Examples of Great Performance Set Ups for Model Horse Live and Photo Shows

  • 01 of 08

    Examples of Great Performance Set Ups for Model Horse Live and Photo Shows

    Breyer model horse with sleigh and Christmas trees.
    Breyer makes some good tack and accessories, and this picture can show in harness classes. Copyright 2011 by Diane Teachworth. Used with permission.

    What makes a prize-winning performance setup at a live or photo show for model horses? Is it the stunning Breyer horse, the realistic tack, the doll poses perfectly, or in photo shows, the scenery? From the very simple to the complex, the following model horse performance setups may inspire you to create your own.

    Keep in mind these tips when creating your own model horse performance setups and dioramas for live and photo shows:

    • Always choose your best models - the ones in the best condition, not...MORE necessarily the rarest!
    • Choose models suited to the performance class and task at hand.
    • Make sure the tack is appropriate for the class you plan to enter.
    • Use sticky wax / museum wax to hold wiggly bits and bit rings in place.
    • Watch the accessories such as boots and martingales in English performance classes. Check the show rules or the rules for real horse shows to make sure the accessories are acceptable.
    • If using a rider doll, make sure he or she is dressed appropriately.
    • It's better to leave the doll out of the scene than to have one that is out of proportion to the scene, positioned poorly, or dressed incorrectly.
    • Don't use too many background accessories such as trees, rocks and plants. Keep photos and setups simple so that the judge can see the horse model.

    Are you ready to create your prize-winning performance scene? Let's look at some terrific performance pictures taken by collectors from around the world!

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  • 02 of 08

    Halter Showmanship Example for English or Western Model Horse Show Classes

    Breyer model horse in a halter showmanship setting.
    A Breyer horse shown in halter showmanship with doll handler. Copyright 2011 by Kollean Gouyton. Used with permission.

    Here's a great example of a halter showmanship photo. The Breyer horse is presented well in an arena setting. The tack fits well, and the rider doll is outfitted appropriately. The image is clear and taken with good lighting. There are no harsh shadows and no extra accessories to take your eyes away from the nice horse model. This picture was taken by Kollean Gouyton of Stone Wolf Creations, Alaska.

    For more about halter showing model horses, see:

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  • 03 of 08

    Dressage Performance Class Example for Model Horses

    Model horse with rider doll in a dressage performance setting.
    Copyright 2011 by Andrea Robbins. Used with permission. Copyright 2011 by Andrea Robbins. Used with permission.

    Dressage offers model horse collectors the chance to show their favorite Breyers in an English riding discipline emphasizing the horse's athelticism, willingness and responsiveness. Collector Andrea Robbins takes home the blue ribbons with this photo show picture showing a dressage performance class. The picture shows the model at an angle, but the angle enhances the setting and gives the picture a feeling of motion. The tack, horse model, and rider doll are perfect in the scene. Note the...MORE low fence around the dressage arena and the arena markers.

    For more about dressage classes and showing in dressage classes for model horses, please see:


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  • 04 of 08

    Showing Model Horses in Hunter Over Fences - Live Show Example

    Model horse shown in a hunter class diorama by Kevin McFarland
    Hunter class diorama. Copyright 2011 by Kevin McFarland. Used with permission

    Kevin McFarland makes very realitic model horse dioramas, scenes and props, and they are used in live and photo shows worldwide. Kevin's creation was photographed at a live model horse show but could also be used in a photo show setting. Note the fence made from rocks he glued together, the hunting dog, the rider doll and the tack all appropriate for an outdoor hunt scene and a hunter over fences or fox hunting scene. A true show ring hunter wouldn't have a dog in the scene, but it is a...MORE fun accessories for fox hunting dioramas! The saddle and rider could be positioned a little differently, but it is indeed a blue- ribbon winning hunter entry.

    To learn more about showing your Breyer and other horse models in hunter over fences and huntseat riding classes, please see:

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  • 05 of 08

    Jumper Class Diorama and Fence Example for Model Horse Shows

    Model horse and rider in a jumping class setup.
    Jumping class setup for model horses. Copyright 2011 by Jane Cadwalader Schneider. Used with permission.

    Jumpers and jumping classes for model horses typically involve an elaborate and high fence. Horse models in jumper classes must look athletic and willing. The fences can be very elaborate and include water obstacles and fancy standards. Rider dolls may wear typical English style riding attire or the more relaxed jumping style. Jane Cadwaldader Schneider contributed this picture showing an Artist Resin model horse soaring over a high fence. The rider doll, tack and entire scene exemplifies the...MORE world of real horse-show jumping.

    For more information on showing model horses in jumper classes, please see:


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  • 06 of 08

    Example of Horse Models in English Trail Classes

    Model horse over poles in an English trail class setup.
    An English trail class is a great class for beginning model horse hobbyists to enter. Copyright 2011 by Kollean Gouyton. Used with permission.

    English trail is a great class for beginners because many model horse props, including Breyer tack and accessories, can be used in your show ring setting. All you need is a horse model, an English huntseat saddle and bridle, and ground poles or another obtacle. Trail includes many obstacles including gates, water obstacles, bridges and ground poles. Whether you're new to showing model horses or an old hand at it, English trail offers a great performance class to try.

    This performance photo of...MORE an English trail scene includes a model horses, casual English tack, and Breyer ground poles. It shows you what you can put together to create a photo show scene with out of the box Breyer components.

    For more about English trail classes and accesories, you may wish to read:


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  • 07 of 08

    Example of Showing Breyer Model Horses in Harness Classes

    Model horse setup for a harness class.
    Showing model horses in harness classes requires a model horse, the appropriate harness, and if included, a great vehicle. Copyright 2011 by Randa Garrett. Used with permission.

    A great harness class entry may include a vehicle or not, but it always includes a horse and harness! Harness class entires must be researched thoroughly, and this lightweight fine show harness, light breed horse and show vehicle are perfect for a horse in harness class entry. You can show your model horses with any type of vehicle, including winter scenes with sleighs instead of carts or carriages. Research the various types of horse drawn vehicles and be sure to choose an accurate, historical...MORE match of horse breed, harness type, vehcile and if you include a doll, accurate costume or clothing.

    For more about harness classes and accesories, you may wish to read:

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  • 08 of 08

    Projects to Make for Model Horse Performance Scenes and Accessories

    Model horse and rider posed for a performance class.
    Saddleseat model horse with rider, ready for a performance class. Copyright 2011 by Joyce Savage. Used with permission.

    Are you ready to enter your Breyers and model horses in performance classes? You can purchase Breyer ready-made accessories from your local Breyer dealer. Schleich also makes fencing, riders, carts and other vehicles that fit their line of horse models. Many Breyer accessories fit Peter Stone model horses, too, so they can be adapted to showing your Stone models in live or photo shows. There's a great difference among individual resin artists as to the scale of their Artist Resin model...MORE horses, so some Breyer tack and accessories may fit a resin, but some might not.

    If you'd like to try your hand at making tack, props and accessories for performance classes, here are a few resources to help you get started:

    Thank you to the following model horse hobbyists who gave permission to use their pictures:


    • Randa Garrett
    • Kollean Gouyton
    • Kevin McFarland
    • Andrea Robbins
    • Jane Cadwalader Schneider
    • Joyce Savage