- Holidays and Celebrations
Unique Christmas Horse Ornaments-- The Carousel Horse
Looking for a Christmas Tree Theme? Why not try the Carousel Horse?
As I've weathered the storm growing from a child to an adult, the magic of continuing a Christmas tree tradition has definitely changed. Some of my fondest memories as a child at Christmas are actually remembering the stories and events that were associated with a Christmas tree ornament-- even if the memory was illustriously illustrated by my child's eye. It was like a secret treasure trove box, only opened once a year, but displayed in full glory on a colourfully lit Christmas tree.
As an adult, the sands of time have shifted as it's up to me to continue the tradition of adding one new ornament a year to the tree; but how now to pick an ornament? In the past as a child the unique christmas tree ornaments had been based on family vacations, and family moments. Now as an adult, my family had altered, split, and reshaped itself. Distances had grown between family members during the holidays, so choosing an ornament became a different task. I still wanted the memory, but in a sense, the ornament hunting itself had to represent what my artistic eye was looking for, that link to the old Christmas's of the past. And in a strange way, I wanted my yearly ornaments to have a connection of sorts, despite my family's change in configuration.
One year I happenstance to stumble across an old carousel horse ornament-- handed down to me by one of my very kind neighbours from my childhood past. She was an older lady who was very much part of our family (and many others on the street!) and she had recently passed away. But as I looked at the small weathered carousel horse ornament, I realized that it was the perfect ornament to collect yearly. An echo of the past, and a reflection of the present decision. My love of carousel horse ornaments ironically has gathered (or at the very least) made my family smile over my unique Christmas tree with it's eccentric theme!
I chose looking for carousel ornaments for a few reasons-- I wanted something unusual in my Christmas tree ornaments, but I have always loved ornaments that have a small throw back to the Victorian Christmas trees. And ironically enough, perhaps some of my childhood fondness has crept through-- for there is nothing like the magic of a carousel horse-- choosing your steed, and oh how the imagination expanded the ride around that circle. When I was young, I crossed deserts, oceans, faraway fields on whatever bejeweled steed I chose on the carousel ride. I wanted to capture that imagination for the Christmas horse ornaments-- and transferring the magic of the carousel into the magic of Christmas through unique carousel horse ornaments made my adult self smile once again with that childish happiness.
For in the end, that is the greatest search of all as an adult during the Christmas times-- looking for those little elements that whisper back to the magical spirit Christmas had, when one was a child. I was lucky to find it through carousel horse ornaments, and perhaps for you too, they can pass along a little bit of their fantastical magic, galloping and prancing around your christmas tree in glee. :)
Christmas Carousel Horse!
Ambitious vs Creative
American vs Canadian Options
I won't lie, from a Canadian market perspective, Carousel horse christmas tree ornaments are very difficult to find. As I've been hunting for about 5 years now for them, I have to admit that the American marketplace has the best availability and options regarding christmas horse ornaments that are carousel horses. Rocking horses, regular horses, even horse head ornaments-- no problem finding those either side of the border. Don't even get me started about the availability of reindeer ornaments (probably a much easier theme by the way! *laughing*). But if you're up for a challenge, enjoy the hunt, carousel horse ornaments have some of the most beautiful artistry out there when you do discover them. And since they aren't that easy to find, it means you stay on budget each year for one or two unique ornaments!
I've broken down the site into three categories: The Collector (focusing on Breyer carousel Ornaments), The Artisan (The Gorgeous work of artist Nene Thomas and her production of amazing Carousel Horse ornaments), and the Hunter (Places Offline where you can walk into stores and potentially find christmas horse ornaments).
Since I'm Canadian I will note that the online market tends to be American, but sometimes one can find the ornaments in eBay or Amazon Canada. As far as actual stores you can drive to and possibly find carousel christmas horse ornaments I have a few places listed both side of the border, but they are limited to the Southern Ontario and Pennsylvanian range.
The Collector Approach
Breyer's Carousel Horses
Breyer's history actually began from molding model horses for a special order mantlepiece clock back around the 1950s. The horse model was so popular that people inquired with Breyer's if they did stand alone horse models, and today Breyer's is one of the most recognizable modelers and manufacturer's of exquisite equestrian collectables. (See Breyer's History, from http://www.breyerhorses.com).
