Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lauren's hobby confession

I am excited to unveil a new guest series about the model horse hobby written by my friend and fellow blogger, Lauren Mauldin.  Today's installment, the first of six, covers her own personal hobby history.  Future topics will include an explanation of the model horse hobby in general and live showing in particular, all geared towards the real horse crowd.  Each post will be published concurrently on both our blogs, and the final installment will include a really awesome giveaway.  Thanks for including me in this venture, Lauren, and also for being such a good representative of your former pastime.  We miss you!

Model Horse Showing I-My Hobby Confession

by Lauren Mauldin

A few months back, I wrote a post about equestrian design in the home. In that post, I shared the following picture:
What I didn't mention, is that the shiny model horse you see on the second shelf was at one time a lot more than a cute accessory. In fact, he was a tried and true show pony.
 Yes friends, it's true; I'm a former model horse shower.

To me, model horses are absolutely fascinating. It's a extremely niche hobby that is completely outrageous and fairly unknown by a large amount of the real horse community. Since it's something I've always been interested in, I decided I wanted to share this rather important part of my former life with you readers. Over the next six weeks, I'll be sharing some information about the model horse hobby which I hope you find as interesting as I do.
I've loved all things miniature my entire life and like many of us equestrians, had a sizeable model horse herd when I was a kid. As a teenager I discovered that model horse showing existed through Breyer's Just About Horses magazine, and went to two live shows when I was in middle school. I painted some horses, bought a small collection with my allowance, and got busy with other things. Model horse showing faded away.

Flash forward to ten years later. I had just moved to MA away from all my friends and family. I had no horse, no friends and was quite frankly pretty depressed. The idea of model horses came back to me, and to the google I went. Almost overnight I had a network of online model horse friends through message boards and I spent my weekends traveling to "live shows" in the northeast.
I went to my first show shortly after we moved to Plymouth, and I got my butt kicked. So I took the next two years and studied all things model horses. I spent evenings reading model horse message boards and blogs about the latest OFs (original finish) and resins. I researched tons of off the wall horse events to re-create in miniature form. I stitched miniature saddle pads, bought I don't even want to tell you how much stuff on eBay and Model Horse $ales Pages and planned out the classlist for my next model show. In short, I was a little obsessed.
A lot of my reason for absorbing the model horse hobby like a sponge was my lack of friends and depression. It also gave me a horsey outlet when I found myself horseless for the first time in ten years. There's more to it than that though. The hobby has very unique outlets for creative people that I haven't seen in any other craft or competition anywhere. I used my artistic skills painting little horses... 


I got to research complicated trail patterns and rules for equestrian sports...
that I had never heard of before.
I made itty bitty leather bridles, boots, and saddle pads.

I made dioramas, and jumps and props for the little ponies.



And quite frankly, I started winning after all that hard work. And I enjoy winning!



Even though I'm no longer a part of the model horse world, I still really respect and enjoy the hobby. Over the upcoming weeks, I want to share a little bit of this world with those of you who may not be familiar with it. We'll cover different types of showing and what I loved so much about these little plastic ponies.

To top everything off, I'm hosting a giveaway to share a little bit of my model past with someone who might appreciate it! I have some items from my collection that have been sitting around, and I'd like to pay it forward by giving them away to one of you readers. Using the widget below, you have several ways you can enter to win the model horse showing prize pack. This "starter kit" contains a Breyer traditional sized Mon Gamin, an English hackamore (made by me), white bell boots (made by hobbyist Jana Skybova), leather open front jumping boots (made by me), and the coolest part... an English hunter/jumper show doll made by Anne Field! 

P.S. From Jennifer, no promises, but the odds are extremely good that I will round up a few goodies to add to Lauren's starter kit. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 comments:

  1. Woohoo! Thanks for the share, and for what it's worth I miss the hobby too. A lot! :)

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  2. I don't show seriously any more, but I got into it when I was twelve. I have Asperger's syndrome and have always struggled socially and academically. My mother thought model horses were pretty silly until she finally agreed to take me to a live show . . . and watched me turn into a self-assured social butterfly. Having horses to talk about instead of having to resort to small-talk to interact with people made life so much easier.

    I'm Facebook friends now with a lot of people whom I met ("met"; online, mostly) through the hobby and they're hilarious and brilliant and completely awesome even when horses aren't involved, too.

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    1. I have no idea if we're FB friends, but if we're not, feel free to send me a friend request. If I "know" you, I'll friend you. I should warn you though, my personal page is mostly dog pictures with some horses and kids thrown into the mix!

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  3. i also found the model hobby after moving to seattle, wa away from live horses, showing, friends. I was alone without everything i had known. Models fill a small part of the large hole in my heart, the hole is from missing having a live horse and all it entails.

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  4. We have a connection here: I bought the contents of your prop box when you got out of the hobby! :)

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  5. I love this show tip blogs. I haven't ventured into showing yet but plan to in the near future so these are very helpful to showing newbies like me.

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  6. Aargh! I don't have a Facebook or Twitter account or I'd definitely be a fan! Thanks for doing this giveaway.

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  7. I just want to extend an invitation to Lauren to drop by A Midwinter's Night Ball in Georgetown (just north of Austin, TX) Jan. 18-19, if she has no real horse show that weekend. http://www.weberpages.com/amidwintersnightball/

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    1. I live in Texas near Austin maybe I can come,,thank u for telling me..

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    2. That's my birthday weekend! I wish I could go, but out of state shows really aren't in the budget right now. Instead, I'm planning to spend the day on a horse. Surely by the point, I will be all healed up!

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    3. Maybe I can go I live in Texas too..I have a PSQ stone pony,but if I repaint his ear back,he will be LSQ..:-P

      Rebekah

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  8. Thank you Lauren and Jennifer! This is a great post, and I'm really looking forward to the next ones. I got into model horses when I went to college and I was missing my horse and having health problems. I'm now riding regularly and healthier, but I still love the hobby. I love the craftiness, and the research, and all the great people!

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    1. Very well said, Leah!

      I think a lot of times it starts as a substitute for real horses and turns into something else entirely, especially for people who like making things and doing research. Certainly this is the case for me. Until my accident, I was riding five days a week. My horse life was big and vibrant, but I still wanted to come home and skive leather and Google obscure kinds of tack. Tomorrow's post will be my own hobby confession. Hope you like it!

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  9. This would be AWESOME!, but I don't have Facebook :(

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  10. Is this competition open to people in other country's? I live in the UK and have entered :)

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  11. Fantastic experience, Lauren! I've entered my email for the giveaway in hopes to get something fun for my plastic ponies. :)

    Thank you very much for hosting it! We all appreciate it :)

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  12. As usual, when we don't get our post 'fix' from Jennifer, we have a great guest blogger! Thank you, Lauren, for your information, insight, photos and tips. I can't wait to read the rest of the installments...

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  13. I only have OF models but hopefully I will get a few customs too!
    ~AHG488

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