Sunday, December 28, 2014

Horses, Horses, Horses!

All I wanted for Christmas since I can remember was a pony.  Where did that 'obsession' come from? Is it genetic?  My dad liked horses, but even after I started incessantly babbling about wanting one, I do not remember a pony ride or a neighbor with horses. So where did this love come from? For Christmas when I was four, I got a Steiff pony that I still have today though it has no ears or tail left.  That only fueled the fire.  Breyer horses followed until I had a stable full. Finally, my parents relented--after we moved to the country--and my father and I got our pony.

I spent my adolescence, teens, married life and pregnancies on the back of a horse. Lessons and showing morphed into trail riding. Now I am still obsessed with horses, but there is a lot less riding and more care taking and admiring.  Old age, perhaps, or just an evolution of horse fever.

Today one of the things I enjoy the most is finding, selling and collecting vintage horse treasures.  There are thousands of them out there which attests to the popularity of equines.  Since I wrote almost fifty horse books, I snatch up any vintage horse book I can find:  Misty of Chincoteague, Black Stallion, Black Beauty.  I learned to read so I could finish all the Billy and Blaze books. And I learned to draw  because of my love of Wesley Dennis, C.W.Anderson, and Sam Savitt's marvelous black and white illustrations.  Above is an old Linda Craig from the 1960s.  When the series was revived in the 1980s, I was one of the first to write the new books, which were paperback, of course, and not nearly as cool as the old ones.

Recently I bought a big lot of 1970s Breyer Horses with their original boxes.  The price for Breyers has gone down, mainly because they have made so many for so long.  I can't keep all of them, so I am slowly selling them on Ebay and in my booths. But I still admire their craftsmanship and beauty, and I hope that they will remain collectible for a long time.

Fortunately, no matter where I hunt, I can usually find an equine treasure:
books, scarves, figurines (though ceramic ones often don't make it intact), planters, carvings, clocks, and ashtrays. Even old trophies and ribbons, helmets and whips, cowboy hats and boots are getting snapped up for decor or wearing.

Maybe I am not riding as much as I used to, but I am still in total awe of horses and their beauty whether it's a real horse or an artistic one.  Now where did that love come from?  I have no idea and would love to hear some thoughts!  

Happy New Year to all of your and your critters--Best, Alison Hart


Val said...

They are such wonderful creatures. It is difficult to put into words, but I believe the expression "in my blood" is fitting.

Alison said...

Val, I wonder why some of us have horses "in our blood" and others are scared to death? I have friends who only think "big teeth and hooves" (except they call them "feet")

Linda Benson said...

Alison, I love C.W. Anderson's artwork, and I have a collection of old Billy and Blaze books, too. I snap them up whenever I find them at garage sales. Fun!