If you have read my previous feature entitled Horseless Horse Fun, you will know that my friend, Lorna, and I used to collect Britain's model horses when we were young. Britain's are more famous for their extensive range of award-winning die-cast military models, but back in the early 1970's they also had a range of plastic horses, riders, stables and other farm animals.
When Lorna and I used to play with our Britain's models, it was strictly small-time stuff -- acting out scenarios of lessons, shows and daily life in our home-made barns (which you too can make following the instructions on the aforementioned Horseless Horsefun page). Nowadays, the hobby of model horse collecting has taken on mammoth proportions. Many people like to collect rare, customized models. Some prefer to customize their own, repainting extra details on them to make a truly unique model.
Many people like to show their model horses -- either in photo shows or at live shows. These shows offer the same types of classes held at their real-life counterparts - halter classes for conformation and a myriad of performance classes.
Model horse collecting can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it. Lorna and I used to make blankets and tack for our models, out of scraps of fabric and vinyl, however today's collectors have the opportunity to purchase a variety of custom accessories for their models. Breyer and Julip also sell barns, jumps, trailers, riders, tack and other accessories to add reality to your collection.
The plastic and resin models are fairly durable, but there is always the chance of a mishap, such as a model getting sat on and broken. When this happens, it is time to get out the superglue, or seek the services of a commercial restoration service.
Model horse collectors can subscribe to a model horse listserv or email group and be in daily email contact with fellow enthusiasts, and get details of model horses and accessories for sale to increase their collections.
If you haven't thought about collecting model horses before - take a look at the wide variety of models available in your local toy store, tack store or on the Net. It's a fun and enjoyable hobby.