compared to Morgans.

Morgans require less food on their standard diet. They are easy keepers so you just need to feed them based on their needs to prevent obesity.

As for Quarter Horses, they should be provided with a strict diet. They should only consume 1.5% to 2% of their body weight every day, following the standard rule for their breed.

A Quarter Horse and a Morgan also differ in their physical wellness.

Quarter Horses tend to develop various health problems compared to Morgans.

If a Quarter Horse gets too exhausted from work or overridden, it can experience chronic lameness.

On the contrary, Morgan does not often develop such health concerns as it is a very healthy and hardworking breed that has no issues with lameness.

Another difference between the two breeds is their life expectancy. Morgan horses can live longer compared to Quarter Horse. On average, Morgans can live up to 30 years compared to Quarter Horses that can only live for 25 years.

Below is a simple table showing the differences of these two breeds.

 DietHealthLife Expectancy
Quarter HorseRequires a special set of diet; allowed only to eat 1.5% to 2% of its body weight.Possibility to commonly develop chronic lameness if gets too overworked and overridden.25 years
MorganNeeds only a standard diet; must be fed in moderation to prevent being overweight.Does not often develop chronic lameness due to its sturdy and fit well-being.30 years

Are Quarter Horses Faster Than Morgan?

Yes. Quarter Horses are faster as they can reach up to 55 miles per hour compared to Morgan horses that can only run 43.97 miles at maximum.

Quarter Horses are included in the list of the fastest horse breeds.

They owe their speed to the several breeds of competent horses that contributed to their bloodlines.

Quarter Horses can normally gallop about 30 miles per hour or 48 kilometers per hour. When using their full power, they can run as fast as 55 miles per hour or 88.51 kilometers per hour.

On the other hand, although Morgan is also a famous racehorse, it cannot outdo the speed of a Quarter Horse.

Morgan horses can only run around 20 miles per hour or 32.19 kilometers on average.

As for the maximum speed it can reach, the fastest recorded for the breed was 43.97 miles per hour or 70.76 kilometers per hour.

Comparing these distances, it can be easily concluded that Quarter Horses are faster than Morgans.

Which Horse Can Carry More, Quarter Horse or Morgan?

Quarter Horse can carry more because they are heavier compared to Morgan. The heavier the horse, the more load it can carry on its back.

As working animals since ancient history, horses are undeniably strong, owning incomparable stamina and dynamism.

The capability of horses to carry loads mainly depends on their body weight. The heavier the horse, the heavier it can load on its back.

As a standard rule in the United States, horses are only allowed to carry 20% of their body weight. If they are to carry more, they will be physically strained, causing stress and even injuries.

The Quarter Horse is known as a massive breed that can be as heavy as 950 pounds (431 kilograms) to 1,200 pounds (544 kilograms).

Considering the 20% body weight rule, it can carry 190 pounds to 240 pounds.

Meanwhile, a Morgan horse is quite light compared to a Quarter Horse.

It weighs between 900 pounds (408 kilograms) to 1,100 pounds (498 kilograms). With this weight, it can carry 180 pounds up to 220 pounds.

Which Horse Is Bigger, Quarter Horse or Morgan?

Quarter Horses is bigger than Morgan as it is heavier and taller.

A full-grown Quarter Horse commonly ranges from 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches). It also weighs between 950 pounds to 1,200 pounds; that is 431 kilograms to 544 kilograms.

As for a mature Morgan horse, it can usually grow from 14 hands to 15.2 hands or 56 inches to 60.8 inches. Some can even stand up to 16 hands or 64 inches, but this is not typical.

For body weight, Morgan can weigh around 900 pounds to 1,100 pounds; that is 408 kilograms to 498 kilograms.

Based on these height and weight measurements, you can tell that Quarter Horses are bigger than Morgan horses.


Blocksdorf, K. (2018, May 7). Learn about the basics of competitive trail riding. The Spruce Pets. https://www.thesprucepets.com/the-basics-of-competitive-trail-riding-1886874

The Equinest. (2010). Morgan horse. https://www.theequinest.com/breeds/morgan-horse/

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