Live shows have been held since the mid-1960's. Hobbiests have been collecting from the 1950's.
Model horse shows are for all ages. Some shows offer reduced entry fees and special divisions just for beginners (and juniors).
Most (90%) shows are open to all manufacturer's models (Breyer, Hartland, etc.). However some shows are open to only certain sizes, and a few are just for a certain manufacturer, like Breyer. Collectors generally show their most realistic models and don't bother with those with poor detail or realism.
Traditional models are 1:9 scale (one inch of model = 9 inches of real), Classic models are 1:12 scale, LB or Littlebit are about 1:20 scale, SM or Stablemates are about 1:32 scale
There are too many manufacturers to name, but some of them (aside from Breyer) are: Hartland, Peter Stone, North Light, Beswick/Royal Doulton, Border Fine Arts, Hagan Renaker. And on the "other" side of the ring are Customized and Artist Resin horses.
Everyone buys a horse to fit their own criteria. I like to find a horse that is a bit different than the rest. This could be a slightly lighter/darker coat color; more/less wild dappling; markings just a little different or more crisp; neatly painted eyes, mane, tail; or maybe a goof that doesn't look like a real goof, such as one that is painted nearly a different color than the rest or a horse that is supposed to be branded but isn't. Sometimes these differences tend towards more realistic colors, sometimes not. I would guess most people would tend for the more realistic color than the one that is not as realistic but more different.
There are folks who purchase pieces for sentimental reasons, others who purchase pieces to "complete" a set, some who collect only what "really touches" them, and some look at what they think will do well in the show ring. As it sometimes comes down to a opinion of a judge (all other things being equal), there is no "guarantee" that a piece can or will do well in the show ring. The best suggestion is to buy what you like (hoping it will do well in the show ring).
Another suggestion is to invest in quality, not quantity.
Laag is the name of a horse, not an abbreviation. It's the Breyer 1996 Special Edition Pacer in dapple grey.
Not usually. Most non-OFs are Breyers, Hartlands or another manufacturer's models that have been altered from the original state, and are then called "customs" or "customized" models. However, some artists actually DO make their models--they are called "original sculptures" or "OS" for short; they are then often reproduced in resin copies (as "artist resins") which can be painted/finished as desired.
Yes! Dozens of live shows are held all over the country every year, and in other countries as well.
The majority of live shows in the United States are North American Model Horse Shows Association (NAMHSA) member shows. Horses that place first or second in many classes are then qualified to participate in the North American Nationals (NAN). Check out the NAMHSA web site for shows near you.
Local shows are often announced on NAMHSA regional lists or may be a "tour" show. They are usually not as widely promoted.
This has to do with the condition and realism of a model. "Live show quality" or "LSQ" models that are OFs are in perfect or near-perfect condition--no rubs, scratches, warped legs, etc.--if it were exhibited at a live show, it would have a good chance of placing in terms of its finish and condition. "Live show quality" models that are CMs means nearly the same thing but there's more to it. CMs with this label not only have no rubs, scratches, etc, they are also nicely painted, have well-done manes and tails, and if repositioned, are accurate enough to be at least a fair representative of their breed. Models that are "photo-show quality" have problems as minor as a couple of rubs to as major as obvious cracks, warped legs, terrible hairing, poor paint jobs, and lumpy repositioning. Sellers generally try to pawn these models off as "beginner models," but experienced hobbiests advise against purchasing these horses. Keep in mind that the quality of a model is purely subjective: a model deemed "live show quality" by one may be considered garbage-can fodder by another.
Different breeds of horses are different types. Each breed was created for a purpose, such as plowing fields, pulling a carriage, or racing. Each breed has its own registry, which keeps records of pedigrees and so on. There are hundreds of breeds from Appaloosa to Wutenburg.
A few breed books with good pictures include The Ultimate Horse Book by Hartley Elwyn Edwards, Horses by Kate Reddick, and Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies. Keep in mind that most breeds have several sub-types, and pictures are rarely shown for all the various types. (For instance, there are several distinct types of Quarter Horses, but usually only one photo is shown without any indication of what type it is.) Also, photographed individuals are often not very good representatives of the breed and may have very poor conformation. Finally, breed information varies from one book to another and accuracy cannot be completely counted on--some information is blatently wrong! If you need rock-solid information, it's best to get information directly from breed associations.
A name is easier to remember and reference, and serves to uniquely identify a particular model. Occasionally, a brand new model is shown as "Unnamed" until a proper name is decided on.
Many people keep a notebook and jot down interesting words or phrases that may later be used in a model's name. Some people like to use a prefix in their model's names as an identity for their studio, stable, or ranch, such as SAA Kahlua, where "SAA" stands for Shining Aspen Arabians.
No, no! It's true that there are a number of our hobbiests that actually do have real ranches and stables, but most do not. Model horse stables and ranches are usually "made-up;" however, some of our artists have studio names instead of stable or ranch name, such as DragonQuest Studio.
