Friday, June 29, 2018


Nine years ago, Tiffany Purdy chopped up a Breyer Family Arabian Mare...
turned it into a camel.
A year later, she made a mold of the camel and used it to cast another one in resin.
The new camel was sold as part of her stunning 2010 NAN auction donation.
I don't really do the whole "Holy Grail" thing, but if I did, Tiffany's camel would be right at the top of the list. I have spent years coveting this camel.
Today, the mailman delivered a big box to my door.
Holy crap! It's Iamafam!
She is so big and so cool.
Talk about an extreme custom, the only original Breyer plastic left is her eyes!
I still can't believe that happened. Thank you so much, Tiffany. I will treasure her forever!

Thursday, June 28, 2018


I asked everyone to share their best horse and water pictures on the Braymere Facebook page. Most people interpreted this as model horse and water pictures, but a few people sent real horse photos, too. That was fine by me, and I am happy to present all the pictures here today. Enjoy!

P.S. One of my new life goals is to go riding/swimming with Rachel Fail.
photo by Olivia Tierce
photo by Bobbie Allen
photo by Juliane Garstka
photo by Olivia Tierce
photo by Cold RuRu
photo by Steffi Honrath
photo by Juliane Garstka
photo by Mindy Young
photo by Olivia Tierce
photo by Cold RuRu
photo by Steffi Honrath
photo by Juliane Garstka
photo by Cold RuRu
photo by Steffi Honrath
Rachel Fail and Cisco
photo provided by Grace Oren
Cold RuRu and Sweetie
photo by Rachel Fail
photo by Grace Oren
photo by Rachel Fail

Pictures from today's ride/Throwback Thursday

Colorado is currently in the midst of a record breaking heatwave. This is the third consecutive day of triple digit temperatures in the Denver Metro area. It's too hot to do anything outside, including riding.
Except today I really needed to ride, so Santana and I went for an early morning bareback toodle.
I thought it would be fun to stand in some water, so our first stop was the nearest bridge. We peeked over the edge to see if there was any water.
There wasn't.
We got off the main trail and followed the dry river bank into trees. It was cooler in the shade.
Plus, we found some water! I entertained thoughts of riding Santana into this beaver pond, but I decided I wasn't brave foolhardy enough to do that on a solo ride.
Our next and final destination was the area Mary Jo calls Mars. Last month this spot was completely underwater. Now it's down to just a muddy trickle.
Still, that's better than nothing! 
On the ride back to the barn, my mind wandered to other rides during other heatwaves. In particular, I found myself remembering the times we took the horses swimming in the San Gabriel River
Located a short distance from the barn where the camp ponies were boarded during the off-season, the San Gabriel River is a mostly urban waterway, flowing fifty eight miles through Los Angeles and Orange Counties. After a series of severe floods in 1914, 1934 and 1938, local and federal governments contained the river through a system of dams, debris basins and concrete banked channels.
Most of the year, the river was no more than ankle deep.
Every now and then, however, the powers that be would release water from the dams, and we'd end up with ponds deep enough for swimming. 
It was the best thing ever when this happened during a heatwave!
Laura and I took Snickers and Tiger swimming on multiple occasions. Snickers was best because she was so short, but Tiger was the one who really seemed to enjoy the water. I also took sullen, Eeyore pony Pat swimming one time. He showed his displeasure by sliding out from underneath me and immediately vacating the premises. Even though I was wet, that was a hot walk back to the barn without him!
Oh, it's been such a long time since I took a horse swimming! If this heat keeps up, Santana and I might have to rethink that beaver pond...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Today would have been my father's ninetieth birthday.
I celebrated by painting a cow.
There are a lot of performance showers who are perfectly content showing undetailed cows. "Just prime it black and paint the eyes," they say. "Easy peasy."
I am not one of those showers. I like my cows to be as detailed as my horses, tack and dolls. 
Besides, if there's one thing my dad taught me, it's that anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Happy birthday, Dad. I hope you like your cow.

In the beginning

I knew this was going to be a hard month, so in an attempt to ease my blogging burden, I invited members of the Braymere Facebook page to submit guest blogger posts. A day or two later, I was surprised and delighted to find this essay from my best barn buddy, Mary Jo in my inbox. Mary Jo is not a model horse hobbyist in the way we usually define the term. She doesn't obsess over Breyer's newest offerings, she's never been to a show and, aside from the Braymere page, she doesn't belong to any hobby Facebook groups. And yet, like so many horse lovers who are not hobbyists, she has a fine herd of models living in her house, many of which she's owned since childhood. Here's a look at some of those models. Thank you, Mary Jo!

In the Beginning

by Mary Jo Stark

In 2013 when Jennifer broke her collarbone, we were just becoming riding buddies. I knew very little about the tiny tack that she made. I told her I had a collection of horses and that I'd made little halters for some of them. Since she was out of commission for riding, she came over one cold day to photograph some of my collection.  
I am glad to have waited so long to put this together because over the last five years of riding together, I have learned the “names” in the business, about shows and the different classes, of Breyer contracts, and the number of people who work with model horses.  Model horse people are an amazing group with a lot of talent. Knowing what I know now, I title this, In the Beginning.

In the 1950's, porcelain model horses were the thing. I started buying them on every vacation and anytime I had extra money.
If I needed to change something I did, as in roaching the fur mane off this pony. 
When I didn’t have money, I would go to Parson’s Pharmacy gift shop in San Antonio, Texas to look at the figurines. Eventually the gift shop manager started giving me broken sets which I lovingly glued back together, even with missing parts.
A friend of mine and I then started making plastic halters for our horses. It was satisfying but you had to be very careful with porcelain ponies.
Then in the late '50s, we switched to soft plastic horses. We would register these horses with a form we had created and choose names and lineage from the American Quarter Horse magazine. We created ranches and moved the horses around with ease. If we needed to change something on the horse, heat from a match helped mold the plastic into shape.
In the early '60s, Breyer became very popular. This woodgrain colt was my first.
These were sturdy model horses with more detail than the soft plastic horses. And with bigger heads, it was easy to make a more detailed halter.
Thank you again, Mary Jo, for sharing your herd - and memories - with me. And this reminds me, we need to get you a model Scarlett!