A few months back, I wrote a post about equestrian design in the home. In that post, I shared the following picture:
What I didn’t mention, is that the shiny model horse you see on the second shelf was at one time a lot more than a cute accessory. In fact, he was a tried and true show pony.
Yes friends, it’s true; I’m a former model horse shower.
To me, model horses are absolutely fascinating. It’s a extremely niche hobby that is completely outrageous and fairly unknown by a large amount of the real horse community. Since it’s something I’ve always been interested in, I decided I wanted to share this rather important part of my former life with you readers. Over the next six weeks, I’ll be sharing some information about the model horse hobby which I hope you find as interesting as I do.
I’ve loved all things miniature my entire life and like many of us equestrians, had a sizeable model horse herd when I was a kid. As a teenager I discovered that model horse showing existed through Breyer’s “Just About Horses” magazine, and went to two live shows when I was in middle school. I painted some horses, bought a small collection with my allowance, and got busy with other things. Model horse showing faded away.
Flash forward to ten years later. I had just moved to MA away from all my friends and family. I had no horse, no friends and was quite frankly pretty depressed. The idea of model horses came back to me, and to the google I went. Almost overnight I had a network of online model horse friends through message boards and I spent my weekends traveling to “live shows” in the northeast.
I went to my first show shortly after we moved to Plymouth, and I got my butt kicked. So I took the next two years and studied all things model horses. I spent evenings reading model horse message boards and blogs about the latest OFs (original finish) and resins. I researched tons of off the wall horse events to re-create in miniature form. I stitched miniature saddle pads, bought I don’t even want to tell you how much stuff on ebay and Model Horse Sales Pages and planned out the classlist for my next model show. In short, I was a little obsessed.
A lot of my reason for absorbing the model horse hobby like a sponge was my lack of friends and depression. It also gave me a horsey outlet when I found myself horseless for the first time in ten years. There’s more to it than that though. The hobby has very unique outlets for creative people that I haven’t seen in any other craft or competition anywhere. I used my artistic skills painting little horses…
I got to research complicated trail patterns and rules for equestrian sports that I had never heard of before.
I made itty bitty leather bridles, boots, and saddle pads.
I made dioramas, and jumps and props for the little ponies.
And quite frankly, I started winning after all that hard work. And I enjoy winning!
Even though I’m no longer a part of the model horse world, I still really respect and enjoy the hobby. Over the upcoming weeks, I want to share a little bit of this world with those of you who may not be familiar with it. We’ll cover different types of showing and what I loved so much about these little plastic ponies.
To top everything off, I’m hosting a giveaway to share a little bit of my model past with someone who might appreciate it! I have some items from my collection that have been sitting around, and I’d like to pay it forward by giving them away to one of you readers. Using the widget below, you have several ways you can enter to win the model horse showing prize pack. At the moment, this “starter kit” contains a Breyer traditional sized Mon Gamin, an English hackamore (made by me), white bell boots (made by hobbyist Jana Skybova), leather open front jumping boots (made by me), and the coolest part… an English hunter/jumper show doll made by Anne Field!
Jennifer from Braymere Custom Saddlery will be cross posting this model series on her blog as well as showcasing the giveaway. Make sure to “like” her Facebook page and check out her blog if you’re at all interested in this topic. She is amazing and I’m looking forward to featuring some of her beautiful model photos in the next post!