Modern Pleasure vs Classic

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Well-Known Member
Dec 11, 2002
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I'm hoping some of the shetland experts out there will help me. I have a classic yearling filly (in my avater - bad posing job though) that a friend keeps saying I should show in Modern Pleasure. She has action (some, not as much as a modern) but in my opinion, is the text book classic (I've compared her with the breed standard and the illustrations in the rule book). My friend feels she would do better in the pleasure catagory. Can someone fill me in on the Pleasure ponies? I thought Modern and Modern Pleasure were one in the same. I've looked at Pleasure ponies in the Journal and just don't see a resemblance when compared to other classics.
If it is your pony show it in the catagorie you want. Remember the modern classes weather it be pleasure or not are some very tough classes. I have a classic stallion with some movement and when fired up he can trot just like a modern pleasure but he will always be shown classic. What urks me is the ponies that should be shown in modern pleasure are not they are being shown classic and when moved on the rail they do not fit in with the true classic but the judges use them any way. Read your rule book and it will state that if a horse/pony looks out of place with the rest of the class this animal is NOT to be used in the placings. So I guess I would say with out seeing the pony if its gait is to the true classic stay there. I show in all 3 catagories and I tell it is tough on the modern end.
Hi Carin:

Let me see if I can help you here. Modern/(Modern) Pleasure is similar to what the Classic/(Foundtion) Classic is. The Modern has more movement than the Pleasure pony and the Foundation has more body substance than the Classic pony. You can have a "A" papered pony that is a Modern or (Modern) Pleasure but you can't have a "B" papered pony as a Classic.

With the Modern you have the really high stepping ponies that nearly knock themselves in the chin with their knees. Now, you have another Modern who doesn't quiet knocks himeself in the face but breaks level, like Sharron Hinkles Modern Pleasure Pony of the Year, Hidden Image FMF. He doesn't quiet make it as a Modern pony even with his shoes for he doesn't have the extreme action of the Modern but has more movement than the Classic pony.

I looked at your Rosie's pedigree and in her second generation she does have a "B" papered pony. When I traced it back in her pedigree that mare line goes back to the 5th generation to a full blood Hackney that Floyd & Dave Diemer owned. Dave was the past executive secretary of the registry and he raised mostly Modern type ponies.

If you wanted to see how your Rosie would do in a Modern Pleasure class then you can show her as a (Modern) Pleasure pony but you cannot cross-enter in the following ways at any given show:

1. into any Classic Class

2. into any other Modern Performance driving (ie., Roadster or Harness) division

3. between Formal and Country Pleasure performances

4. into open halter classes if Pleasure Halter classes are offered (exceptions

being Model, Group, Showmanship, Youth Halter, Incentive or Futurity Class)

I really haven't seen your Rosie move since I'm always in the ring showing against you and Rosie. I would get another opinion of someone who shows (like Sharron) in that division.

Karen Shaw

Fiddlestix Miniatures & Shetlands
Karen S said:
I really haven't seen your Rosie move since I'm always in the ring showing against you and Rosie. I would get another opinion of someone who shows (like Sharron) in that division.
Thanks Karen. I never get to see your filly move either!
Rosie has more action then a lot of classics; I just don't think she can compete in the modern pleasure division though.
Hi Carin,

How competative she is is going to really depend on if the shows in your area offer both Modern and Pleasure classes. If they only offer Pleasure then no, she likely will not be competitive as full blown Moderns will be showing in that division if it is the only division available to them. If both divisions are offered, and others have told you in person to put her in Pleasure, try it!
You may be very suprised just how competitive she can be and might just have a ton of fun in the process!

Not sure I can help tell you where you filly fits, but here are some pics of my MODERN PLEASURE filly, Summertime Plumeria. She is not a big enough mover to go modern and I don't want to have to deal with the capwings and big shoes either so we are pleasure all the way.

She gets shod just like a classic could in just light plates, She has a mare bridle-though when I showed her I had not had time to get her going in it and we just showed in our Victor (mini/arab halter) and she Won Champion of Champions at her first show. She is not left in chains or weights either.

To me a good Modern Pleasure horse still have that flaire about them, not wild, but that it factor with an extra spicy attitude, makes them a good "show pony"

JMO Erica




How many Modern Pleasure ponies were at that show in Purcell? Up untill recently, I didn't realize there was 2 catagories.

the Purcell show she went to was the one in April and there were 5 Modern Pleasure Mares, 2 Modern Pleasure stallions and no geldings.
Well, after looking at your mare, Erica, my mare is definately NOT modern pleasure. She's just a heavy bodied Classic. I'll keep showing her in that catagory too. Maybe I'll get lucky and find some more judges that like her!

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