BY LAUREN MAULDIN
Confession time. I am obsessed with all things miniature. If something is smaller than its intended size, I’m totally here for it. Of course, this interest grows exponentially when you show me itty bitty horse things. Specifically, model horse things.
Full disclosure, I used to be pretty deeply enthralled with the model horse hobby. For those of you unaware, there’s a lot more to those Breyer horses you loved as a kid. All over the world hobbyists create and collect model horses that are more like fine art sculptures than they are toys. Some take their model horses to “live shows” or hobby competitions, where they compete against each other in a model horse version of halter classes. There’s also a division called performance, where the goal is to create a scene with your model horse as realistic as possible from the real horse world. For me, performance is where things get magical.
I mean, check out these setups from the most recent North American National Model Horse Show, held in Lexington, Kentucky in July of 2018.
Each entry is the culmination of hours of extreme detail work from a variety of talented hobbyists. Someone sculpted the model, painted it by hand, came up with the idea for the entry, created the jump or other props involved, cut apart a Breyer riding doll to have “good equitation” and hand sewed him/her an original costume, and made all the itty bitty tack.
The tack is what I’m most impressed with. These items are “Traditional” scale, or 1:9 real size. They fit the yellow box Breyers you likely see in tack stores, but the detail is hardly anything you can find in a shop!
There are incredibly intricate boots…
Amazing, fluffy saddle pads…
Even itty bitty custom fly bonnets!
The entire artistry comes together for incredible, show stopping tack sets that look like they could belong on any full sized, real horse.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me take a second look at the old Breyer horse sitting dusty on my bookshelf!
About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.
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