Because most models are mass-marketed, there are literally thousands of Mistys out there, so if you entered your Misty in a show with a dozen other people who also had Mistys, the only way you'd be able to tell the difference between all of them is by the owner's name! If you really like your model's name, add a prefix so it's easier to differentiate from others. Otherwise, you can entirely change the name or keep parts of it, such as Misty Maiden or Shady Oak's Misty.
Neither of you have to rename any model, since there are no restrictions on names. This scenario is a good example for why it's a good idea to use a prefix. That way, there's never any confusion as to who's model it is!
There are two basic forms of model horse showing: Photo and Live.
Photo showing is when you take photos of your models and send the photos to a show advertised in a hobby publication and wait for the results. In a nutshell: take photos of your models; label the backs with their name, gender, breed, other various information including your address; slap a piece of "magic tape" on the back of each; find a photo show class list in a hobby publication; write the class numbers you want to enter on the tape for each model; send the photos to the show, making sure to include the show fee and a Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelope (SASE) for their return; and wait for the results.
Live showing is when you physically take your models to a show and place them on the judging tables for each class being entered throughout the day. In a nutshell: find a live show advertisement in a hobby publication; send an SASE for show information; send an entry fee along with a list of model they plan to show; at the show, set your models on your assigned exhibitor table (entrants also usually set up sales horses and other items for passers-by to look at and buy); pay attention to the class announcements; when a class is called that you have a model entered into, place it on the show table; wait for the judge to place the class and listen to hear when the class is pinned; bring each horse entered into the classes back to your table.
A show model should be in excellent to mint (perfect) condition, it should be a good representative of the breed and gender it's being shown as, has a realistic color and is well-proportioned. For photo shows, a model doesn't necessarily have to be in pristine condition because the camera will hide flaws and only shows one side of the horse. However, a model entered into a live show must be as perfect as possible, because the judge will be scrutinizing every inch of the horse.
For the extra-special show model, some people like to look for a horse that has a little extra something: OFs with a slightly different color than usual, extra nice paint job; or that little extra spark, known as "presence." Sometimes rarity is a factor but not always.
Customized models must be accurate and well done. Neatness in workmanship is a must! The closer the horse is to realism the better. A common mistake made by showers is believing that the more repositioned a model is, the better it is; oftentimes, the most customized models are also the most flawed!
This varies from show to show but you may see are: shower levels/divisions including Novice and/or Junior, and Open; Amateur Finish catagories including OF Plastic, OF China and/or resin; CM (custom) and/or Artist Resin. Sometimes CM may be divided according to amount such as complete customs, repaint only, simple custom and/or customized by owner (Amateur division). Most shows also have one or more performance divisions.
At live shows, OFs and CMs usually have separate divisions, though performance classes are often for both OFs and CMs together. Because halter classes are so large, they are usually split into separate divisions for types of OFs or CMs, such as OF Plastic (Breyers, Hartlands, etc.), OF China Hagen-Renaker, North Lights, etc.) Photo shows often make separate divisions for OFs and CMs but this isn't always the case.
Depends on the show. Most shows I have been to have separate divisions for OF and CM. But if all are together then it really depends on the individual horse. If you have a poorly customized model and a wonderful OF, then the OF will be the better choice.
Performance divisions generally group OFs and CMs together, so for each class it's very important to evaluate which model would have a better chance if entered. While a CM in a cutting position will be better for the cutting class than a standing OF, the standing OF would be a better choice in English Pleasure than the CM cutting horse. If you want to show a model in a number of performance classes, a model with an action pose like a walk or trot is a popular choice.
This depends on the model, but generally, judges do their best to ignore the molded-on parts, and tails molded onto the body or legs is very common and is not discriminated against. Models with molded-on tack or riders, however, may be disqualified from halter classes. When photographing such horses, bases are covered with sand or dirt to hide them.
They cost so much to enter because the overhead and costs involved in putting on the show are very high. To begin with, a hall must be rented unless a member of the show committee has a barn or other large building to hold the show (this is very rare). In many regions, it's next to impossible to find halls with enough room that rent for under $1,000 a day, though rental fees will vary widely depending on the location. Awards are expensive, and will cost anywhere between $200-$400 for enough nice commercial flats and rosettes to award a medium-to-large classlist. Keep in mind that this doesn't include trophies or any other awards! In addition, the cost of advertising, printing, sending out show packets and results, plus stationary supplies really add up in a hurry. Also, some live shows provide breakfast and lunch, usually an out-of-pocket expense paid for by the show hosts. And finally, some shows "import" a judge, which means paying some or all travel expenses. Considering all the costs of putting on a live show, it's easy to see why MANY live shows do not pay for themselves, which is yet another burden for the show committee. (For another example, a large two-day show like Northwest Congress (Renton, WA), has a show budget of nearly $3,000! Room rent: $1450, ribbons and awards: $1200+, printing, postage, advertising: $350. While the budget for NAN - the North American Nationals - held annually has a budget of $20,000-$30,000; but size does matter as there are hundreds of entrants and thousands of horses entered) Many shows hold raffles at the show to help pay for the show, and some have benefit auctions. Show holders try to keep the entry fees in a range where it is 'fair' to both the entrants and the show holder's checkbook!
