Breyer Horse Collecting: Documenting Your Collection

September 29, 2011

Whether you have 1 or 1000 Breyers in your collection, you’ll probably come to a point where you’d like to keep them organized and documented. There are dozens of different ways to go about this, but choosing one that works for you might just become one of the most important things you can do for your collection!

If you start documenting and organizing your collection early, you’re already ahead of the game. Don’t fret if you haven’t though! Its easy to catch up. One of the first steps in documenting any collection is to photograph it. Taking individual photos of your collection may seem daunting but is the best first step you can take. Photograph your horses in good light on a plain background. If there are any identifying marks on them or anything that makes them special take a photo of that too! Its also a good idea to take photos of your collection as a whole in case you’ve forgotten a horse.

Once you have your pictures you are one step ahead of the game! Many people choose to keep spreadsheets or databases for their collections. Some people also choose to purchase special software that will hold collection information. Any of these electronic methods can be very helpful and handy, just be sure to keep a copy of the electronic file saved somewhere other than your computer in case of emergency!

A method that is popular among model horse showers is to keep a binder for their collection. Many showers will print out a page for each horse with a photo and other pertinent information and place that page in a plastic page protector. That page can now also hold any ribbons or prizes that the horse wins making it easy to go back and look over your model’s accomplishments! Some people also will record information like when they bought the horse and from who.

One thing you’ll need to determine early on is what you want to keep for documenting your collections. Some people choose to save everything, from receipts to boxes, some choose to save nothing. Its all up to you and what’s important to you! You need to figure out what works best for your collection and what you’d like out of it!

So the next time you head to Golden Oak Stables to pick out a new horse, take a moment to photograph it before placing him in your stable. A few minutes early on can save a lot of time organizing in the future!


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Breyer Horse New Releases: Renaissance Horse And Doll Set

September 26, 2011

Ambling in off the pages of a history book, Breyer has created a Medieval princess along with her mount. Celebrating Breyer’s love of the horse, this set travels back in time to capture an era gone by with its mystery and magic, elegance and extravagance and ever strong love of the horse!

The princess in the Renaissance Horse and Doll Set is a traditional scale Breyer rider with hair that is long, brown and beautiful as can be. Dressed in only the finest of royal ware, this princess is dressed in shades of golden and white fabric. Her leg of mutton sleeves which begin with large volume at the shoulder and end at the wrist fitting tight are what a woman in the Renaissance would wear and was very “In Style” at the time. Her dress is full of volume and accented with gorgeous red jewels.

Those red jewels find their way to her mount’s tack as well. Golden straps with red jewels adorn the bridle in this beautiful set and a golden side-saddle keeps our Princess on her seat. Created during the time when Catherine de Medici ruled France with King Henry II, the side-saddle has gone through many incarnations but is best known for having a second pommel where a woman can easily lay her leg so that both legs sit off to one side. This allows a woman to ride in gowns which were the standard of the time and also to control her mount. Side-Saddles also only have on stirrup as the other leg lays atop the pommel. This Princess’ side saddle is opulent as can be with golden accents and  even a slipper shaped stirrup that our fair maiden’s foot will sit.

Her mount is a bright metallic chestnut Palfrey horse which was popular in medieval times for its ambling gait that made it a comfortable mount for ladies, highly ranked knights and royalty. Created on the Marabella mold, she shines with a bright coppery coat and a pearly and full mane and tail!

Bringing history, beauty and opulence together, Breyer has created a wonderful historical set to help you get a peek into the past!


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Breyer Horse Collecting: Its all in the box!

September 22, 2011

Every collector knows that moment, you’ve gotten a new beautiful horse from Golden Oak Stables and you can’t wait to take your new model out of the box! Once you’ve freed your new horse from his box, what do you do with your boxes?

Unlike most toys and collectibles, Breyer horses are some of the only collectibles that are not generally worth more to collectors in the box. Many collectors actually prefer their models to be out of the box. Many collectors show their horses at model horse shows or show them in photo shows and for a collector to be able to show their horse it must be removed from the box.  Most collectors that show do not tend to mind if the horse does not have their box.

