The Breyer SpotLight: Your Horse Model Market Resource

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  • Personal Note from Bonnie: A Challenge for Thanksgiving
  • Updates: New items in our café press store
  • Article: Part 2 - Choosing a Judge for Your Model Horse Show

Personal Note from Bonnie

This is the last newsletter that will be sent out before Thanksgiving and with that in mind I would like to wish ALL of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. There are so many things that we can be thankful for each day, sometimes they are missed. So for the rest of this month I have a challenge for you. Each day, first thing in the morning when you get up, write down two things you can be thankful for, and write down why as well. Then think of those two things as you drive to work, plan your day, or run your errands. I bet this will help you stay focused on the positive feelings for the upcoming Holiday season.

Updates: New items in our café press store

If you are looking for something a little different for Christmas, check out our Cafe Press store! We have added two new items this week and of course we have Greeting Cards that cannot be found anywhere else.

Browse through our store.

Article: Choosing a Judge for Your Model Horse Show

One of the most important items you'll need to consider as you plan your model show is a judge. Large shows often hire other experienced model showmen to judge. They are paid just like a real horse show judge. But if model showing is new to your area, where do you find a qualified judge? There probably aren't any experienced model showmen nearby or maybe your budget for this first show is very slim and you can't afford to pay your judge as much as an experienced model judge charges.

The answer to your dilemma lies in the horse community. Model judges can be hired from the real horse world. Any horseman with knowledge and experience can be a model judge. A benefit of hiring from the real horse world is often the fee for judging is minimal or nothing. Horsemen are thrilled to be chosen as a model judge and often will do it for free or just traveling expenses if they aren't from the local area. Consider breeders, trainers, and 4-H horse club leaders from your area as possible judges.

Make sure you tell your prospective judge what she will be judging--just halter classes or halter and performance. If this is her first time judging a model show, you should provide her with a list of criteria for judging each division.

Halter classes are judged on the conformation of the horse--how closely it relates to the breed standard. This can be quite easy if the horse is standing in a relatively square stand. For the models that are in action, this can be more difficult as the judge has to evaluate the horse's conformation in movement. Halter classes also are judged on the quality and condition of the model. A scratched and rubbed model, no matter how good its conformation is, will not do well in a halter class.

Performance is judged on the accuracy of the appointments and scene. The horse should look capable of performing the task or event. Realism is the key to success in performance judging.

A judge will appreciate an entry with attention to every detail.

Make sure you give your judge plenty of room to walk around all sides of the judging arena. She will need to inspect each horse very closely. A judge is not allowed to handle the horses in a class unless you give her specific instructions that she may pick your entry up. She may need to stand, bend, and kneel to see the entries from all angles so she will need room to do that.

During the show don't forget to offer your judge something drink and the opportunity to eat lunch during a lunch break. If you let contestants ask her questions while she is trying to finish her lunch, the break may be much longer than expected. Also the judge deserves a few minutes down time before she returns to her judging job. If a contestant has questions, they can ask after the judging is finished.

Just like it is in a real horse show, remember that a judge's placing of the class is her opinion. If you don't agree with it, be considerate of her choices and please win and lose graciously.

Diane Maccani is a lifelong horseman and the author of a thirteen book series, What the Cowgirls Do! Her books take you into the 'real world' of showing, rodeo, and ranching in today's horse industry. Check out her website: for more information about the series. Now is the time to plan your Christmas giving. A book/books from the series is a perfect gift for all the horse lovers on your list.

Well that's it for this week. Next time Diane will help us know how to set up the classes for our Model Horse Show. Fun! So I hope you enjoyed this week's article and look forward to the next. Until then, have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!

Until next time, keep imagining!


Breyer Horse Collectors