I’ve had the privilege of not only attending dozens of live shows but also hosting and judging Golden Oak Stable’s novice series. As a judge its much easier to look critically at a model horse, much more so than looking at your own horses. Those of you that show might find it hard to understand how a judge can pick out a winner when there are 10 of the exact same model on the table, but today we’ll look at part one of how to choose a horse that is ready for the ring.
All Breyer Horses have flaws. Its nearly impossible to find one that does not. This is because all Breyer’s are painted by hand and all painted individually. There are other flaws that occur due to damage and regular wear and tear. Taking good care of your horses is the first step to having live show quality Breyers, but you also want to be able to enjoy them. With careful play and care you can do both easily.
Some things to look for when choosing a horse to bring to a live show are rubs, paint marks, and flaws.
This arabian mare would be a perfect live show model if not for her flaws. She is a great representation of the breed, she’s also got great coloring as well as being a little rare. But she has flaws.
As you can see, she has multiple rubs as well as paint marks and discoloration on her. Due to these flaws she would not make a good show horse despite all of her positive qualities.
She has a shiny rub on her barrel. This isn’t as bad as a normal rub, but it won’t help her in the show ring and is considered a flaw. She could still show in halter, but won’t do as well as a Roxy without a shiny rub. She’d also do well in performance.
One of the most common flaws can be seen on this Ashley. Ear rubs.
Ear Rubs are really common, probably one of the most common damage that can incur to your horse, and judges do notice them as flaws. Taking care not to hit the tops or sides of the ears when playing or displaying your models will help keep them nice.
Taking care of your models is the first step to having live show quality models that can hold their own in the live show ring.