Model Horse Showing I – My Hobby Confession

Model Horse Showing I – My Hobby Confession

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!

43 thoughts on “Model Horse Showing I – My Hobby Confession

  1. Very cool! Quarter Horse Congress has a model horse show, which I covered every year and it was very fascinating — the detail is just amazing!!

  2. Love it! I too read Just About Horses- and one article detailed how to add texture, like coat detail, with an x acto knife. I spent hours diligently scratching away at my poor horse!

    1. Etching! Tried that – it’s so ridiculously time consuming that I always ended up with 1/2 a pinto horse or I would get bored and do it too fast and get grooves in the plastic instead of just scratching off the paint.

  3. Very cool! I’ve always like miniature stuff too, but never stepped into the hobby realm! ( I have one Breyer – Spencer’s grandsire – Zippo Pine Bars – and he has western tack, which amuses me to no end! 🙂

    The detail and work that goes into that is really amazing! I can’t believe you made your own little leather items. Looking forward to your series of posts on the topic!

      1. Neat! (I just realized I wrote Zippo Pine Bars instead of Zippo Pine Bar. Oops!)

        He needs a show bridle – I think he just has a saddle – maybe I should order one! 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh! I love model horses! I have several Breyers, including some famous ones(Secretariat, the Black Stallion, Teddy o’ Conner). Most of mine are antique ones, which I love. Collecting model horses is one of my hobbies, though I never have considered showing them. I think that’ s awesome. 😀 By the way, I have my eye on those model horse accessories.

  5. I have a question – did you buy the little pylons and poles for the trail patterns, or did you make them? If you make them, how do you figure out the scale – math? (yuck!)

    1. I always eye balled it. They are thin hobby dowels that I would buy from Michaels or another craft store and paint. I’m sure people who are better than math at me might have done calculations… but I hate measuring so I just guesstimated and held it up to them to see how it looked. Definitely some trial and error involved, because I would get judge’s comments saying that some poles were too thick, etc.

  6. OMG! So freaking cool! Very excited to learn more about it – love all things miniature!

    I’m still working on my addiction to exclamation points…sigh.

  7. This is really neat! I had a TON of model horses as a kid, but never showed them. Instead, I created elaborate landscapes in my mother’s backyard for them to roam through. The herd dynamics were really pretty intense. 😉

    Love the tiny tack. How did you not destroy all your patience working with things that small? Serious respect!

  8. That is so cool!! I have never heard of model horse shows. I wish I had known about them as a kid. 😀 I still have all of my model horses from when I was a kid (even the ones with broken legs). You are very talented! I love the miniatures you painted. I can’t wait to read about the rest of this series.

  9. Those are amazing. I’m not a model horse enthusiast but Youtube recommended a couple videos to me that ended up being about pastel coloring model horses, so I have a new respect for what it entails. That said, the photos in this post are the most magnificent miniature horses and scenes that I have ever seen!

  10. Oh my! Are all the models in the pictures yours?

    I love model horses. My sister and I didn’t show them so much as played with them ’till their legs broke off, sometimes literally. But, I remember going to Breyer Fest as a little girl and being awed by so many of the models. I went again just a couple of years ago and still found it inspiring. The amount of work that goes into these creations is astounding.

    Can’t wait to here more!

  11. How cool! I looked into model horse showing when I was younger, but I was already into SIM horse games, so it filled that void for me. I’m excited to learn more about it in your series.

  12. Lauren this is so cool! I am having to get out of horses for a while due to the loads of debt we incurred with trying to save the mistress. Unfortunately, I am really sad about it. I would love to be able to have some models to keep me busy and involved in the “horse” world. I would absolutely love to get involved in some way! I want to win this!!!!

  13. I DO THIS TOO!!! 🙂 Love meeting fellow model horse hobbiests. I used to be big time into it, had all the great ARs and customs, went to NAN, was on the NAN board, etc. Then Hampton came along and he sucks all my money away haha. I do still have a tub full of my favorite models though and I really do miss it. I hope to get back to showing soon. You have inspired me to write my own post about this. 🙂

    1. NO WAY! That’s cool!!!! I should have saved more of my stuff, because like you – I also really miss the hobby. Just not enough time and money around to do both! I don’t know, maybe I will work on some CMs and build my skills there a bit. Who knows?!

  14. I always wanted to do model horse shows but never got into it. Did collect Breyers though–now my collection (with some *ahem* well loved *ahem* ones) resides in a miniature barn my dad built me and on my shelf 🙂

  15. I actually found your blog through Jennifer’s at Braymere! shemovedtotexas was on her page and it caught my eye because my family on my Mother’s side is from the southern hill country in Texas. I will admit that now I have TWO must read blogs for my daily agenda. Good job on being fabulous!

  16. I do model horses because the real thing is not something we can afford right now. And because I love them. I am a model horse artist. I too resculpt and repaint models and make tack and props…… I make stablemate scale tack. 🙂
    Love that you’re promoting the hobby !

  17. I almost missed the part about Jennifer from Braymere…I was wondering if you knew her. Silly, silly question! I love Jennifer and am a closet model horse obsessor. I don’t have to drive (and honestly didn’t think it was accessible in these parts…apparently, I was totally wrong!) to do it, but I LOVE reading about the model horse world. LOVE.

    Can’t wait to read this series!

  18. I had no idea you were part of the model world! I love it, but don’t have the time to really immerse myself in the hobby. Still, I have a couple of really nice resins and OFs that decorate my room, a few in progress too.
    Looking forward to the posts!

  19. Hey, cool!

    I am a former model horse shower and judge 🙂 before the Cowpony started taking up too much of my time.

    You have (had) some nice stuff! I kept most of my collection. I think my tack and props are in a box in a closet somewhere….

  20. Wow you are incredible at that! I also learned about model horse showing through the breyer magazine but there was never anything in my area. You got really into it though, I’m very impressed with your work! I am always amazed and fascinated with dioramas. My favorite school projects involved building them!

  21. I went to one live Breyer show in WA about 10 years ago. About 15 years ago, I made leather halters for breyers – still have the leather/hardware from that. About 2 months ago I gave away 40 breyers to a friend’s nieces. I still have about 50 left – the nicer ones. Trying to sell those off but am finding they have little value anymore. Probably give those away too. I am keeping about 10 models, my favs. 🙂

  22. If i had discovered that when I was younger I would have been doomed! Fortunately now I have no time. Except that a model that looks like my two horses would be awesome…..ack.

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