Tag Archives: breeds

Ask the Audience: Fjords

This summer I found and fell in love with a photo of a Fjord stallion, and set about almost immediately into making a portrait of him. I am using the G3 Highland Pony, but am now reconsidering the mold’s appropriateness as a Fjord.

My inspiration

I started researching Fjord conformation and breed standards. I did learn that i need to increase his heart girth, and I intend also to enlarge his cheek bones which will shorten his muzzle. I will broaden his forehead and shrink and resculpt his ears. But now the looming question is… do I need to bulk up his entire body and legs?

Fjords are pony sized, but built more like draft horses. Their legs have substantial bone and muscle, in addition to their thick neck and chest and deep girth. Here is Prydarson, the highest scored Fjord stallion in North America:

And here is my work in progress:

I would love to get some thoughts on this. I don’t particularly want to start on a total body-building with this guy- I’ve got plenty of work left on him as is. What do you think?

Happy August Show Results

I am pretty sure that my customs, for the most part, would not be considered LSQ by today’s high standards. There aren’t that many shows in my area (and I won’t spend the time or money to travel very far) so I haven’t had many chances to test the theory. It is the advent of online photo showing that has allowed me to frequently show my horses and test my customizing skills and horse knowledge against fellow hobbyists.


There is something extremely satisfying about completing a new custom and having it win. I don’t know any (active) hobbyists and my husband judges my models based mostly on whether or not it’s a bay, so it’s nice to have an outside eye (or two) tell me that I did a good job with all those hours I spent on the horse.

This August’s IMEHA results are in and I am delighted to see that three of my newer customs won their breed classes. My POA mare Diamond, whose roany-leopard coat is extremely difficult to photograph, won the Stock Pony Mare or Gelding class and was 4th out of 20 in the Leopard Appaloosa class. Rahija (formerly Nettie Perle), my PS Pebbles Arabian, won the large Arabian Mare class and was 5th out of 29 for Little Bit or Classic Sized Simple Repaints.

I am particularly pleased about Nightfox’s win in the Morgan Mare or Gelding class. I hemmed and hawed quite a bit about his breed assignment, and finally decided to show him as a Morgan Sport Horse. Morgan Sport horses are 100% Morgan but bred and used for sport events like eventing, dressage, and jumping. They tend toward the more warmblood-esque look rather than the super light breed Park Morgan style, or the very stocky Old Style Morgan. I guess the judge agreed with me.

Nightfox's color is actually based on my friend's Morgan mare, Charlotte

On a less successful note, I realized mid-hike this weekend that my recently completed customs are all lacking chestnuts. SIGH. Another camping trip epiphany involves yet another customizing project that I may just have to start.

Favorite Breed Assignments

I’m up to my neck in IMEHA classes to judge, but making slow progress. It’s put a bit of a halt on studio goings on and blog posting too. So tonight I’m taking a break to share some of my favorite uncommon but awesome breed assignments for mini molds.

Classic Swaps as a Caspian Pony

Caspian ponies have short heads, large eyes, and small muzzles. The neck is slim and graceful, leading into sloping shoulders, good withers, straight back, slim body and high set tail. The legs are slim, with dense, strong bone.The overall impression of the Caspian, from the tip of its muzzle to the crested, flowing tail, is that of a very small, well-proportioned horse. They are usually bay, grey, black, dun, or chestnut.

Swaps also makes a lovely Anglo-Arab.

Classic Andalusian Stallion as Azteca

The Azteca is a mix of Andalusian, Lusitano, Quarter Horse, and Criollo bloodlines. Specific combinations of these three breeds make up the Azteca breed from Azteca A to Azteca F based on the crossbreeding table. Impress your judge by naming the exact mix!

Ideally, the horse is a balance of both breeds, being not too tall and lean, nor too short and stocky. The head has a straight or slightly convex profile, with small, well-pricked ears, and expressive eyes. The neck is well muscled and slightly arched. Withers are medium to sharp, and the horse has a straight, fairly short back, and a broad, round croup. The mane and tail are flowing and the tail is set low. The girth is deep and full, and the shoulder is long and sloping. The Azteca has well-muscled cannon bones with good joints; however, the cannons are long and thin. The bone density should favor the Spanish ancestry rather than the Quarter Horse.

