Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finishing the Tack Discussion

There’s nothing like a dental appointment to mess with your head. Everything was more or less okay, and my dentist is a peach, but a family history of really bad teeth makes even routine cleanings more stressful than commuting in a blizzard.

I haven’t been paying much attention to the news and rumors concerning the fate of Just About Horses. (See above.) I’m not crazy about the notion of another model horse magazine going away. While a significant chunk of the model horse world is online, the bigger portion of it isn’t, and cutting off another line of communication with the offline world is not a good thing for the long-term health of the hobby.

I’ve already filled my quota of unhappy and unpleasant thoughts for the week, so it’s not something I want to dwell on today. Let’s finally finish up that molded-on tack discussion I started a few centuries ago, instead.

There is at least one Breyer mold with molded-on tack that was not directly derived from another manufacturer’s mold: the Western Prancing Horse. It is derivative, but of another Breyer mold - the Fury/Prancer. (I’m pretty sure the Fury/Prancer wasn’t derived from another manufacturer’s mold, though like most of Breyer history, one can never be 100 percent sure.)

The pose is reversed, and the breastcollar is missing from the WPH, but everything else - saddle, chain reins, attitude, scale and (some) colors - seems to indicate that Breyer intended the WPH to be an upgrade of the Fury/Prancer mold. The timing seems right, too: the individual, non-Fury Prancers were discontinued in either 1961 or 1962, and the WPH probably debuted in 1962.

Another interesting difference is his saddle: it’s a slip-on. As far as I know, the Western Prancing Horse never came with a snap-on saddle, like the Western Horse and Pony did until 1966/7. It was a slip-on from day one.

That’s not to say there haven’t been rumors of other Prancing Horse saddles. I’ve heard a few - and saw a photo of an alleged one. I wouldn’t be surprised if was real. I could see Breyer using a temporary replacement saddle while they were working out some last-minute kinks in the mold, maybe. Or making a last minute change, and a few samples of the prototypes just happened to sneak out.

Or… almost anything, really. This speculative saddle could simply be the creation of some accessories mixed up at a yard sale, and my own wishful thinking. (A Chalky Smoke Western Prancing Horse was my second model after the Traditional Man o’ War, so I my love for the mold runs a little deeper than most.)

Until something more concrete surfaces (a MIB example, vintage photographs, company ephemera, etc.) it’s going to stay in the rumor file.

1 comment:

BreyerRose said...

The Breyer Prancing Western Horse and the Fury Prancer cannot wear the same saddle. The WPH is a much fatter guy. To use his saddle on Fury, you would need several thick saddlepads, or extensive work with a heat gun. To use Fury's saddle on him (other than the original Fury paper saddle), you would also need a heat gun, to stretch it out. Just like real horses, the same saddle doesn't fit every horse of the same height.