New at showing

Hello, I’m Julie and I will be showing for the first time this year in Western Pleasure.  I have been an observer, fan, horse owner, Morgan lover for about 15 years, and finally have the finances to show.  I am so excited but nervous too.  Any tips all you seasoned show people could bestow upon me would be greatly appreciated.

One question I have is how do you “qualify” for regionals and Nationals? 



15 Responses to New at showing

  1. colwilrin says:


    First piece of advice…HAVE FUN. You have waited a long time to get to the shows, enjoy every minute of it.

    Second…Don’t take it too seriously. Classes aren’t life or death, everyone has had embarassing moments, and the judge is only one person, with one opinion.

    Third…Do you need any clothes, tack, etc…??? I am selling a ton of Western stuff :)

    As far as qualifying for Regionals…you don’t, you just enter. To qualify for OKC you have to place at an A rated show or at a regional in the division you wish to show (ie: ladies, amateur, jr exhib). I am not sure of how high you need to place (I think it is top 5 at A rated and top 10 at Regionals, but that may be incorrect).

    Don’t be afraid to ask people specific questions if you see something you don’t understand, or particularly like the way a certain exhibitor shows. Most will find your questions flattering, and welcome the opportunity to offer suggestions. Most importantly, make friends, relax and have a good time.

    If you are in the Northeast…hopefully I’ll see you out there this season!

  2. jns767 says:

    Welcome Julie!!

    Colwilrin –

    I am interested in purchasing some wp stuff :). my e-mail is – I’m looking for BC, Bit, Rommel reins for the most part.

  3. colwilrin says:


    I sent you an email. If anyone is interested in western equipment and clothing, please feel free to email me at

    The clothing consists of western tops in excellent condition. Approximately a size 10 (ladies), from Showtime, custom made, and some Hobby Horse.

    I also have a Billy Cook silver show saddle in great condition.

    I will be showing at several shows in the Northeast this season, and can bring items with me if requested.

  4. GraceMorgn says:


    A great place to start, especially if you are showing without a professional and at USEF sactioned shows, is the USEF Morgan Rulebook.

    Reading the general section, as well as your division’s section, can offer a lot of insight and direction on everything from clothing and tack to way of going. The rulebook will also help you understand what judges are looking for and how different classes are judged. Such as why a winner of an open class might not be a great ladies horse, etc.

    Another good resource is How to Show Your Morgan It is put together by AMHA and gives a good basic overview of different types of showing, qualifying for Nationals, etc.

    Good luck this show season and have fun!


  5. nightmusicfarms says:

    Hi Julie:

    I can’t think of one more word to add to Colwiin’s post. Congratulations and have a wonderful, wonderful time.


  6. IED says:

    I just wanted to point something out. In order to qualify for Nationals, you must place 4th or higher in a Class A competition, and 8th or higher at a Regional competition.

    Enjoy your year!! There is nothing quite like showing Morgans. The people you will meet are second to none!

  7. jns767 says:


    Do you have to show at both a regional AND an A show, or can you do either or? I don’t know if you know, but now I’m curious :).

  8. Sue says:

    I only want to add one thing-start small. Let your first couple of shows be the smaller A shows. If you are in the NY/PA/Ohio area, NY Morgan has two very nice A RAted, or check with your local Morgan club to see if they sponsor any small shows. All breed shows with Morgan classes are a great place to start also.

    Like anything in life, baby steps to start works wonders, and you can have so much more fuin at the little shows.

    Have a great time, and hope to see you on the show circuit

  9. IED says:


    It can be either one. Most people get their qualifiers in earlier in the year at Class A shows, but you can certainly show at a Regional competition having not shown at any other Class A Shows in the year. As long as you’re qualified one way or the other, nobody cares! I’ve gone to Nationals having qualified only Class A (no Regional) and known others who have gone to Nationals having qualified through a Regional and only a Regional, so there you go. Whatever works best for you!

    I came from Arabs, so figuring all this out was fun for me at first. We have a much easier time of qualifying than they do!

  10. IloveEv says:

    Thank you to everyone who responded. :) I am in MI and plan on attending Mason, MSU, maybe a couple of open shows, maybe Gold Cup, MI All Morgan and Futurity. My outfit is being made right now and I am really looking forward to it. It’s going to be very, very pretty. :)

    I have another question: Do most people shoe their western horses all around or just front plates? Is it more of an aesthetic thing? My farrier says Morgans have great feet and only need front plates, just to keep from chipping….what’s the show scoop??

    Thanks again!!


  11. jns767 says:

    Julie -

    I’m glad you’re in Michigan – I hope to meet you one day. I am in MI as well, but only make to a select few shows each summer. I show in the Ammy western pleasure division, so I hope to compete with you some day!!! I ride a little gelding with four white socks (TL Bobby Sox). If you see me, come say hi – I’m ALWAYS looking for some horse show buddies (I don’t have any)

  12. jns767 says:

    BTW, I have all four feet shod on my guy :).

  13. jgarrett_fhf says:

    I get all four feet done…the MOST important thing in showing, like colwinrin said, HAVE FUN and DONT TAKE IT TOO SERIOUS!!!! so many people get caught up in everything and forget why they are showing…its supposed to be fun =)

  14. IloveEv says:

    I think people get “serious” when they realize just how much greenbacks are going out. I am amazed at the amount of money I am spending to just outfit my daughter and myself. :) BUT, I certainly DO plan on having a lot of fun!!

  15. Ruby Epona says:

    Welcome to showing. Some advice I’ve learned is always set goals for yourself for each class, with the top 2 being 1. stay on the horse, and 2. finish the class, no matter what placing you get. An example of a goal would be in your horse is green, maybe try and get a slow jog on one rail, or pick up the correct lead. And if you reach your goals that you set for the class, when it was a good ride. Even though winning is fun, its the ride that counts. And as always, have a BLAST!!! Good luck!!!

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