When displaying your collection you will find that you can fit many more on a shelf if they are out of the box which is a perk for many collectors! Collectors can also create scenes in their very own barns and stables and tack up with their models once they are removed from their boxes!

Some collectors prefer to keep their models in their boxes though for many reasons. One reason may be to protect them from damage or being played with. Breyer has also created some beautiful packaging in the past couple years making their boxes really beautiful. Most Breyers now come in boxes that have special inserts and back boxes depicting a scene that relates to the horse. On the back of the boxes you’ll sometimes find a large sticker that tells the story of the horse in the box! Breyer has really made their boxes a lot of fun for collectors!

But here comes the big question if you remove your horses from their boxes, to keep or to get rid of them. The model horse hobby is a little different because many people remove their horses from their boxes, so there’s no telling if in 10 or 20 years a horse might be more desirable with its box. Either way, you have a beautiful horse to fill your stable with, so a box is just icing on the cake!


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Breyer Horse Holiday: Artist Signature Ornament Chris Hess

September 19, 2011

For the third year in a row Breyer is celebrating its talented and wonderful sculptors with a holiday ornament that takes their work and immortalizes it once again. This year Breyer has chosen a nostalgic route and goes back to the beginning of the company choosing to showcase the work of Chris Hess!

In 1950, Chris Hess began work for Breyer in the early days of creating model horses. Chris Hess was not a horseman by trade but a very talented artist that had a remarkable skill for translating a photograph into a sculpture. For over 45 years Chris Hess created some of the most recognizable and well loved Breyer models that have ever graced the shelves of collectors.

At least 115 of Breyer’s molds have been sculpted by Chris Hess, the most by any sculptor by far and he sculpted the majority of the Breyer animal models as well. Many of these models are still in the Breyer stables today and are still favorites of collectors. Breyer has recently re-released his El Pastor sculpture as a Rocky Mountain Horse and his Clydesdale Mare and foal, both new for Fall 2011 and many, many more of his horses can be found in Breyer’s current lineup.

Its no surprise that Breyer would choose to honor such an important part of their history with a place in their Artist Signature Series. Shining in a beautiful shade of purple, Chris Hess’ work has been illustrated by another hobby alumni, Sheryl Leisure on a round glass ornament. Sheryl took Hess’ famous Running Mare and Foal sculptures and Lady Phase and the Stock Horse Foal and recreated them in reverse Hess style! She took them from three dimensional figures and turned them into a two dimensional work of art. She’s put a lovely bay pinto coat on the Running Mare and Foal and a palomino appaloosa coat on the Lady Phase and foal.

This perfect homage to one of Breyer’s greats reminds us of the wonderful nostalgia that Breyers hold with the perfect touch of holiday magic! Don’t miss out on adding this and all the other collectible ornaments to your tree this year, Golden Oak Stables brings the entire holiday lineup to you, but only for a short time!


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Breyer Horse Collecting: Other Breyer Animals

September 16, 2011

Its natural for horse lovers to be animal lovers too,  and in barns you’ll often see dogs and cats living and spending time with their equine friends. Breyer and Golden Oak Stables have a few  furry friends that will fill that place in your barn of stable dog or barn cat that are cute as can be and come with their very own equine friends!

Breyer brings a sweet new set  that features an energetic young Pet Sitter to collectors! A black and white foal is a handful for this young pet sitter but a brown and white Beagle and a grey tabby cat keep her busy too! Not be caught off guard, she brings carrots, a brush, water bowl and a toy to keep these animals occupied. She would rather watch over this little herd than a child, and who could blame her when they are this cute?

Finding a way to care for any and all, Breyer’s Animal Rescue Set brings a vet directly to those who need it! A light bay foal dressed in a blue blanket gets a bill of clean health from our friendly vet after finding himself being a little too rowdy. The vet brings her medical gear and also has a Welsh Corgi and a white cat that need attention today to make sure they are healthy and ready to head to their stables.

