Collectible model horse families are one way to focus your model horse hobby activities. A family consists of a stallion (male), mare (female) and foal model. A Breyer horse collection may also include horse model families, sold together or separately.
Grouping Model Horses Together as a Family
Many horses are intended to go together, or at least as a mare and foal or stallion and foal set. Family sets may include plastic Breyer horse toys, micro mini models and Artist Resin model horses.
- Breyer Horse Toys: Over the years, Breyer sold many sets in Traditional, Classic and Stablemate scale. Model horse collectors purchased them separately or together. Those sold separately were usually linked by color, while the Classic and Stablemate scale sets were often sold as a package consisting of two or more horses intended as a small herd or family.
- Micro Mini Model Horses: The micro mini scale includes stallions, mare and foals. Some such as the pewter mare and foal set sculpted by Maggie Bennett are intended to go together while others are paired for effect. The rearing or playing micro mini mare and the galloping foal make an excellent little set, and other mares can be paired with the foal to create a small family band or herd.
- Artist Resin Sets: It's unusual for Artist Resin model horse sculptors to create families, but Michelle Platt's Wyakin in Little Bits scale, released under the name Wee Wyakin, and her two foals Aart and Aponi make a lovely little tableau. Candace Liddy's Arabian broodmare, Eshe, and her newborn filly Sagira are also intended as a set.
- Hagen Renaker Sets: Hagen Renaker releases many miniature scale porcelain and china horses in appealing mare and foal sets. There's a buckskin Quarter Horse mare and her foal and several others. Some like the Appaloosa mare and foal are attached to a single base while others may be purchased separately.
The Fun of Collecting Mini Model Horse Families
There's something whimsical and appealing about grouping the Breyer grazing mare and her foal on the shelf or creating a little diorama of a micro mini mare galloping along with her newborn foal. Many collectors love to display their little family herds for the sheer fun of seeing little vignettes play out on their shelves.
Others enjoy customizing models to portray families. This is where model horse pedigree research comes in handy. Understanding equine color genetics leads to choosing appropriate colors to customize standard models into appropriate offspring. Knowing that a palomino mare rarely produces a pure palomino foal, but a chestnut mare and another colored stallion might produce a palomino offspring adds that extra touch of realism to the display.
Collectors who photo and live show their model horses also enjoy sire/get and dam/offspring classes. In these classes the little family sets are judged as one unit and on the suitability and realism of the proposed family and colors.
Whether you enjoy collecting families for displays, showing or customizing, getting started is easy. Look through the current Breyer model horse catalog and choose a complete package or acquire horses from among a common family arrangement, such as the Family Arabian Stallion, Mare and Foal in each color in which it was issued. If you'd like to try your hand at painting model horses, keep in mind the pedigree and breed requirements before choosing colors for the parents and offspring. Remember, realism rules in model horse collecting.