Golden Oak Stables: Activity Kits For Summer

June 3, 2013

With summer knocking at our door step, long summer days are ready to be filled with days of fun! For a Breyer horse lover, there is nothing better than days filled with your stable! There’s also a myriad of activities that any horse lover will have a blast filling their summer days with!

Breyer and Golden Oak Stables bring you a line of accessories that can fill your summer with all new ways to play with your horses and to try new things! A fun way to start is with the My Dream Horse Customizing Kit! You can learn the basics of customizing a Breyer horse like so many artists do every day with this kit and be on your way to turning every horse into your dream horse! This kit will take you from painting to hairing and teach you all about the realistic way to paint a horse!

For those who are ambitious and want to try something creative, the Model Horse Sculpting Kit is the way to go! You can learn how to sculpt a horse from start to finish with this kit just like Breyer’s own sculptors! Included are all the tools you need to make a classic sized sculpture! What a fun summer project!

If you’re looking for something a little more low key, there’s many Breyer Coloring Books that are easy and fun ways to pass the time! Pumpernickle Goes To The Fair, H Is For Horse and the Breyer Collectors Coloring Book are all fun ways to get involved with your horses and bring a little creativity to the pages!

There’s also things like Puzzles, Playsets, Painting Kits and more that can fill almost every summer day with something fun and Breyer to do! The possibilities only end with your creativity, so what are you going to make this summer?


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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 Activities: Summer Project Time!

June 16, 2011

Warm weather is here and days by the pool are plentiful, but what about the rest of the time? Its a perfect time to get yourself into a new project and learn to do something new and fun with your model horses! From customizing to sculpting to mold making, with Breyer and Golden Oak Stables, you can make a new and beautiful models on your own!

Breyer has gotten experts from all around the hobby to come together to create easy, fun and realistic kits that will prepare you to jump into the world of model horses! With everything you need in one little box, these are easy projects for a rainy day or to keep you busy all summer!

One of the most popular model horse activities is customizing. Customizing a horse is a way for you to create the model horse of your dreams! Breyer has created a Dream Horse Kit that includes a horse that is ready to paint with various paints, brushes, and even real mohair to make a realistic mane and tail. The instructions give you all the tips you’ll need to paint the body color to the details as well as how to attach the mohair mane and tail to give you the horse of your dreams!

Looking for something a little more ambitious? How about sculpting your own model? Complete with a horse armature to start off of, Breyer’s Model Horse Sculpting Kit will guide you through the process of sculpting your own model horse. Sculpey clay and a sculpting tool helps you along the way and once your model is done, you can bake it right in your own oven and then use the included paints to paint it to whatever your heart desires!

If you’re looking to create portraits of your favorite horses, Breyer’s Learn To Draw Activity Kit is the perfect way to start. This kit includes a 32 page book that will show you the tricks to bring a horse to life on paper. Included are all the materials you need, from graphite and colored pencils, to tracing paper and drawing paper! There’s even a little inspiration included in the form of a lovely dapple grey Paddock Pal Morgan!

Golden Oak Stables will keep you busy all summer with kits to excite young and old! So grab a new project and get started on creating your own masterpiece! But don’t stop there, there’s tons of kits to choose from, take a look today!



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Breyer Horse Showing: Building A Performance Live Show Kit

May 12, 2011

Last time we helped you find some key items for live showing. These items will come in handy for any live show that you may find yourself at, but if you have the desire to show  performance classes you’ll need a few more things.

Performance classes are classes where showers put their equestrian knowledge to the test by creating scenes with their models that attempt to capture a moment where a horse is performing a certain skill or event. This often times includes accurate and scale saddles, bridles, props, accessories and riders. Because of the attention to detail required, performance classes can be very difficult and take many hours of planning to perfect. While at the show hall a kit for performance emergencies can save you frustration and also save your entry!