Supporting an important charity as Breyer often does, the ASPCA Animal Rescue Gift Set brings horse and animal together in perfect form! A chestnut stock horse is striking in his firey burnt umber color with a flaxen mane and tail. His stable friends are a tan and white Labrador mix who’s ready for a day of herding and a Siamese cat is ready to curl up on a stack of hay.

Celebrating the love of not only the horse but of animals too, Breyer brings adorable dogs and cats along with their horses to animal lovers all over! Everyone needs at least one barn dog and cat, which one will live in your stable?


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Breyer Horse New Releases: The Rocky Mountain Horse

September 12, 2011

You might think with a name like Rocky Mountain Horse, the breed would hail from the high mountains of the western United States. In reality, this versatile and beautiful breed comes from the hills of Kentucky and rides into the Golden Oak Stables lineup with grace and beauty!

First bred as a trail horse for the Appalachian foothills and mountains in Kentucky, the Rocky Mountain Horse is known for its sturdy nature and being very surefooted.  First bred in the beginning of the 20th century by Sam Tuttle in Spout Springs Kentucky, the Rocky Mountain Horse is a beloved companion to many. It is also highly recognizable by its chocolate colored coat and silvery mane and tail but can be any solid color. Like many horses  bred in this region, it is known for its special gait making them a great riding horse with a comfortable ride. The Rocky Mountain horse ranges anywhere from a compact 14.2 hands to 16 hands high and has a calm demeanor. Often referred to as the “Golden Retriever” of  horses, this gentile bred horse is a great overall horse that can do just about anything but really excels in a comfortable ride over any terrain.

Breyer has a new release for 2011 celebrating the spirit and beauty of this striking breed as the wonderful creators at Breyer can only do! With a silvery mane and tail on his deep chocolate colored body, this Rocky Mountain Horse has been recreated in the signature color of the breed. A small sock on a back hoof is the only white marking and sets off the long silvery mane and tail perfectly! Captured in the middle of a rack  this Rocky Mountain Horse celebrates the spirit of this American bred breed!

Thanks to Breyer you can bring a new, rare and interesting breed into your stable! Standing out among the crowd the Rocky Mountain Horse is as beautiful as he is versatile. A relatively new breed, they have found their way to the top of the competitive trail world and into the homes of many as beloved companions.


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Breyer Horse Collecting: Researching Real Life Counterparts

September 8, 2011

Many people enter the model horse hobby either as an extension of their love for real horses or because they aren’t able to have a real life horse. Collecting Breyer Horses  brings the world of real horses to many who wouldn’t be able to experience it in many ways, from filling your stable with a myriad of breeds to showing and bringing home championships in many disciplines. The possibilities are endless!

One way to live the life of a horse owner through your models is by researching your model’s real life counterparts. Studying breed information and learning about different disciplines is easy and fun to do and can help you ready yourself for a real horse sometime in the future or ready yourself to bring home the blue ribbon in a model horse show!

The first place to start whenever you are researching is the Library. In the age of computers we often forget this resource, but the library probably has dozens of books on horses, horse breeds and horse showing. Another good resource are real horse magazines. With dozens of publications available there’s ones for specific breeds and events. Is your stable full of Eventers? There’s a magazine for that! Magazines will help you see what’s current with the sport or breed and keep you up to date with what goes on. Even better, you might get a first sneak peek at the subject of a new Breyer as Breyer often picks equestrian athletes  or prominent horses for their next model. Famous horses like Sato, Ravel and TS Black Tie Affair all are real horses that have gained popularity in their respective breeds or disciplines.

While you can learn a great deal from reading and research, one of the very best ways to learn about your models is going to be hands on experience. While you might not own a horse, there’s certainly ways for your to be around real life horses. Visiting shows is the easiest, its typically free for most smaller shows and you can talk with real horse owners who are happy to tell you about their horses. Check your community fair grounds for their calendar for the year and most county fairgrounds have at least a few shows a year. If you are near a large equestrian community you’ll probably find it easy to catch larger events. Many of these events feature breed showcases where you can meet breeds from all over. Opportunities such as this are invaluable!

