Friday, July 5, 2013

The Western Horse and His Kin

Here’s a better picture of the Western Horse copy in that box lot. The current "flying nun" shape of the saddle amuses me:

One topic I don’t cover much here is the Western Horse and his "kin": it’s been better covered, and better researched by others, to the point where I don’t feel any contributions I can make (at this point) would be very helpful.

Part of the reason for me keeping this fella is to help remedy this issue. Knowledge requires access. And in this hobby, access usually requires ownership.

It is also, surprisingly, a rather controversial and political topic: there are people within the hobby who are, shall we say, extremely devoted to certain opinions and viewpoints. And there is no room for discussion. Having discussions where no one is willing to concede a single point one way or another, ever - well, they don’t tend to be very interesting or productive.

It is especially so when it comes to the Western Horse. So I usually demur.

I will say that when I refer to the mold as the "Western Horse" I do so out of the common hobby convention of calling a model or mold by its best known or most commonly used appellation. Adios is Adios for instance, not Yellow Mount, Best Tango, or even Frappe.

Whether these Western Horse copies were copied from the Hartland, the Breyer, or their potmetal precursors is irrelevant. In most cases it can be hard to determine which copies were copied from where anyway.

Trying to put too fine a point on the origin of the copies also just ends up confusing the mundanes, too. When you start saying stuff like "It’s a copy of a Breyer, which may have been a copy of the first version of the Hartland Champ, which may have been adapted from the potmetal carnival horses…" they are only momentarily impressed.

Then they get a little nervous. Or walk away.

You gotta ease them into stuff like that. For most, "It’s a copy of a Breyer" is all they’re going to hear anyway. You can explain the finer points later, if it’s clear they want to know more. (One of the reasons why this blog exists!)

And once they reach that point, it's time to tell them about the birds and bees of the model horse world - "pedigree assignment"! (If they don't completely freak out at that point = another convert!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is there any good way to tell a Breyer Western Horse from a copy? I have a glossy palomino one (like #57) that I got back in the 80s as part of a trade at a model horse show. But, his eyes are unpainted and it looks like he has the saddle of #59 (saddle is brown with a cinch). I might sell it on Ebay, but don't want to mis-advertise it!!