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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You're Never Too Old

Lookie what I got, for my Mother's Day present:

Zenyatta, aka "Zenny," or "The Queen"
I am such a dope I actually forgot that I'd asked for her, and still didn't even realize what it was when I saw the wrapped box. DUHHH! So of course there were major waterworks... my hubby sweetly remembered that I'd said I would love to have this. Just goes to show you, NO, there are some things you are not too old to want, and plastic horse models are one of them! :-)

I was going to discuss my childhood collection of Breyers at some point anyway, so this was a good opportunity. I think it's safe to say that virtually all horse-crazy little girls collect Breyers (they used to be a bit more affordable - DH had sticker shock picking up Zenny there, unfortunately). At the peak of my collection I think I had around 35. I don't know about most kids, but I played with my model horses darn near every day. One of my favorite activities with them was to set up books tent-style as "jumps" on my bedroom floor, and have horse shows. (More on this in next post re: horse models)

What's really a bummer is that part of the group included about 10 small-size, nicely-made plastic horses that one of my babysitters gave me. One day I thought to look inside a hind leg and to my surprise, there was the Breyer stamp. These were from the early 60s at least. For all I know, these very early ones probably would put my kids through college if I had them to sell now... but alas, they disappeared along with a number of other models. However, (control your surprise here), I DO still have a few!

I believe my first one was this fellow:
I think they called this a "Proud Arabian Stallion," although he's not the current model under that name. He's wearing the nifty blanket I made him from a kit that Breyer sold back in the day. It even has a little Tricorne Farm logo on it that my mom helped me cut out. I wish there had been more "do-it-yourself" accessory kits, but I had to content myself with making leg bandages out of rolled up tissues with Scotch tape around them, and/or Band-Aids. I even made little horse shoes out of aluminum foil that I glued to their feet. (Yes, Children, this is the kind of thing young people did when there was nothing on TV every afternoon except soap operas!)

One of my favorites, now MIA, was my Palomino 5-Gaited Stallion. I adored that one and took particular care "grooming" him. I don't know why I just did it with him, but I took cotton balls soaked in baby oil and polished him until he absolutely gleamed. Nowadays you can buy them in a "glossy" finish, but my homemade one worked fine.

Here's another:
This is Mr. "Semi-Rearing Stallion," in buckskin. He is wearing a harness that I absolutely killed myself making out of shoelaces in order to portray him as a Roman chariot horse (project for Latin class in H.S.). It was sewn directly on him with considerable effort, and I've never been able to make myself cut the traces and free him from his painstakingly-constructed tack. Poor guy!

These next two were late additions to the collection - really, I only seem to have one truly old one still with me (the Arab). Don't know why some survived and many others are keeping my prom dresses company in a NJ landfill (this is what happens when your mom sells the childhood home after almost 30 years, and you are not on hand to definitively rescue your things. I did - obviously - get a lot of stuff but other important items vanished...). Unfortunately, I don't particularly care for either one, as the model maker they had in those days had a thing about putting the horses' eyes too close together and too far up on their heads. If they're worth anything I could definitely sell them!
"Black Beauty" or "The Black Stallion" - not sure, and not a current model under that name
"Some Kind of Appaloosa," ca. 1980. Again, not a current model and can't find him
And finally, here's a photo that you've seen before, with an addition:
This is the shelf in my bedroom which holds a bunch of equestrian memorabilia. Wild Horse Annie's "Buck" is on top of the old rocking horse. I think I actually got Buck in my twenties, not as a kid. I love the way he's only attached to his stand by one foot and is portrayed running free. And there's Secretariat, the "anniversary" edition with him wearing his Derby rose blanket, which I acquired in 2008 and have never opened (Zenny will not be opened, either). I'll tell you a secret: his eyes are all wrong, too! It is NOT a good likeness of Red. In researching this post, I have discovered there's a running model of Red that's much better, so guess what I'll be asking for for my birthday this year... :-).


  1. Finally made it over here in a bit of free time! I have that same Secretariat model, although I couldn't wait to tear him out of the box when I got him.

    I remember doing a "Make it Yourself" tack kit when I was younger that made a saddle and bridle or halter. The bridle was the most frustrating thing I've ever done! My Mom made all my Breyers blankets and rain sheets and we had a good time with that though.

  2. I think Breyer uses the same models over and over and calls them different names. Your Wild Horse Annie horse was called Hobo of the Lazy Heart Ranch in my collection.

    And the app was Appaloosa Yearling. We had a ton of these growing up. I gave my entire collection, probably pretty valuable, to a little cousin in Colorado. Couldn't see even selling them to a stranger.

  3. Anyplace, YES - I had forgotten his name is Hobo! I've been looking at some model horse blogs lately and found a Breyer look-up site, so I've now figured out who everybody is. I need to fix my post here! :-) Thanks for reading.

  4. I keep smiling as I cruise around your blog and find more and more common threads between us. I also had Tonto and Scout as a kid, I loved the poseability and my goodness Tonto was one buff cookie. Nuff said. My bedroom carpet was kelly green- a wonderful pasture for model horse adventures. I have no idea what happened to all my horses so I'm starting fresh with my own daughters- they got a beautiful Breyer horsebarn for Christmas- and Zenyatta. I do fear for this fine mare's legs are they are incredibly delicate- but I think she is truly the most beautiful Breyer model ever made.


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