The ranch was established in 1970 as a breeding program to support interpretation and mounted patrol in National Parks across the country. During its peak years, more than 75 foals were born at the ranch, which sustained 30-40 Morgan horses at one time. The Morgan breed was one of the first used by the U.S. Army Cavalry, the first Park Rangers and continues to be sought after for its versatility and kind temperament.
In 1999, the last filly, Los Reyes Liberty Rose, was born at the ranch and the need for additional horses at other National Parks dwindled, largely due to lack of funds. At Point Reyes, the Morgan horses continue to play an important conservation and visitor service role. “We can reach an injured or lost hiker in a difficult-to-access location in the 70,000-acre park, and we can assist with search and rescue missions,” says Lead Ranger Julie Byerly. Fellow Ranger Bonnie Phillips adds, “We want to keep the Morgan Horse Ranch a vibrant place where people are eager to visit. Horses encourage inclusivity and they help us foster positive interactions to build community trust.”