I’ve probably been making up stories as long as I’ve been collecting model horses. After all, when you are “horse crazy”, but your family can’t afford a real horse, what do you do? You turn to model horses–also known as the gateway drug. (*smiles and looks at the pasture with my horses*) Back in the day (late 80’s, early 90’s) I was a part of the Iowa Model Racing Association, and made up names and pedigrees for my horses. The thoroughbreds I tried to tie to real horses. A Bluegrass trotting foal (blue roan), for example, was named Bluegrass Cat and had Storm Cat as the sire (ignoring color genetics because I was in junior high, of course).

However, my participation in the IMRA faded as I went into high school and began living with my dad when I was sixteen. There was no extra money for stamps and SASEs, and most of my models didn’t make the move with me. Then, I graduated high school, tried to go to college for equine science, but eventually caved and got a “good job” working in customer service. The horses were relegated to boxes and with the exception of a few special models, sold. I miss those.

But when I started writing equestrian lit (under another pen name) in 2018, I began collecting, and my favorite is the USET set, of which I’d gotten a special run (I think it was the box on the left in the images above) from the JC Penny Christmas Wishbook back in the late 80s. Since most of my writing features off-the-track thoroughbreds (OTTBs), this set in its myriad of combinations provides a lot of horses for inspiration.

However just this week, I purchased a vintage POA (pony of the americas) model because it was perfect for next month’s Muse Happens short story. Usually the story comes first, though the model might follow shortly thereafter.

I don’t have models for all the horses in my stories. Some of them, like Phoenix in Fresh Horses, are based on real horses. But every once in a while, a model comes along that fits the horse, and the story perfectly, and they’re added to my collection.

I hope to share more of my collection with you through this blog. Do you collect Breyer horses, or did you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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