Sunday, 26 July 2015

Laire and Bonnie

I've gotten a few horses I didn't particularly like recently. The first was the Pinto Sport Horse version of Gem Twist. In catalogues I'd always admired the pose and when the chance came to get one new in the box for a little over £21 I didn't hesitate. But as soon as I'd gotten it out of the box I didn't really like it. I don't what it is about it. I was disappointed as this was the first time I'd bought a Breyer Traditional I didn't like. I didn't even photograph it properly, and that's a bad sign if ever there was one!

I photographed Sara Moniet, and again she is a lovely little horse... but I don't love her. She doesn't mean anything to me. Both the Sport Horse and Sara came out of their boxes without a single flaw, yet my Trooper had a few box rubs here and there, and I have fallen in love with him... I want to sell the two I don't want, but I've got no idea where to begin.

When I'm in the mood to buy a new horse, I look at independent retailers - I find online shops specialising in farm toys to be the best places to look. That's where I found the discontinued Gem Twist, and where I found these two...

My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw them for sale. They must have been sitting in a warehouse for some time. They're very happy I rescued them and set them free! Because of my recent disappointments with model horses, I bookmarked their page and checked in on them regularly to make sure they were still available. I took over a week to make my decision and save up a little bit of money for them. I bought them last Sunday for £39.99 with free delivery, and they arrived by courier on a damp Wednesday afternoon in perfect condition. And when I opened the box there was that little spark, and I knew these two were keepers.

I love them both already. I have to admit I was so happy that evening I had a little play with them. I haven't played with my toy horses for at least five years, probably more, but these two brought it all back. I struggled with naming them, because I wanted their names to suit them and have a Scottish connection like with Brogue and his Irish name. The foal found her name first, and she's called Bonnie, which means "fine" in Scottish, according to this website. Mum took a little longer to pin down, but I found a name for her too. Laire is a Scottish word for "mare" apparently, says the same website.

I've had to wait for the weather to allow me to photograph them, and I at last got round to it yesterday. It wasn't as windy as it usually is around here, and they both have all four massive hooves on the ground, so I chanced taking their photos in the yard.

(Please ignore out of scale grass in the background. Oops.)

This is where family fittingly comes into the story. When I was taking Laire and Bonnie out of their box, my dad, who doesn't like horses, said that they were really nice. My mum wanted to display them in the kitchen, and that was a resounding no from me. I brought them across the lane to show my granny, and she thought they were the nicest horses I'd gotten yet. When I was taking some photos of the little horses in the yard, my Granny came out of her house just to make sure they were alright! My dad echoed my granny in saying they were the nicest horses I'd gotten yet. I've never had such approval for a pair of plastic horses before. I'm not quite sure how to react, but it is very nice to hear!

Little Bonnie is very adorable.

Laire is beautiful too.

The best thing about these two is that they will always be together.

I'm very happy with my new girls, and they have restored my faith in model horses. And if you've read through all of that, well done you!

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Chex and the Heavies

That's the name I came up with for my first three models as they sat together on a shelf in my bedroom. It would make a good name for a band, I think! I finally managed to get a photo of Chex and the Heavies together yesterday.

As always at my house, the wind was strong. At least if they tip over in grass no harm is done, unlike concrete. Lesson learned! I had to use such a low angle, I was pushing my face into the grass. It was totally worth it. While I was working out camera settings and angles I got some nice photos of Cash.

Phoenix and Brogue (AKA The Heavies):

Trooper, taken facing the other direction:

Not a bad morning's work!

Friday, 10 July 2015

My Model Citizens

This is my Big Chex to Cash, who I call "Cash". Inventive, I know. I bought him in 2011 after some saving up. I fell in love with his colour and markings. He was my first ever Traditional. He's sporting a very old Breyer bridle that predates him by a good few years. He wore this bridle and sat on a shelf alone in my bedroom for almost four years.

I love, love, love his blue eye. If anything it makes him extra photogenic.

A few months ago I took the plunge and bought SBH Phoenix, and I call him "Phoenix" - and I know, imagination, much? Anyway, he his beautiful. It helps his case that he's a heavy horse, as those are by far my favourites. It's my farming background, I guess. I've always had an interest in how farming used to be done. I watched my dad's VHS tapes of old farming methods very often.

Within a week I had also bought this strapping young man:

I love Gypsy Vanners too. I'm a sucker for heavy feathering. He didn't have a name, and "Gypsy" simply didn't suit him. I wanted to call him something like "Dancin' Shoes" because he's clearly having a bit of a dance about. After some thought I settled for "Brogue", a word associated with Ireland and shoes. I think it suits him well.

After Brogue there was a bit of a lull... and then I won a £30 Amazon voucher from my camera club. What to buy, what to buy...

...Am I that obvious? I've admired this mould since its "O'Leary's Irish Diamond" days (I wanted that horse so much), so when I saw Trooper, there was no question about it.

So thanks for the free model, camera club!

Now you've met my collection. And seen all of my photos. I'd better go take some more!