Personally, the quality and detail in a lot of Breyer's model horses speak for themselves, and the carousel horse ornament collection are no exception. They have great availability online in the american market, and sometimes one can hunt one of these gorgeous destrier's down on ebay as well. From my perspective, I like the quality and craftsmanship in Breyer's products, and I find they are reasonably priced. Their selection makes it possible to have a dazzling array of carousel horse colours, where the little herds prance and flit in between all of my christmas glass baubles, letting the imagination run wild ;)
- Breyer's Official HomePage-- History
The History of Breyer's Company
Great Stuff on Amazon - Great Selection in the Carousel Horse Market!
The Breyer Collection
Here is a list below of Breyer Carousel Horses-- you never know, one may just catch your eye and take your imagination for the right christmas magic filled ride! :)
The Work of Nene Thomas
I stumbled across Nene Thomas's work in my university years-- and it happened to be her prints. The imagination, fantasy, and detail in her work is like being allowed to look through a silver mirror to catch a glimpse of a rare world. Lovers of the fantasy realm would be delighted by her work!
To my excitement, Nene Thomas's work also spanned into ornaments and figurines, and her winged carousel horse ornaments are some of the most beautifully imaginative creations I've seen to date. They can be hard to find, and at times pricey, but in this case you are buying an individual artist's creation, pulled from her mind and literally molded into being. I find her carousel horses capture that magic of imagination gloriously, and weave another layer of christmas mystery!
The Stunning Work of Nene Thomas - Christmas Carousel Ornaments-- Nene Thomas
The Hunter - Roadtrips abound-- unusual places to find Xmas Carousel Horse Ornaments!
As I've mentioned before, finding christmas carousel horse ornaments hasn't been an easy task-- at least from an Canadian southern ontario perspective! However, instead of bemoaning the fact, I've actually enjoyed going out and taking a chance on random stores to see if this year that elusive carousel horse ornament will show up. The usual store ideas have been fruitful but on random years-- the Dollarstore, Canadian Tire, the Bay etc.-- I will admit that I have the opportunity to be at the right place, at the right time (and in the right aisle!) to suddenly discover that old world carousel horse charm. (I'm sure customers thought I was a laugh too-- me desperately gasping for air as hyper energy coursed through my hands as I found my prize!)
But some of the best roadtrips have been stopping in random art studios and in one case, a Best Western hotel in Pennsylvania that had a year round christmas store in it of all places. These places have made the carousel horse ornament hunt that extra bit of special, and when I hang my ornaments up, I remember with a wry smile how I managed to find these horses (even if it did take a sales clerk 30 minutes to dig them out of the storage part of the store!)
So if you manage to find yourself in St. George Ontario, feel curious and the need to explore, I would definitely recommend visiting Robert Hall Originals Studio (Or more commonly called "the Rock Store" by the locals). Aside from the museum quality and stunning pieces of rock crystals and formations, this studio has an amazing Pewter collection of ornaments. And who doesn't enjoy supporting individual artists? :)
Another unusual place I managed to find christmas themed carousel horse ornaments was at Country Cupboard, linked to the Best Western just outside of Lewisburg Pennsylvania. Aside from the incredible food Country Cupboard offers, they had an astonishing christmas selection section to their retail store-- a lot of unique christmas ornaments (from glass blown rubber ducky ornaments to-- you guessed it!-- carousel horses ;) So again, if you find yourself wandering around Pennsylvania Dutch country, see if your carousel horse ornament calling has time for the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg Pennsylvania. And pies . . . lots of pies! *laughing*
Roadtrip-- Link List - Unexpected stores I've found Carousel Horse Ornaments In!
Website Link to Robert Halls Original studio-- Located in St George Ontario
Website Link To Country Cupboard/ Best Western -- Located in Lewisburg Pennsylvania
- Robert Hall Originals
"The Rock Store" but also astonishing work in Pewter, jewelry, and offers classes in lapidary work! 100% Canadian :)
- Country Cupboard
A Best Western, bakery, retail store, greenhouse, and then some, located just outside of the pretty town of Lewisburg Pennsylvania! In the Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch food :)
Pewter Carousel Horse Example
Robert Hall Originals Studio
An example of one of the many pewter pieces Robert Hall Studios has to offer the inquisitive carousel horse collector!
Carousel Horse Found at Country Cupboard
Beautiful Glass Ornaments
An incredibly patient and dedicated shop saleslady dug and hunted in the back storeroom for this ornament when I was in Country Cupboard-- I ended up with two-- a chestnut mane carousel horse and an ebony black mane carousel horse.