Classic Terrang as Budyonny

The Budonny breed generally stands about 16 hh and is generally chestnutwith a golden sheen, although they may also be bay, gray or black. They have a well-proportioned head with a straight profile, a long neck, pronounced withers, sloping shoulders, a wide, deep chest, a long, straight back, and a slightly sloping croup. Their legs are long and strong with good joints and well-formed hooves. The modern horse has a strong build, good bone, and are quite similar to the Thoroughbred. 

Stablemate G2 Andalusian as Warlander

The head is carried upright and shows the stamp of nobility. The profile is straight or slightly convex. The neck is well-muscled and high arched, springing from the shoulder, and narrowing toward the head with a fine clean throatlatch. The mane should be abundant with thick luxurious hair that is neither coarse nor overly fine. The back is straight and strong flowing from the withers in a straight line to a well rounded croup. The overall look should be a smooth line that flows gracefully. The shoulder is well sloping, long, and muscular with a 50 degree angle. Legs should have solid bone, without being overly heavy. All solid coat colors are permitted.

I also like the G2 Andy as a Lippizaner, Alter Real, and Lusitano.

Stablemate G3 Friesian as Warlander

I also like the G3 Friesian as a Fell Pony, Friesian Sport Horse, and perhaps Welsh Cob.

Stablemate G3 Thoroughbred as British Riding Pony

Riding Ponies are more like a small horse than a pony, with small heads and ears. They are compact, with sloping shoulders and a narrow front. Their feet are tough and they possess strong limbs. They are well-proportioned with comfortable gaits and free-flowing movement. There are three types. The show pony resembles a miniature show hack with pony features, and often contain Arabian or Thoroughbred blood. The show hunter type is similar to the show pony, but with more substance. The pony should be suitable to carry a child across country. The working hunter is a stockier and more workmanlike type. I like this mold as a Show Pony or Show Hunter Type.

The G3 Thoroughbred also makes a good Rheinland Pfalz-Saar, a breed I had never heard of until I started judging this show.

Stablemate G3 Drafter as Norman Cob

The Norman Cob is stockily built throughout and is obviously strong and powerful, but it is not a true heavy breed and lacks the massive frame and proportions of the heavy draft horses a good trade for its energetic and active ability. A crested neck and a sensible head are typical. The Norman Cob is compact through the body with a short, strong back running into powerful quarters.  The barrel of the horse is characteristically deep an round and the strong shoulder is nicely sloped. The limbs of the Norman Cob are short and very muscular but they are lighter than those of the heavy breeds and do not carry the same profuse feather.  The traditional coat colors are chestnut, bay or bay-brown.  Occasionally red-roan or gray occurs.

Stablemate G3 Standing Pony as Kerry Bog Pony

The Kerry Bog Pony has an average sized head with a dished face. The nexk is strong and of medium length. The shoulder is rounded and muscular. The body is compact and strong with a deep chest of good girth, well-sprung ribs, and powerful quarters. The legs are strong with a short cannon bone and pasterns. CThey can be any solid color as well as tobiano, sabino, and rabicano.

I love the G3 Pony. He is versatile and also makes a lovely Icelandic Pony, Highland Pony (minimal white only), Dales Pony (minimal white only), Shetland/Welsh Cross, Grade Pony, Chincoteague Pony, Dartmoor Pony, or Welsh Section A.

Peter Stone Chips Thoroughbred as Light Waler

The Waler is commonly confused with the Australian Stock Horse but is in fact a separate breed. Walers have a well sloped shoulder, strong back, powerful legs, big clean joints and correctly sloped pasterns, at an angle corresponding to the shoulder. They have a deep girth, well-sprung ribs, alert eyes, and a strong, graceful neck. As befitting a cavalry horse, some carry their heads high, to protect the rider. Colouring is predominantly solid bay, chestnut, black, brown and grey. There are four types of Waler: a pony type, light type (pictured), medium type, and heavy type.

Peter Stone Chips Andalusian as Abaco Barb

The Barb is a light riding horse with great stamina. It has a powerful front end, high withers, short back, a sloping, narrow croup, and carries its tail low. It is hardy, with clean legs, and small, round, sound hooves. It usually is gray, but bay, black, chestnut, and brown horses are also found. The Abaco Barb is an endangered strain of the Spanish Barb horse breed that resides on the Island of Abaco in the Bahamas. The Abaco Barb can come in different colors than the usual Barb, including pinto (including the relatively uncommon splashed white), roan,chestnut, black and other colors.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I do!

