We take you to a Morgan Horse Farm in Charlotte where their passion for the breed is undeniable -- and now they are doing what they can to pass it on.
Riding students are enjoying the signs of the season at Cedar Spring Farms, watching this week-old foal named Rondo is learn his way around the 140-acre farm.
He is one of the more than 40 Morgan Horses on the farm, among them are some World Champions. The Sogoloff family has been in the business for decades, but recently relocated to this state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte.
"If you can control a 1,000-pound animal I think you can rule the world. That is what I like to see develop in my riders is that type of confidence and pride. I also want them to have a lot of fun, because it is," says Bonnie Sogoloff.
Bonnie Sogoloff has a passion for the breed that she is passing along to her students. The first American Morgan horse was raised in Vermont, and the breed has strong roots in American history.
"It was the first American breed. It's been used in the government for military purposes. It has a history with a number of presidents. It's been used it a lot of different ways and we like to say it is the horse that carved America," says Julie Broadway with the American Morgan Horse Association.
The Sogoloffs teach a wide variety of skill sets from beginners to competitive riders.
"I am teaching them the saddle seat style of riding. That is for a very up-headed high stepping horse which Morgans are," she says.
Aly Wainer has been riding for two years and is now showing Pepper.
"Once you get to know them they are really kind," she says.
Jerry Sogoloff is a professional driver, which is evident when you see him behind this grand champion MEM Balamos, but don't let him fool you -- it is a lot harder than it looks.
I can speak from experience.
The minute I sat behind this horse I could hear all of my previous instructors' voices in my head -- sit up, head straight, shoulders square, elbows up, reigns tight -- and trust me just because you are not on the horse does not mean they do not take you for a ride.
You may wonder what the difference is between this horse and other breeds -- Morgan enthusiasts say it's all in their attitude.
"I have heard people say we are the laborador retriever of the horse world because the Morgan is a very people oriented breed and it does everything and is very athletic. They like to nuzzle you and and they usually come to the front of the stall. They have got something to say!" Broadway says.
"I do not care what breed or what discipline if they can get involved with horses they will discover a wonderful new world," Sogoloff says.
But don't let her fool you -- she is partial to the Morgans and hopes you will come give them a try.
The AMHA is offering a free riding lesson for anyone who has never tried riding or driving a Morgan. Currently, Cedar Springs is the only farm participating in the program in Vermont, but they hope to see it grow across the state.
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