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Model Horses Are Not Just Toys

Updated on October 19, 2011
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.


One of the most popular departments in the tack store where I worked was the "toy room." The model horses were the main attraction. The owner of the store designated a play area with a barn, horses and play rug so children could let their imagination keep them busy while their moms shopped. Even kids who had a real horse were fascinated with the little plastic and resin equine population.

Collecting and Showing Toy Horses

My first experience with model horses was when someone gave my grand daughter one for her birthday. It was a dapple gray Arabian, just like her own horse, Sonny. Before I knew it, she had her shelves and windowsills full of prancing little horses.

I soon learned that Jessica wasn't the only one with herds of horses in their bedrooms. Almost every one of my 4-Hers had them. It was only natural that we organized a model horse show for one of our activities. I set up a few card tables in the tack room and the president of our club made tiny little rosettes to award the winners of a dozen classes. I expected a couple of horses per child.

Imagine my surprise when the boys and girls arrived with boxes full of model horses, barns, riders (BarbieƔ dolls were perfect trainers and owners of these horses), all kinds of tack and accessories, eager to show off their whole collections!

Up until that time, my grand daughter had been content to play with her horses and dolls. She made up complicated stories and played them out on her bedroom floor. But after comparing notes I noticed she wasn't playing with some of them. There were some models that stayed neatly in their boxes, because they were "collectible".

Jessica began to look for particular models. She gave all the cheap generic horses to her younger cousin, who still thought of them as TOYS! Most of Jessica's horses were Breyer or Peter Stone horses that stayed boxed and on special shelves we bought for just that purpose. She saved all her birthday and other monies to buy special editions, which I considered out of my price range for little plastic horses.

If your Pony Club or 4-H members enjoy model horses, you might want to have a model horse show. It's great fun, especially for non-horse owning members. Classes we chose to have were biggest, smallest, Western, English, driving, best costume, and most unusual. You can make up any kind of class, and even charge a small entry fee. The way we judged was by popular vote. Make ballots and give each entry a number, just like in a real horse show. Then have club members vote for their choices in each class. Moms can count ballets during refreshments and club business.

Just let me warn you ahead of time, you will need more than a couple of card tables to hold all of the entries.


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      CAz 7 years ago

      i collect schleich but at the moment i only have 4 Zara, Jasper, Pickles anf Heidi

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      genna 8 years ago

      If u type in on youtube fenokeegirl i have got vidz of SOME of my models i collect schleich, and i am like ur daughter i have 2 whole crates of diffrent sizes, makes etc. But i have decided to just buy schleich...

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I doubt any of our kids in 4-H back then could afford the model horses.

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      Deborah 9 years ago

      I wish we had done this when I was in 4-H!