All of the information and pictures above I found by simply googling the breeds, so there is plenty of info and photos out there to use as reference materials. Always remember to provide information to judges if you are using a rare breed… we really appreciate it!

Progress: live show reference cards

I have finished the bareback rigging set for my little MM Rearing Horse but I’ll wait until I have a decent camera (Nikon SLR ordered yesterday!) to post another picture. I haven’t actually fully tacked her up yet, but I’ll wait to do that twitchy work until I can be rewarded with a picture. I have found a suitable background that will work for both a photo show backdrop and also part of her live show scene. I’m still waffling about exactly how I want to do the arena/base.

Although I haven’t made too much progress on actually horses or tack, I have been working on creating reference cards for the horses that need it. I wasn’t sure how important reference cards were (I haven’t live shown in nearly 10 years, i.e. when I was a kid) but the always-helpful folks over at Model Horse Blab assured me that anything out of the ordinary was a good reason for one, and that it couldn’t ever hurt.

I have a tiny show string, but seem to have a large percentage of ponies who need references for both breed and color. I have my Italian Heavy Draft mare, a very dark liver chestnut Suffolk (normally Suffolks are that bright red chestnut), a silver bay Shetland, an Azteca A, and now a Waler Horse.

My Waler (his breed newly assigned) is my chestnut CM MM Cantering Warmblood “Rugby.” I originally was going to show him as an Appendix Quarterhorse (QHxTB) but I wanted something more fitting and interesting. Plus I was attached to the name Rugby but couldn’t imagine a horse with QH blood with any less than a three word name. (Don’t get me started… I actually know a poor mare whose name is Tonto Bar Skip. Ack! No original name of her own at all).

I didn’t know much about the Waler Horse when I started researching- I actually started by looking into the Australian Stock Horse, which is a separate but often confused breed. The Waler descends from the horses which the Australian cavalry used in the Second Boer War and World War I. These horses come from the same roots as the Stock Horse but are larger and sturdier, as fitting a cavalry mount. The two breeds are now bred and recognized distinctly.

The historic Waler cavalry mount

Cool huh?

Progress is slow on my ASB as I wait for fixitive to dry and then forget or get distracted. But it is so hot today I don’t want to ever leave the basement, so hopefully soon she’ll start looking more like a horse!

Progress, despite life

I am currently in the midst of finishing my Bachelor’s degree and finding an apartment in Portland, while maintaining school and work here in Washington… but happily I am still finding some time to sneak in with the ponies! I want to get things to good stopping points before I have to pack them up for the trip to our new home.

I am very happy with my little pewter rearing horse from EquineArt Creations/Maggie Bennett. She still needs detail work and another layer or two of body pastels, but she is at the stage where she starts to look decent.

This amazing sculpture is micro mini sized- just over 4 cm at the top of the mane!

I was thinking of giving her some small white markings (a snip and a coronet band or two), but I need to do a bit more research first. I’ve assigned her the breed of Azteca, but I haven’t researched yet to see if Aztecas (or Andalusians and Criollos, which make up the breed) are inclined to have white.

Aztecas are a cool breed for models, because there are different types of Aztecas depending on how much of the horses heritage is Spanish (Andalusian or Lusitano), Criollo, or Quarter Horse. I found a great cross breeding chart here. My mare is an Azteca A: 1/4 Criollo, 1/8 Quarterhorse, and 5/8 Spanish. I’m still working on a name, however.

I’ve been working on this Safari Percheron (now a liver chestnut Suffolk) for months and he has had multiple names during that time… Nottingham, Morriarty… the latest is Goshgarian. We shall see. I am also deciding if I want to sell him or not.

It took me a while but I did find reference pictures and even potential bloodlines for dark liver Suffolks. I don’t do pedigree assignment, but I wanted to make sure a Suffolk could be this dark since other draft breeds didn’t particularly fit the mold.

I’ve got quite a few things in the works, hopefully with some good progress this week: Chryselephantine, a golden palomino ASB mare; chestnut micro mini cantering sport horse; english saddle and bridle; Troy Soldier, the bell tailed mule; a light palomino centaur; and my frankenstein SM foal.