While we all might not get to sit on a horse’s back on a regular basis, we can certainly live in that world through our models. You never know, the research you do might gain you that coveted blue ribbon at the next Golden Oak Stables show!


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Breyer Horse Collection: Original Finish Restoration

September 5, 2011

No matter what, when you collect Breyer’s you’re going to encounter a bump or a scratch here and there. Even when you get a model new, the finish can be damaged. A small bump here or there might be okay for some collectors but restoration is an option that you can choose if the damage bothers you, and even you can give restoration a try! If you live show, even the smallest flaw can bump your horse out of the placings, so restoration might be the answer if your favorite model has a bump or two.

If you have any vintage models you’ll know that they often come damaged in some way. Its not easy to keep a Breyer mint after years upon years and many owners. Little bumps, scrapes and scratches happen. Even your newest model from Golden Oak Stables may suffer a little rub if he’s sitting a little too close to the next horse in the stable and they happen to touch.

Damage can range anywhere from a shiny rub or an ear tip rub to broken ears and broken limbs. The most extensive damage can be restored by a professional restoration artist. Just like any other antique or art restorers, these artists take damaged models and repair them to a new or almost new state. Take caution whenever hiring someone you don’t know and look for one with references from many hobbyists. All artists are not created equal!

Small damage, like ear tip rubs and shiny marks, you might be able to fix at home. Acrylic paint is affordable and washes off, which makes it great for trying things out with. If you have a horse with a small rub, mix a little acrylic paint until you have the color as close as possible and apply it to the rub. Remember, many paints dry darker than they are when light, so you may need to play around with it. Take a look at this past tutorial for an in depth look at how its done. If it is noticeable, wash it off with some warm water and give it another shot. Shiny rubs are just light surface rubs and can be buffed out with a soft cloth and a little elbow grease. Sometimes the pressure from a fingernail can take that mark right off! Just move slowly and take your time. Patience is very important when doing any work on your models.

So don’t fret if you’re model’s gotten a bump or two, its certainly repairable if you choose. If not, he’s still a wonderful horse, I don’t know many real life horses that don’t have a bump or scratch giving them a little character!


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Breyer Horse Events: New England Fall Live

September 1, 2011

The third annual New England Fall Live is galloping into Golden Oak Stables on October 22nd 2011, to finish off a year of exceptional events!

The finale to a year of amazing events, New England Fall Live is an open, NAN Qualifying, show that will bring stiff and fun competition to New Hampshire! Being an Open, NAN qualifying show means that any horse that places first or second will be eligible to enter the North American Nationals show in either 2012 or 2013! The pinnacle of model horse shows, the North American Nationals is an event not to be missed and your horses could earn the chance to be there!

New England Fall Live has a full classlist with dozens of classes and hundreds of NAN cards to be awarded as well as hundreds of ribbons and dozens of beautiful rosettes to be given for champions in any number of divisions. There are tons of awards to go around for everyone.

NEFL is a Breyer only show giving you the chance to show off your wonderful and lovely Breyer horses in a setting where they can compete with their own. Focusing on the amazing versatility, craftsmanship and rarity of the Breyer Horse, Golden Oak Stables is proud to call NEFL one of the only “Breyer Only” shows in the nation.

Your Breyer horses can show in any of five divisions, Performance, Original Finish Halter, Original Finish Collectiblity, Custom Halter and Custom Workmanship. There are even fun classes like the Collectors Class where you  can bring out a theme collection of horses to show off and silly classes like “Miss Congeniality” where ugly is beautiful!

No matter what your preference is, there’s a class for you. This finale of the year is never to be missed and always full of fun! You can celebrate the beauty of the Breyer horse with a wonderful day at Golden Oak Stables! Don’t miss your chance at hundreds of prizes as well as a day of friends and fun!


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