With show season coming around, it’s important to prepare early for what you need at your first show. Here are some of the best tips from the Morgan Patriots!


  1. Practice, practice, practice! We have all been told practice makes perfect and how true it is! Whenever you are working with a horse, treat it as if you were practicing to win your class. Is backing in showmanship difficult? Try adding backing into your daily routine, whether it be backing out of the cross ties or into the arena. Do you always get nailed on trotting a serpentine in your equitation class? Set up some cones and bend around them in a serpentine as part of your warm up. You won’t ever regret being over prepared for anything a class may throw at you!

  2. Make lists! Try and create lists of the things you need to get done before a horse show, what you need to pack, what classes you may enter when you get there, etc. Lists are a lifesaver when it comes to remembering everything for show day and comes in handy when it’s crunch time before you leave. Also, making lists for all the equipment that goes with each horse is extremely helpful! Add to each horses’ trunk a list of what settings all their bridal, breast collar, and girth are set to make it easy to tack up a horse.

  3. Clean horses before arriving at the show! As tempting as it may be to leave a horse unbathed without a trimmed mane and tail until the last hours before a class, don’t. It is not worth the stress of trying to tidy up a horse the day of when you could have done it days ago! Try and find a nice warm day before your show, and set it aside for just body clipping, bathing, and polishing feet. This allows you to just go straight to the show only having to worry about doing slight touch ups when you arrive.

  4. Just like having a clean horse, clean tack is essential too! In order to keep your tack looking its best, always wipe it off with a towel after each use in order to keep grime from building up. Then, once a week try to condition your leather to keep it in tip top shape. Also, don’t forget to do a deep clean before your first show to take the time to clean, condition, and polish all of the parts of the tack. At the same time, check for any pieces that may look like they are breaking in order to prevent any malfunctions from happening in the ring.

  5. Lastly, have fun! Winning is of course wonderful, but showing horses is about having a great time with horses and friends! With showing comes a lot of stress so by taking the time to relax and just enjoy the ride makes a class so much more fun. So, before the show, get into the mindset that winning isn’t everything, mistakes happen, and to just enjoy every moment of doing what you love. Believe it or not, you will get a big confidence boost by just letting go of the constant drive to win, and just focusing on having strong rides!


Show season comes with lots of work, time, and effort. However, with these five tips, we hope that it will go as smooth and as enjoyable as possible! Good luck to all the exhibitors showing this 2019 season and have fun with your morgans!


-Taylor Hudson

The NYSMHS Junior Exhibitor Team Challenge Award

This award is presented to the Junior Exhibitor–Horse team that accumulates the most points in a single seat at (3) USEF rated shows in New York. Along with the Jr. Exhibitor pleasure classes, equitation classes from each show will be counted. (Showmanship and Fitting & Show classes are considered as equitation classes.)


If the team shows at more than (3) shows, shows with the most points will be included. Points from the NYSMHS Western NY and NYSMHS Regional shows will automatically be counted towards the award.


If the Junior Exhibitor–Horse team shows in multiple seats, the seat with the most points will be used for calculating point standing. The team will only be entered in the award once. (I.e. if the team shows in Hunter Pleasure and Western Pleasure, only one seat will be used for calculating points.)


Junior Exhibitors participating in the Walk-Trot division will be included in this award.


Junior Exhibitor MUST be a member of the NYSMHS. Accumulation of points begins with the beginning (or renewal) of the membership. Points earned prior to the membership will not be counted. Points will be awarded per the NYSMHS High Score program with all shows carrying the same point weight and championship classes counting double. Entrance for award consideration is automatic.


A Champion and a Reserve Champion award will be presented at the NYSMHS Year End Banquet. The NYSMHS Junior Exhibitor Team Challenge Award is sponsored by Sue Gramse.  Contact Sue by phone or snail mail should you have questions. Or by emailing Patti at pwaring@twcny.rr.com

Interested in a local youth group?

Berkshire Morgan Youth Club

Contact: Barbara Irvine

1550 Rt 203, Chatham, NY 12037

(518) 392-5064 Irvine44@aol.com


Central New York Morgan Youth

Contact: Mary Ellen Mulligan

5730 Burr Rd., Trumansburg, NY 14886;

(607) 387-5625 m.e.mulligan@stoneleighmorgans.com


Orchard Falls Cavaliers

Contact: Judith Manchester-Vassie

4910 Duerr Rd., Orchard Park, NY 14127;

(716) 662-9408 QLEA@aol.com


Possibility Youth Morgan Horse Club

Contact: Michelle McCleester

(518) 813-3404 mccleester47@gmail.com


Tri Color Trotters

Contact: Olivia Doutt-Piatt

13058 Kirby Road, Akron, NY 14001;

(716) 574.2100 odoutt00@aol.com

From our friends at the AMHA, click here to view the Morgan Horse Bulrush Youth Workbook.

© 2016 NYSMHS

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