Friday, September 9, 2011

The six year costume

In all my years of buying, selling and trading in the model horse hobby, I've only experienced a few "bad" transactions.  In most cases, the problems were fairly minor and eventually got worked out to everyone's satisfaction.  However, there was one sale that has been bothering me for the past six years...  at least until today!

Back in 2005, one of my hobby idols was Abby Marston.  In addition to making the most wonderful costumes, she was one of the most helpful people on the ModelHorseTack mailing list.  If someone had a question, she was always willing to share her knowledge, and the Arabian Halter "How To" section on her webpage was an early inspiration for my own Tack Tips series.  

Predictably, I longed to own one of her fantastic creations.  When one of her Mameluk costumes failed to reach its reserve on eBay, I emailed her and asked if I could buy it on time payments.  By that time, I knew that Abby was having trouble filling orders, but since the costume was finished, I didn't think it would be a problem.  

I was wrong. 

I'm not going to bore you with all the details.  Suffice it to say that Abby and I have stayed in sporadic contact over the years.  Two weeks ago we exchanged a couple more emails and today--some six years after the fact--I have the costume in my possession.

It arrived in a fancy, leather covered box which I was almost afraid to open.  I only vaguely remembered what the costume looked like, and after so much time, I was expecting to be disappointed.
Fortunately, that was not the case. 
Every single piece of this costume is absolutely beautiful.  
And the workmanship!  Everything is so neat and well constructed.   
I have spent the better part of the afternoon... 
all the details! 
Worth the wait?  I don't know.  Six years is a long time--much too long, really.  Still, that's water under the bridge.  What matters right now is this:  I have the costume and I love the costume.  Thanks, Abby.  I'm officially crossing this one off my "bad transaction" list!


  1. Beautiful costume! I'm glad she is finally taking care of things like this.

  2. Of course the doll is what impresses me the most but-- Yay!

  3. The true beauty of it all is you BOTH will be able to sleep at night with good conscience and less bitterness in the mouth. I'm on 10 years waiting for my custom I ordered, haven't heard from Miss BNA whom her friends all rally around everytime I bring it up (um, I'm the one out $200, excuse me)in a good six years if not more ("She's almost done, I only have to add a few more spots!") I've given up. I try not to be upset about it and for the most part have written it off but another part of me wonders how she can sleep at night. All I want is for her to send me back my horse and photographs and be done with it.

    So it is good to hear someone out there has a conscience and is woman enough to make things right.

    Congrats on your costume. It probably comes with baggage but enjoy it for those of us who are still waiting...

  4. I feel for you, Christine. No one should have to wait years and years for a model horse or a model horse costume. I was really angry and bitter about this transaction for a long time. I just felt so... betrayed. Four years ago I would not have been capable of receiving this costume so graciously.

    Fortunately for my own mental health, I was able to let it go. I wrote the whole thing off as one bad event amid an ocean of good experiences. I really did not expect to ever see the costume.

    I have to give Abby a lot of credit for making this right in the end. I'm sure it would have been easier for her to run, and I appreciate that she's never made any excuses for her own failings. I bear her no ill will and hope she will continue to take care of all her old customers.

    So yeah, the costume does come with baggage, but I'm very grateful to have it.

  5. Jealousy!! I can just see that on Sunny in real-size... Sigh...

  6. VERY glad to see you got your stuff, I had a friend who waited multiple years to get her costume as well. I understand that life happens etc etc but I do wish people would SAY so. Yeah this IS gonna take me YEARS to finish or whatever. And to NOT say oh I'm sending it next week and next week never comes. I hope the costume reminds you of good things and not bad. :-) Best Wishes, Lorrie