Really, I mean does it get any better than a Morgan Horse?
As a child I was blessed with as many as 50 Morgan Horses in my pasture at a time. My father bred, raised, trained and sold Morgan Horses.
At the age of one I was blessed with the greatest gift of my life. A beautiful black Morgan mare. Miriam Morgan.
Of coarse at that age I did not realize what a blessing she was, she was my best friend. As we grew up together she was my saving grace. There was nothing she would not do. I rode her, drove her and showed her on the Morgan circuit as a young child. Throughout the years she had babies and she was a wonderful mother. She would let me go out in the pasture and play with her babies as she stood guard of both of us. She would not let any of the other mares near us as we enjoyed each other.
At the age of 23 she passed away in my lap after giving birth to a stud colt. It was one of the darkest days of my life.
My father worked at Fisher Body and hated every minute of it! He decided that he was going to do something that everyone thought was crazy. He decided that he was going to start building horse carriages. When he told my grandfather that he was going to quit his job and start making carriages my grandfather asked him if he was Crazy? He preached at my dad telling him that it would be the biggest mistake of his life. Against my grandfathers advice he did it anyway. He then was faced with, What will we call our business? Quickly he came up with the Perfect name. “Justin Carriage” after the great founder of the Morgan Horse, Justin Morgan. I mean really was there a better name? We all agreed that Morgan horses are what bonded our family! So in 1974, Justin Carriage began.
We would build a carriage and sell it as a package deal. A Morgan horse and a carriage. It gets no better than that.
Our family with the help of our employees worked hard, it was not always a bed of roses. We struggled to make ends meet but we fought through it and now 38 years later we are one of the top Carriage builders in the world. We feel that with every carriage we build we gain more family. Each and every customer we have had over the years we consider to be part of our “Justin family”
When I was around 15 years old my grandfather had a stroke and was put in a home. He suffered a brain aneurysm as well and we all knew that he did not have much time. In all the years that we built carriages up to that point he never really told my dad that he was proud of him or that he was wrong.
On fathers day, the year my grandfather passed away we loaded up my trusty Morgan Mare “Mim” and a Vis A Vis Carriage and took it to the home my grandfather was in. We hooked her up and drove up to the door. We went in and got my grandfather and took him outside. The smile that lite up his face and the twinkle in his eye said it all. My father at that moment knew without a shadow of a doubt that the decision he made all those years ago was the right one. He knew even though he could not say it, his father was proud of him. We helped my grandfather in the carriage and took him out for a ride. In all my life I never seen my grandfather so happy, or my father so proud. That day will be one of the best days of our lives.
So my life has been blessed. I credit that to two things, Our Families love of Morgan horses and the hard work of my father who was inspired to build a family business that has allowed us to work together and enjoy each and every day together as a “Family”|