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Model Horses: When the Real Thing is Out of Reach

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As someone who has loved horses since she was young, wanting to own one has been a longstanding dream. A dream in which, despite living in a town where cowboys park their horses in front of the Waffle House or ride them through the Dairy Queen drive-through, owning one myself is not possible. So, why not go with the next best thing? A new, or rather, hardly heard of hobby, that gives you the closest thing to a real horse that you can think of? Model horse collecting. Yep, you heard that right. Like collecting model cars, motorcycles, or boats – model horse collecting is a fun and fascinating hobby that allows you to be creative and learn about the world of horses, without it costing an arm and a leg.

SO….What the heck is it?

Well, basically, you collect toy horses. Yeah, they’re considered toys…$50-$100 toys, but toys no less. There are different brands you can choose from: Breyer (like the ice cream) are the most common and are a more comfortable purchase while on a budget. If you want to spend a little more, Peter Stones and Artist’s Resins are handmade, handcrafted, and going for about $100-$800 depending on your preference. Collectable horses can range from $15 to $100 depending on their rarity, mold, and size. The smallest ones you can get are mini-whinnies (micro minis’) and the largest is Traditional, in the 1:12, scale. They come in all shapes, colors, and breeds. Draft horses, quarter horses, horses you’ve probably never heard of. All of them come in different coat patterns, from paints of rubicano, palomino, chestnut, and much, much more. Collections can range from 50 to 200 depending on how much space you have, as well as testing out the waters of model horse showing, customizing, and overall community building.

What can you do?

Just like how you can collect Pokémon cards and play tournaments, you can show off and show out your best models at a Model Horse show. Depending on your preference, you can either show halter, where it’s just the horse itself going against others on a table, or create tack and scenes for Performance, such as showjumping, cross country, or dressage. Personally, I choose to do both, as they are a lot of fun and a great way to showcase your creative freedom. Also, I’m a little extra.

You can customize your own models using acrylics, pastels, oil paints, colored pencils, or any other medium. You can change the color of a purchased model, or if you’re feeling super creative, create your own model to paint yourself. Some go as far a creating their own model from scratch, using clay. Or you can stick to collecting, and buy the creations of others.

This hobby is predominately filled with women, although men are totally welcome! It’s a sense of community and building relationships, as well as finding mentors and new friends to talk to about your model horse, or life-related topics. You grow in your craft and ability to multi-task, which can help you later on when it comes to school, work, or life in general.

Model horse collecting is a fun and close community. No question is a dumb question, especially if you’re new to the hobby and want to learn something that you hadn’t known before. Joining a Facebook group is a great way to get to know the hobby and its quirks. If you want to start collecting, check your local feed store! They might have some Breyers lying around, and you can always order online by going to the websites listed below. Happy collecting!

Breyers: https://www.breyerhorses.com/

Peter Stones: https://stonehorses.com/

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Tianna Williams

Northern Arizona '22

I am a senior criminology major, double minoring in Japanese and Music. I love to read, write, draw, knit and crochet. I also love playing RDO and Kingdom Hearts. I have a German Shepard named Callie, and I hope that I can become and International Lawyer after a graduate from Law School