The most important item in your kit will be either Sticky Wax or Dental Wax that is used to hold bits on your horse’s mouth or a prop in a rider’s hand. I’ve even used this in the past to give the horse a little extra hold if they are in a difficult position or are a bit tippy. This was will become the most important item in your show kit and you’ll find dozens of uses for it! Tweezers are a great item to have for buckling those little buckles on girths and on bridles.  In smaller scales Toothpicks become a great item for tacking up or putting little details in place. Smaller scales require precision so the small size of a toothpick tip will become a quick friend! If you show your horses in both Performance and Halter a Felt Cloth  is a great item to quickly and easily remove sticky wax from your model in a few simple swipes.

Showing performance also means that there is a chance that you’ll have a tack repair that will be needed the day of the show. Bringing along extra Wire to fashion a quick buckle or bit along with a pair of Needle Nose Pliers and Glue will provide invaluable should a repair be needed. Extra Leather and Leather Lacing can be very helpful and will be needed should a strap or stirrup leather break.

Performance can be a bit overwhelming the first time but it is very fun and rewarding! Give performance a shot at Golden Oak Stables’ beginner friendly shows that will let you get a feel for it in a constructive manner!  Beginners are always welcome at Golden Oak Stables!


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Breyer Horse Photography: A Few Spring Tips!

April 14, 2011

Warm weather is rolling in and while storms roll in from time to time, the sun is here to stay! One of my favorite parts of spring is getting my models that I’ve gotten over the winter out and spending some time photographing them! Photographing models is a fun activity that is a great way to interact with your models that sometimes only sit on a shelf. Its also a wonderful way to get creative and take some amazing artistic shots of your models! With a few tips you’ll be taking lovely photos in no time!

The best light to take photographs in is partially cloudy light in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. This diffuses the light a little bit so you don’t get a high bright light. A bright sunlight can cast large shadows on your models and can make it difficult to take a good photo! Its also important to play with your camera settings to see what works best for you in the light that you are using. Often you’ll have to change your camera settings from one place to another, especially when going from indoor to outdoor photography. Generally, for model horses, outdoor photography produces the best results and flash will only hurt your photograph. So turn off the flash and head outside for some natural, beautiful light!

From GOS

Photo Shot Inside, Notice the clutter and disarray in the background.

From GOS

Same photo, shot outside on a “plain” background.

Another important thing is choosing your composition well. Try to steer clear of large objects in the background which can distract your photo. Avoid buildings, telephone poles, fences or other obstructions that can make your photo seem out of scale. The more basic the background, the better. Some cameras have settings which will put the background in soft focus, this is an invaluable feature for many people and can really help your photos look beautiful!

From GOS

Background cluttered with buildings and fencing.

The last little tip is about “footing”. Whatever you photograph your model on, be sure that your horse is stable on it and won’t fall over! A gust of wind can easily knock down a horse on a shaky surface and you don’t want to risk damage to your model! One of the biggest mistakes when photographing models is photographing them in grass. Avoid this at all costs. No matter how short the grass is cut, your model will always look out of scale. Choose something flat and neutral. Sometimes the color can effect the photograph though, so play around a bit to see what works best for your horse!

From GOS

Model on neutral footing.

From GOS

Model on blue footing, notice color differences with model.

So grab your camera and your new horses from Golden Oak Stables and head outside for a fun spring project! Then you can share your photos here or make a video for the Golden Oak Stables video contest out of your photos! Photographing your model is a fun and easy way to get some “play time” with your models! Young and old, its a great activity!


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Breyer Horse Showing: Picking The Perfect Breed 2

March 10, 2011

Monday’s article covered the basics of picking a breed for your beloved Breyer but there’s a few other tips we’d love to bring you so that you can bring home those blue ribbons!

