Shoeing for Western Pleasure Morgan, that also goes Hunt?

Hello, I am new to “Above Level”. Actually pretty new to the Morgan Circuit. I have a Morgan gelding I love dearly! We have worked very hard together (without a trainer) to get to the point I think we may be ready to try the Morgan circuit. I feel some pressure that we might be at a disadvantage already for not going to the shows with a trainer. From what I have seen it seems like most riders do have a trainer, or even have a trainer riding their horse. That being said, my primary focus is western pleasure. I have my horse shod with just “regular” horse shoes. When he is home he is a “normal” horse, out to pasture, trail riding etc… But My daughter and I would also like to¬†show him hunt seat. It seems like the hunt horses are mostly shod with special shoes & pads. I have read the rule book regarding shoeing. It specifies that shoes aren’t even required. But that length of toe in Western Pleasure or Hunt Seat shall not be longer that 5″. So my question is firstly, what is the “typical” or standard way of shoeing a Morgan Western Pleasure horse? Secondly, from a judges point of view will we be discriminated against in the hunter classes if he is not shod the same as most of the other horses with shoes, pads etc…? Thanks for any information on this subject!

4 Responses to Shoeing for Western Pleasure Morgan, that also goes Hunt?

  1. leslie says:

    I don’t think you’d be discriminated against for not having pads or weighted shoes in hunter, but the horses that win do tend to be those with a more saddle seat type movement. I think the length limit for western and hunter is actually 5 3/4″, but unless your horse is 17h, there’s probably no reason to leave them that long.

    For what it’s worth, I show my horse in hunter pleasure with plain shoes in front and barefoot behind. I used to show him in Classic Pleasure with plain shoes. I’ve never kept him with a trainer and as long as I’ve owned him, he’s been turned out year round.

    At breed shows most of the horses are with professional trainers, but there are always a handful of amateur owners. People tend to be friendly and supportive if you’re on your own.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’ll agree with Leslie. Our horses, one western and one hunt, both get plain shoes all around. The western horse goes better with shoes. The hunt horse I started with just shoes in front but his back feet started chipping on the harder surfaces at shows so gets them all around as well. They are both turned out all year, but don’t wear shoes in the winter.

  3. mbk says:

    To begin with the toe length…the Max. for a Hunter or a Western horse is 5″ including pad and shoe (MO103.5). As to what type shoes a horse “should” wear that should be determined by the horse…way of going, balance and cadence. I’ve had horses that have been shown in both divisions barefoot behind due to the way they went. By the same token, my Western horse now is shod the same as if he was still doing Classic again based on how the horse goes.

    As to your comments about needing a trainer…that seems to vary widely based on regions. We in NY have a lot of Am. Owners who go it alone, many with great results. The key to this is to be sure your turn out and presentation is done in a professional manner… when you go to shows pay attention to detail, that is often the thing overlooked by some Amateurs. My best advice is go to the shows and have fun. If your horse is the best that day more often than not you will leave with the blue ribbon with or without having a trainer there to help.
    Mike

  4. Flmorgan says:

    I show my horse in both Western and Hunt. He jumps, so in order to protect his heels we have a Aluminum egg bar shoe on him. We have won Hunter Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Equitation, and Hunter over Fences. I used to have more shoe on him for Western Pleasure but he didn’t win ant less and goes better in the aluminum shoes. We are a training barn.
    js

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