Thursday, 28 May 2015

Officially a DECADE in the hobby!

I've always loved horses, and had a multitude of horse toys and models as a child, long before I realised there was a whole hobby dedicated to them!

My favourites growing up were 'My Beautiful Horses' - small, great fun to play with and easily sourced from the corner shop down the road every weekend as they came free with a magazine, as well as in specialised playsets.

Model Horse Mad...

Can you guess I was pleased with this particular christmas gift?

 (Also, check out those seriously stylish PJs! Oh shut up, it was the 90s after all! XD)
I started customising them with the ever trusty tippex and permanent marker...

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...and eventually discovered more 'professional' techniques...

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(those brushstrokes though O_O)

First pastel paintjob...

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I still have all of them, but as I don't have the space in my room to display them all, I'm afraid most are in a box in the loft at the moment.

I can't remember when I graduated from them onto other models, though I vividly remember buying a PAPO TB mare from the shop at Dunham Massey, near my grandparent's down south and at some point in time later on, decided to have a go at etching, with, shall we say, interesting results.

(I'm still not entirely sure what I tried to achieve here - a bad clipping job maybe?)

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I also recall trying to take photo show shots of her with an old film camera but I didn't have a clue how to operate it and they all came out blurred and awful so I don't think any of the photos have survived sadly, though I'll definitely share them if they ever do turn up - if for no other reason than to show just how far I've come! XD

How do I know exactly when I got into the hobby properly though, you may be wondering? Well, the truth is, I don't. I don't remember how or why I found it, but I do know that I joined Fallen Leaves on the 28th of May 2005 and so consider that to be my first proper foray into the hobby community. I may have been on the Utterly Horses forum prior to that but I honestly can't remember and as it no longer exists I can't really check and see! I recall my first post being a question about how to upload images to the forum's photo gallery, and subsequently asking how best to fill the gaps between the legs of one of my models! I was SUCH a noob when I look back on it - I was totally obsessed with acquiring Breyers as they were the most popular models and I couldn't get them where I lived very easily, so they achieved grail status fairly early on.

I do have a rather amusing diary entry from the 7th of April 2005, where I mention my new hobby for the first time and I'd already amassed a small collection by then so I suspect I must have been on UH at that point.

 Rather helpfully for the purposes of this post I'd listed my collection as follows:

2 Breyer Arabs (classics)
2 Schleich ponies
1 Beswick horse
11 assorted ceramics
(read, crappy quality clinkies)
1 Barbie horse
4 Britains models
1 (ex) fuzzy horse
1 fuzzy donkey
1 plastic donkey
1 black resin shetland pony
34 My Beautiful Horses
1 PAPO plastic horse (the TB mare from earlier)
1 Pony in my Pocket  - soon to be a unicorn!!
2 stablemate scale horses
and one small plastic zebra foal.

Just for the lulz I did a quick count of my current collection which now stands at:

56 Julip Originals
4 Julip HOTYs
40+ Schleich/PAPO/Safari etc
8 Magpies
8 Felties
70+ stablemates/minis
3 mini resins
3 Classics
7 Traditionals
1 1/6th scale poseable.

(not including bodies, of which there are many)

With bodies and WIP customs it comes up to a rather scary total!

But at the end of the day, it's not just about the models themselves, it's the people involved that make the hobby such a great place to be in. I owe it an awful lot too, as I was diagnosed with depression in 2005/6, after which I had a good five years where I was in a very dark place for a lot of the time and the hobby was one of the few things that kept me going through some of the hardest days. The friends I've made through it are among my closest and I honestly can't imagine my life without my models either as they've become such a huge part of me over the years, especially my Julips, which I treasure above all else in my herd.

So, to conclude, models are awesome, ponies are the best; here's to the next ten years, and the next, and the next... :D

Mitchell photo Mitchell.gif


  1. This is very interesting! If you don't mind, can you answer a question for me? I collect breyers, they are the most common ones for me in the USA, but after reading your blog I wanted to buy a julip like the ones you have on the blog. I looked on their website and it doesn't seem that the ones for sale are the same posable, latex models. Is this correct? And if so where can I get one that is like the ones featured on your blog? They're just so cool that TBF needs one. Anyways thank you and sorry for the novel!

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, the company split in two a couple of years ago so the ones sold on are the mass produced, plastic 'Horse of the Year' range (or HOTYs) If you want the poseable latex ones then you need to check out and order them from there, or alternatively join the forum and look out for the next batch of spares to come up for sale. :)
      You won't regret them once you have a couple - they're totally unlike any other models and are insanely addictive. :P

    2. Ok thanks! Off on a horse hunt!

  2. Awww, look at your sweet little face. You look ecstatic with your pressie =0D I'm so pleased that your hobby and friends have kept you going, through the dark times.

  3. Cheers !
    It will also be a decade in the model horse hobby for me in June. I had the same My Beautiful Horses stable for my birthday ! We're definitely kids of the late 80s-90s !
    On a more serious note the paragraph you wrote about depression and how the hobby played a part in your well being has a special resonance to me as I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder two years ago. The ponies have sure helped me through those hard times and the friends I've met are true gems. It's so nice to be able to meet people from all around the globe, all sharing the love of equines in their model and real form.

    A. Fraxinus (Mirage on FL :))

  4. Yay, congrats on this anniversary! And oooh there's one happy you at Christmas. XD I hope you keep up with all your awesome projects, as quite frankly your blog is one of the highlights of my bloglist and you personally are such a nice person, as well.
    Keep on rocking the mini-world! :)

  5. I used to love My Beautiful Horses! I always coveted the Shire Samson but sadly I missed the magazine issue he came with :( I still have my collection in a box on top of my wardrobe, save a couple that are in a plastic drawer below the window XD I also still have all my My Little Pony models :D

    I also have 2 Breyers (the English and Western riding sets), several Schleich and other random Barbie and off brand models.

    I want to try customising the Schleich models into my OCs, what's the best way to paint them? I've done base coats on a couple with acrylic paint but they feel almost sticky, not matte, and of course there's the brush stroke issue. Any tips?

  6. Congratulations! That is awesome! I love all the pictures :D

  7. Julip horses! Memories! My mum is horse mad, I'm not, though she tried to make me :D I remember going with her to the saddlers which also had an "all things horsey" shop, and they had some Julip and other brands toys, it was the only thing that interested me in the shop, although I did enjoy the salt licks and got first go before the horse :D I remember my mum choosing my christmas gifts, Sindy horse, Lego riding stables, Petite Pony Palace and Polly pocket riding school... See what I mean, she tried to get the horsey madness into me through toys, unfortunately I grew up to be a bit afraid of them, though I do admire them :D

    What a lovely idea, customising them with tip ex and markers too!

    Hope you are in a good place now! :)