Not much exposure to Morgans – can you help??

Hi I’ve been involved with Saddlebreds for eleven years.  I’ve ridden some Morgans at WWU but other than that I have very little exposure to Morgans.  I’m considering switching breeds – there is a new Morgan barn in my area.  My question is, how much would I have to spend to have a competitive English Pleasure/Park horse?  By competitive, meaning I could place at Class A show on the Midwest circuit (amateur).  I’ve looked up some shows in my area and it looks like the show fees are more reasonable that what we pay at ASB shows.  Would anyone be willing to share any show costs that are typical (not sure if this is much different between breeds)?  Thanks for your input!!

3 Responses to Not much exposure to Morgans – can you help??

  1. Greetings!
    Glad to hear you are considering a switch. I showed Saddlebreds all of my Junior Exhibitor years, and continued with them in my first Assistant Trainer position. However, when I went out on my own, I made the switch to Morgans, and I have never looked back! I still very much appreciate a great Saddlebred, and don’t regret the time spent with them, but Morgans are much more accessible and affordable to the general population, so from a business stand point, you can just do more of it easily! I am right in the thick of the New England circuit, so I can’t say for sure what you can expect to pay in the Midwest. If someone walked into my barn today and asked that question, I would want to know at what level you want to be competitive. If you want a ribbon at the New England Regional, that is a lot different than a ribbon at Connecticut Summer Classic, for instance. Lets say you want something that can win at the small level, top 3 at a medium level, and have a shot to get in the ribbons at the New England level. I would say you need to plan on $12,500 to get something ready to show, and then you are going to have to look a bit. $20,000 is very workable, $35,000 gets you a top-notch mount. More than $50,000 makes you a major player anywhere at any level. With that said, I have gotten horses that have been priced in the 50+ range for less than $20,000 because of special circumstances. Also, a horse is worth what someone s willing to pay, not necessarily what the price tag says. Lots of $50,000 horses go for 40,000 and so on. So if you have time to shop, you can do great things with a tight budget. Prospects can sometimes be dirt cheap, especially yearlings, but that means a lot of waiting and training dollars spent. For instance, I have in my barn alone a bunch that would go for less than $12,500, but they need training yet. I am sure you will get a wide range of answers here, but from my barn, this is how I would lay it out for you. I think it is smart to really firm up a budget and then go shopping, not the other way around. Take care, and good luck! ~Alicia

  2. ChillyOne says:

    Pretty much what Alicia said.

    Something to consider though, New England Regional is a BIG and incredibly deep show, in the same league as Grand National.

    Also, what part of the midwest and what A shows will make a big difference too – a 5K horse at Wheat State (KS) can win you a championship, at Jubilee(IL) you’re looking at a minimum of 20K for an Am English/Park horse. If you’re not doing regionals, a 5-10K horse will do you just fine.

    There are of course exceptions…My $2500 gelding now has 5 World Championships.

    As for show costs, do you mean how big is the check to the show ( approx. $200), or how big is the check made out to the trainer for day care, etc.?

  3. ErikaRose says:

    Agreed. I think a lot of it is how much time you are willing to spend looking.

    I think our breed has many “diamond in the rough” type horses, you can find all sorts of steals. I have heard so many stories about buying a horse for $3k and turning it around to be a $30k+ horse. It just takes lots of time and lots of expert guiding, and can end up painfully expensive if the horse doesn’t turn out to be the right horse for you.

    My personal opinion on finding a competetive ready to show amateur pleasure/park horse you are looking at $15k and up for the “A” Circut. Look for a horse that suits your needs, but realize that if you want to compete at a higher level eventually you might need to step up to a more competitive/pricey mount.

    From what I have gathered most places will charge $30-$60 for day care (Worlds is always more expensive), then all of the clients split the cost of the extra stalls (say 10 horses are going to the show the clients might have to split the cost of an extra 7 stalls (2 ready rooms, 1 changing room, 1 tack room, 2 groom/sleeping rooms, 1 feed/junk room). Then there are stall decoration fees which aren’t terribly expensive. Sometimes you might have to pay a traveling fee if the show is really far away. Right now I would say the crappiest part of showing is how expensive shavings are! If you have to borrow equipment a buggy for example they normally charge for using it, this is normally a step to cover their own hind ends incase you crash their buggy! I think most places are very fair with their fees, and don’t really nickle and dime you.

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