No two models, are truly identical. Some models have better paint coverage or coloring, others have better finished seams. The legs on one may sway to the left while the next are well-centered under the body. Scratches, rubs, yellowing, dust, and so forth also distinguish one from another. Models selected for the highest placings are usually the better examples of what a production piece can be--pristine condition, superior manufacturing aspects like seam finishing, painting, detailing, etc. If you look at a table full of seemingly "identical" models with these aspects in mind, you'll begin to see how different and unique they actually are, and why some examples of a mold or color are better or more appealing than others.
Most shows are advertised in NAMHSA regional lists, and of course, people also find out about shows through word of mouth.
Most of the information about Breyerfest is available on the Breyer website, which also has information about signing up for events and purchasing the BF model, but other hobby publications usually list upcoming BreyerFest events too.
Go to a show and see what's winning. Ask why.
Or use the following as guidelines:
For halter, select horses with good ABCs (anatomy - biomechanics - conformation) and then choose the appropriate breed to fit the actual horse.
(OF) Collectibility - know the history, rarity of your piece and get the best "condition" you can - no rubs, scratches and dust your horse. ;-)
(CM/AR/OS) Workmahsip: select the most realistic bodies, the best prep job, the smoothest paint job, the "neatest" (as in careful, not cool) attention to details.
Performance: choose a moving (walk or trot) horse, research appropriate classes based on gait, breed type, "show turnout", and/or tack/prop availability. (Standing horses can be some of the most difficult -- one has to be creative -- to show.)
OK, let's say you're looking to buy LAAG, Breyer's Traditional-sized Pacer. This model has a molded-on halter which is red. If the painting was done correctly, there won't be any red paint on the head or body of the model. Most Breyers have specialized painting techniques required to create their color and is usually the cause of overspray. For example, to paint the red halter on the Pacer, a "mask" was used which covers the entire model except for the halter. If the mask does not fit well, or is not placed correctly, paint will mist over--or overspray--an area it's not supposed to go. Overspray examples include tail or mane colors that continue into the body too far, or muddy spots with hazy edges on pintos and Appaloosas.
Unacceptable models include those that look sloppy or have spots where the model was not painted. Scratches, rubs or nicks should also be examined for; these models should be passed up if the flaws are obvious. Keep in mind though that the term "unacceptable" is objective--the same model might be unacceptable to one person but fine to another.
Generally speaking, the term refers to what the final coat of paint on the model is. If it is the same coat of paint it left the factory with, then it is called "original" finish. If it has been painted over by someone, it is called "repainted" or "customized".
In the past, some people did use horse hair on their models, but it's too stiff and wiry to look good in miniature scale. The hair most commonly used is mohair (hair from the angora goat), dyed in horse colors. It's much finer than horse hair and is easy to work with. Other types of hair or synthetic fibers can also be used such as viscose, alpaca wool, or unraveled embroidery floss, etc. Viscose is rapidly becoming a new favorite for hairing because of it's silky colors and fine texture.
No, the tack made by Breyer is "play-quality" only.The most sought-after miniature tack is hand-crafted by hobbyists. Due to individual attention, these items such as saddles, bridles and other miniature gear can be much more detailed and realistic than what Breyer offers as mass produced items. Tackmakers advertise in hobby publications, and if you ask any experienced hobbiest at a live show, they'll give you many excellent references. If you'd like to try your hand at making your own, there are kits and supplies available too.
Tackmaking can be a very time-consuming and tedious business, so you are paying for the artisan's time, skill and experience in every piece you buy. You can save money by making your own, but that takes time and a lot of practice. Though hand-made tack may seem expensive, these artists make much less than minimum wage on the items they create, and make tack ultimately for the pleasure of working in their craft.
There are a number of companies and individuals within the hobby that sell both finished items and supplies so that you can make them yourself. A good place to find sources for supplies or tackmakers are the hobby publications, as well as online references via the web or on the Haynet mailing list. If you are looking for a particular item, ask someone!
Although a few bits stay in place by tension, most bit shanks are held in place on the sides of a model's mouth with the use of "Sticky Wax". Wax provides a temporary hold and can be wiped off when you're done. In the past, some hobbiests actually sawed models' mouths open in to make room for a bit...thank goodness for sticky wax! Some brands to look for are "Sticky Wax," "Mini Hold," or "Quake Hold," which can be found at craft stores or some in-hobby model horse suppliers. Alternatives that work equally well include wax used in layout paste-up (found at art stores), wax used for dental braces (found at drugstores or your dentist), and beeswax (found at craft stores).
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