I'm enjoying the social media flurry of discussions by model horse collectors anticipating BreyerFest 2019. This annual event offers us many things to enjoy.
We like seeing real horses of many breeds.
|Funny Cide, Thoroughbred champion.|
|TS Black Tie Affair, 7/8ths Arabian pinto, and his person Jan Sharp.|
|Another Thoroughbred legend with attitude: Go For Gin.|
|Draft horse at the Kentucky Horse Park.|
|An Arabian horse draws a crowd of admirers during BreyerFest.|
|A Standardbred gives his opinion of the photographer.|
We enjoy visiting the local equine history museums, including those inside the Kentucky Horse Park.
|Paintings by George Ford Morris, inside the Saddlebred Museum.|
|Statue of Man O'War at the Kentucky Horse Park.|
|Secretariat, by Ed Bogucki, near the entrance to the International Museum of the Horse.|
|*Bask, by Ed Bogucki, inside the entrance to the International Museum of the Horse. Make sure to visit the Museums while you are at BreyerFest. They offer a wealth of wonderful information...and they're air-conditioned.|
We love to see the rolling green pastures that are the homes of so many mares and their foals.
And of course there are model horse shows, crafts and other activities. But the main reason most people go to BreyerFest is to buy and sell new and used model horses!
The sheer number of model horses for sale is almost overwhelming. Not only do collectors line up to purchase and pick up the Special Run Breyers at the event itself, and more model horses at the Friday night Swap Meet inside the host hotel -- they also have the opportunity to see tens of thousands more model horses for sale (I'm not exaggerating) by hundreds of collectors who prop open their hotel room doors in the evenings during the event, to let passers-by see what they are selling.
BreyerFest is a great way to see examples of older and newer model horses by a variety of manufacturers, as well as the limited editions and one-of-a-kind creations of model horse artisans.
|Model horses inside The Horse You Want suite, at a past BreyerFest.|
Attending BreyerFest can be exhausting, for collectors and their families. It's usually hot and humid outside. The lines inside the Horse Park can be long, and sometimes emotions run high.
We all should try to stay safe, sane, and hydrated.
My advice for dealing with BreyerFest stress is simple:
Find, or rediscover, the real joy of the model horse hobby. Be kind.
Chat with other people while you wait in line. Encourage them. Rejoice when someone else is able to find something they love.
If you're a younger collector, find a collector with gray hair and ask her, or him, how they first got into the hobby. What was model horse collecting like, before the Internet?
You will see many hobbyists walking through the Horse Park and hotel hallways who took part in organized hobby activities by mail or in local model horse clubs, back in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The reason you are at BreyerFest today, has a lot to do with the hard work they did, figuring out how to connect hobbyists with one another, all those years ago.
The reason we young-at-heart collectors attend BreyerFest (when we are able) is yes, in part, to buy and sell. But more importantly, it's also to connect with our old hobby friends so we can share the joy of model horses.
If you're an older collector, find a younger one and talk to her (or him) about what got them into the hobby. Ask what they're hoping to buy.
Tell their parents that it doesn't matter if they don't exactly understand why model horse collecting is so important to their child. What matters, is that they understand that it is important to their child.
And please, encourage younger collectors to look not only at the (often rather pricey) new-in-box pieces, but also the older, often less expensive model horses that need a good home.
As I explained to an eight-year-old collector with a small budget last year, a nice vintage model horse can be found in the room sales for well under $20, sometimes even in the $1 to $5 range.
Buy an old model horse, take it home. (Who cares if it isn't "perfect?" None of us is, especially the older we get. It can still be Perfectly Wonderful.)
Give your model horse a name and a personality. Make it a halter and a blanket. Play with it on the carpet, or in the backyard.
Let it be part of your dreams.