This amazing hobby is open to horse lovers of all ages.
There are so many different aspects to the hobby that it's easy to get involved and have fun!There are enthusiasts all over the world collecting model horses which are found in a range of types, from Plastic to Porcelain and Rubber to Resin, and they come in all sizes from 1/10 scale (approximately 12"), to ‘Minis' which stand under 3" at the ears.
Model Horse collecting as a hobby has been in existence in the UK for three decades. There are no rules governing what you can or cannot collect.
Collectors meet one another through model horse clubs and societies, which send out newsletters and magazines to help you get the most out of collecting, by advertising shows or events, secondhand models for sale, and offering 'How-to' articles or members profiles.
The models are treated something like real miniature horses, with names and details, and actually showing them…just like the real thing. Models can be shown in virtually every event that their full-size counterparts are shown in, either 'In-hand' or 'under saddle', with perfectly proportioned halters, saddles, bridles and anything else that you would have for a real horse; some models even have an illustrious showing career where they can win real rosettes or large trophies.
There are many types of shows and events in which your models can compete; the most popular are Photo and Live Shows.
Photo Shows require you to send in a good clear photo of your model, with suitable tack and rider for ridden classes. The models are judged, as with real horses, on conformation and breed type, as well as their 'ability' to perform their chosen event.
Live Shows are a hobbyist's chance to get together and meet like-minded people for a spot of friendly competition! They are normally held in a village hall or similar, with ridden and in-hand classes just like a real show. Live Shows give your models the opportunity to get out and compete, and are also a great way to make or meet friends and have a fun day out. You may even be lucky enough to win a rosette or trophy!
Whatever the size or materials used, model horses are divided into two categories: Original Finish or 'OF' - this is a model which is in its original state from the manufacturer, and Customised or 'CM' - this is a model which has been altered in some way; it may have been repainted, or its original moulded-on mane and tail replaced with real hair. It can even have been repositioned in some way, e.g. a leg can be moved or the position of the head can be changed. It is then completely repainted and re-haired, so that a completely unique 'one of a kind' model is created.
You can create details for your models including pedigrees, and keep records of their placing at shows, or you can simply collect and enjoy them.
The hobby can cost as little, or as much as you wish to spend!
The people involved with the hobby are all very friendly and helpful. Many collectors own, compete with, breed and judge real horses, so the hobby is not as unusual as it may at first seem!
The British Equine Collectors' Forum (BECF) was established in 1992, and is the central source in the UK for all aspects of model horse collecting. They have kindly supplied the information on this page, and any information required or questions relating to the hobby may be initially directed to the BECF.
For further information about the hobby or the BECF, please click on the link below.
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