Adding an Acrylic Peg for Stability

If you have a model who only has a few hooves on the ground or is simply unbalanced, they might need a stand or peg as support. A horse with only one or two hooves touching the ground usually needs the added security of a base, like my Shetland pony work in progress:

Often, an acrylic rod is used when the horse has a hoof that nearly touches the ground, but not quite, and needs to for stability. Many people prefer acrylic rods to bases because they are less obtrusive and often make the horse easier to show.

My new resin, Linda York’s “Roll” has been having some tippiness issues. As I get closer to priming him, it’s becoming more and more important that he can stand upright safely- I won’t be able to prime or fixative him if he needs to be lying down all the time!

This resin has three hooves on the ground and another slightly raised, so he’s a perfect candidate for an added acrylic rod.

I believe you can buy acrylic rods in various sizes from hobby and craft stores, but another excellent source is hobbyist Myla Pearce, who sells them in various sizes through the Model Horse Sales Pages. In this instance I’m using her smallest size, 1/16″, which she recommends for Stablemate leg supports.

The first step is to drill a hole in the hoof where the rod will go. You want to drill a straight, deep hole without punching through the other side of the hoof. I chose a diamond drill bit only slightly larger than my acrylic rod.

Happily, I managed to drill neatly and straightly up into the hoof, making a perfect little nest for the rod.

Then I simply inserted a piece of the cut rod into the hole. Once I had it cut to roughly the correct size, I pulled it out, set in just a drop of super glue, and replaced the rod.

As you can see, the rod wasn’t the exact right length. It’s extra height is lifting his near fore leg off the ground. This is easily remedied, however, and easier than trying to cut the exact right size before gluing. Once the glue is completely dry, simply use a needle file to incrementally shorten the acrylic rod until you reach the correct height.

Voila! A happy, stable horse ready for primer and beyond.

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