Miss Twist

Model Horse Pride

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[LEFT]It's a pretty common trend, regardless your age. Teenagers get picked at for "playing with toys" and adults get picked at for "spending exorbitant amounts of money on toys". It's human nature to judge what you do not understand, or to judge someone for something that is otherwise foreign to them. We see this happen in more basic forms when someone picks on another person for wearing their hair in a way that is different from the majority of other people.

I no longer hide my hobby from other people. I refuse to let something that brings me so much joy be completely hidden under a rock. If someone, especially a friend, judges me because of something so harmless then they were never meant to be my friend and it was only a matter of time until they found SOMETHING to judge me for.

I've compiled a short (long?) list of reasons you should be PROUD of what you do. Reasons not to be guarded or ashamed. Reasons to genuinely enjoy what you do, regardless of what others may think. So, without further adieu...

[U][B]Reasons to be PROUD of your Model Horse Hobby[/B][/U]
[B]- Look at what other people in your age bracket are purchasing.[/B]
Luxury items are just that... Luxury items. Model horses are Luxury items. If someone gives you a hard time about your model horses, chances are they own something equally as expensive and frivolous... such as expensive showy shoes, purses, video games, stereo systems, etc. And they stand more of a chance of wrecking their investments due to wear and tear (whereas we protect our investments very well and they increase in value).

[B]- They're more than just collectibles, it is a true Hobby.[/B]
Fishing, Bowling, Wood Working... these are all hobbies. Model Horses are considered a hobby. Look at the abundance of creativity this hobby produces. Saddle making (ACCURATE saddle making!), Painting, resculpting, showing... many, many people DO things with their models. Show them, customize them, etc. It is in the same league as any other more "conventional" hobby in that regard.

[B]- Model Horses teach you about Equine Sciences.[/B]
Whether you show, customize, or even just browse model horse forums... these models spark up very avid discussions of Equine bio-mechanics (when critiquing or viewing a new sculpture or custom for the first time) and they also make you learn SO MUCH about horses and horse breeds. Especially for those who show their horses. You go through many horse breeds to find correct assignments for your models, in the end you may know more horse breeds than people who own actual horses.

[SIZE=2][B]- Model Horse Shows are like mini Equine Science Exams crossed with Art Shows.[/B][/SIZE]
I know I'm making a huge emphasis on showing, but that's what people tend to have a hard time wrapping their heads around. When explaining a show, I tell people that you cannot simply place a horse down and win. You must first study horse breeds, photos, etc... then you must ensure your model is very well cared for. So when you place a model down it is being judged similar to how, say, the State Fairs judge local crafts. Condition, Correctness, and Appearance. Like I said, Equine Science Exam crossed with an Art Show.

[SIZE=2][B]- The Model Horse Hobby is profitable.[/B][/SIZE]
When looking at it from any point of view: Showing, Collecting, Creating... It is very easy for anyone to get started to try to make a profit from their hobby. ANYONE can order a saddle making kit from Rio Rondo... but I don't think anyone can create a successful bowling ball creation business, or fishing rod business with near as much ease. Of course, it takes skill to succeed... but it is easier, and cheaper, to give it a shot! People who show of course profit if they choose to sell their horses or winnings. It also helps to rephrase winnings to people who don't know models. Instead of saying "I won at Breyerfest, I got the glossy Kong Prize Model!" say "I won at the biggest horse show in the nation. I won 450 dollars" Because, that's what the model is valued at, after all ;) I also enjoy purchasing from hobbyists as I love to support people who love what they do!

[SIZE=2][B]- You're keeping a piece of your childhood alive.[/B][/SIZE]
Just like those who continue fishing the same lake in their adulthood that they did in their childhood... you are keeping a memory of your past alive, staying in touch with who you were as a child. They bring back happy memories (hopefully!) and have been re-purposed to fit your adult life. You're living one of your childhood ambitions and that's highly admirable.
- They're cheaper and safer than the real thing.[/B][/SIZE]
Many people who collect model horses have real horses (myself included) however, with real horses there is considerable more recurring costs than with models. Hay bill, boarding charges, vet bills... you name it. Furthermore, when you show real horses there's a chance that your horse will have an "off day" and you can't show because of it... or risk getting thrown or injured. Models allow you to have as many horses as you want of as many breeds as you want without the additional costs associated with additional live horses.


[LEFT]- [B]Try to explain things in terms that people will understand. [/B]People judge what they don't understand. So explain it to them in a way they can understand. Compare showing to an art show, describe show winnings in money terms rather than items won, etc.

- [B]Don't get defensive, consider the source. [/B]If people don't get it, that's okay. Some people like to end a conversation with an "Uhhhh ooookay..." because they've been corrected (and sorta called out) for their ignorance to a topic and are trying to play it off and "be cool". Don't push it, just let it go. Furthermore, consider the source. If it's a co-worker or a neighbor or something... who cares what they think about what you do in your spare time, right?

- [B]You don't have to prove anything to anyone.[/B] This list was made to help YOU confirm that your hobby isn't silly or indulgent. You do NOT have to try to convert people to understand, accept, and take part in your hobby. Just understand in your heart that what you're doing isn't foolish, and people only pick at things they don't understand.

In my mid 20s, I have received quite the backlash from co-workers or non-model horse friends who have discovered my hobby. It doesn't stop me from enjoying what I enjoy. After all, these same people spend hundreds on shoes... which step in gum and mud. Who are they to question what I spend money on, when my investments remain protected on a shelf rather than strapped to my feet!

To those who think you can be "too old" for model horses... it's simply not true. One look at the contenders at a live show will show you that. Your love will grow stronger if you allow it, and the models will continue to bring back the joy and nostalgia of your youth.

[B]You are never too old to collect anything. You are never too old to have fun. The only thing stopping you IS you.[/B]

[I](this was posted on my website, but I wanted to cross post it here in case it would help anyone out :) )[/I]