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Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone!

Today I want to do something a bit different and will continue this every Friday. I want to showcase something neat and interesting every week. These will not be my usual posts about the Tacky Tack in this world, but rather it will be about nice tack, artists, saddlemakers, and anything else tack related that is cool.

This Friday, I want to introduce you to the world of model horses. You know, like the Breyers we all played with as kids? Would you believe that there are thousands of adults around the country that still collect, customize and show them? There are also artists who sculpt original pieces and cast limited runs of them in resin and sell the unpainted, sometimes for thousands of dollars? There are people, like myself that specialize in custom painting and remaking ( ) Then, there are tackmakers. These incredible artists make the most realistic and intricate tack you can imagine, all in scales ranging from the largest at 1:9 to the tiniest at 1:64. Yes, I said 1:64, that is less than an inch tall!! I have made some tack for my own show horses, but it has been limited to the large (henceforth referred to as Traditional or TR size) scale and to Western tack as there are kits readily available that are easy to put together. (If you are interested in one see they have everything you need to make lovely tack, including silver plates and tooling patterns.)

There are a couple of artists I want to introduce you to today. The first is Kirsteen Haley of KH Custom Saddlery ( ) . She makes the most amazing western show tack I have ever seen. Honestly, if you did not know it was for a model horse wouldn’t you think this was for a real horse?

Photo/Tack by K. Haley

The detail she puts into these is unreal. I am amazed at the intricacy and realism. It makes my attempt look very amateur.

Photo/Model/Tack - J. McCune

She also makes show tack for the 1:32 scale (Stablemate or SM, about 2.5 inches tall) models. I have NEVER seen SM tack so detailed.

Photo/Saddle K. Haley

This kind of work leaves me dumbfounded. I also found this parade set she did in SM Scale.

Photo/Tack K. Haley

Amazing, totally amazing.

The next artist I want to introduce to you is Jill Aman ( she makes native costumes for mainly TR scale models. The detail and research she puts into them is utterly fantastic. I have never seen such realistic and functional looking costumes. They are truly works of art. I especially like her Spanish and Portuguese sets.

Photo/Tack by Jill Aman

Can you believe that is for a MODEL horse? Check out these as well.

All photos/Tack by Jill Aman

So, over the weekend, take some time to explore the model horse world. You can find a ton of information at these sites. Have a wonderful weekend!!


  1. That is so freakin' cool! My poor Breyers were never ridden with tack. :D

  2. Oh my, what little jewels.....those arabian saddles are exquisite!!!!
    So is the parade turnout.

    Wow....just WOW!!!!

  3. The mini tack is just incredible, the parade outfit looks just like one of Michele McFarland's spotted saddlebreds. It may be patterned after her, as her horses model debuted at the 2007 Bryerfest, and Michelle had her five parade horses there to open and close the event.

    The only thing on my Bryers backs was Barbie with her legs rubber banded together so she would stay on. After her legs started popping out at the hip sockets, we wrapped rubber bands around her hips too!

    For a future Friday Fave check out Skyhorse Saddles. I first saw them onn their website, then last summer I saw on in person, truely works of art. The braided silver lacing is just beyond words.

  4. I just found your blog & am enjoying it. A friend does the model horse thing and it is an amazing world.

  5. JstPam,

    That was actually my next Friday post!! I LOVE their work, it is beautiful and so detailed. I guess great minds think alike and all!


  6. Stablemate scale is 1:32 scale, the inch tall horses, mini whinnies or micro minis are 1:64.

  7. You should also check out the work of Susan Bensema Young:

    and the work of Heather M. Abounader.
    Check out this bosal hanger:
    and some of her other work:

    Anyways, I just found your blog and really enjoyed reading a bit of it. Keep up the good work!

  8. Mary H, I am very familiar with both those artists, and admire their work.

  9. Thanks Sarah, I totally goobered that one! I fixed it on the post. Thanks again for pointing it out!!

  10. I love the fact your showing Model Horse Tack. I myself an a Model Horse Artist and used to make tack as well.

    As dor the rest, YAY! I hate flashy tack. Im sorry, it takes away from the beauty of the horse. If you want Flashy, buy a paint, appaloosa, or even a Roan.

  11. Wow! I am prety sure those model horse saddles are better made than some of the cheapy crap real horse saddles on ebay! ;)