Sometimes you’ll see a show entrant that has lots of breeds that you’ve never heard of that she’s assigned her horses. This is a very common thing to do and can be a lot of fun! It can also be a mistake if not done properly.  Rare breeds can get you noticed in the show ring, for better or for worse, so when picking these very hard to find breeds, you have to not only have strong documentation, but also make sure your horse looks exactly like the breed description as well as any reference photos. When you are using a rare breed spend the time to research both in books and online, you’ll want to find multiple sources for your information because misinformation happens all the time! Use reliable resources to choose your rare breeds and you’ll be in the blues!

You’ll also want to pay attention to the position your horse is in and how the mane and tail are styled. If a horse is being shown as a Missouri Fox Trotter, you’ll need to make sure he’s trotting like Missouri Fox Trotters do! Norwegian Fjords typically wear a mane that is cut in a specific way where it stands straight on end, you’ll never see a Fjord enter a real life show ring without their mane cut properly and a model shouldn’t ether.  Pay attention to the little details and this will help you on your way to the championship.

Speaking of little, minis are some of the most popular show models for some people and are growing in popularity each and ever day! Take a good look at those little guys before picking a breed and pay close attention to their details. If you need to get a magnifying glass to see the details, go ahead and do it! They are so tiny that its difficult to see all those tiny details! Breyer gives almost every Stablemate a breed which fits them well, but don’t feel stuck in picking one of those breeds, but also don’t go crazy and think too far outside of the box, sometime’s Breyer is perfect in their choices!

So spend a little time researching and have a blast learning about all of the interesting breeds of the world before your next show. If you’re in the New England area, you’re in luck, Golden Oak Stables has a calendar full of events for you this year including model horse shows! Be sure not to miss them!


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Breyer Horse Showing: Choosing The Perfect Breed

March 7, 2011

Spring is less than three weeks away and with spring comes warmer weather and model horse shows! One of the most popular divisions for model horse shows is the Breed Division. In this division, horses are judged exactly like their real life counterparts on the same breed standards that all of the large breed organizations do at their shows. Model Horse show attendees need to spend some time prior to the show picking the perfect breeds for their models to bring home the blues. This isn’t always the easiest task, but it can be very fun and rewarding when you bring home the blue!

Some Breyers are very easy to pick a breed for, models that have gaits or positions that are only present in a certain breed limit the choices of the model, don’t let that limit you though! Models like “Silver” and “Nakota” are both in positions that are popular for wild horses but they both can by many more breeds than a Mustang. Be careful though and don’t get too creative, stay safe with safe breed choices and don’t think too far out of the box!

Your first step to finding a breed is heading to your local library. Head on over to the “Pets” section and check out a few books on horse breeds. Reading more than one book is important, specifically for rare breeds is key. Rare breeds are often only known by one or two photos and because all horses are different, even within the same breed, going by one horse as the breed standard isn’t a good idea. Look for a breed for your horse that matches not only the photo but also the description of the breed. Often times books will go into details about the bone structure of the horse, pay close attention to this. All breeds have distinctive features which you should pay attention to. Arabians are known for their dished profiles and Tennessee Walking Horses are known for their gait, these are just a few of the many examples to pay close attention to.

One of the most important things when picking a horse breed is to pay attention to coat color! Breed registries regularly only permit certain colors for certain breeds. Many breed organizations have restrictions against pinto or appaloosa patterns, or dilute colors , so read those restrictions carefully.

Once you’ve taken a look in a few books, travel on over to the internet and visit the breed organization to read their “Breed Standards”. A quick search in a search engine will pull up breed organizations very easily and once you have an idea, this will give you the best, most direct information. Another place to get information from breed organizations is to visit horse expos. Expos such as Equine Affaire are large scale events where all kinds of breed organizations are present and frequently pass out free information on their breed, so taking a trip once in a while to an expo can prove very educational!

Get a little creative and do a little research and you’ll have your next champion! If you’re in the New England area, you’re in luck, Golden Oak Stables has a calendar full of events for you this year including model horse shows! Be sure not to miss them!


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