Club holds Model Horse Clinic in Franklin

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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The Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club members have been busy learning about model horses and created a Model Horse Clinic to share that information with horse lovers. 

A club news release noted that Tractor Supply Store Manager Mitch Myers was gracious in hosting the Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club near the Breyer model horse display in the Tractor Supply store in Franklin on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10-10:30 a.m. and 1-1:30 p.m. 

“Mitch was very kind to donate a Breyer model horse collection with eight Stablemate models to the club,” club officials said. “Club members and adults participated in sharing information about model horses, how to care for them and store them, and some of the basic model horse show classes that you could enter your model horse in.”

Officials noted that lots of folks have model horses because they are fun to collect, and kids love to play with them. 

“When you decide to show your model horses, you need to decide which one to enjoy or play with and which ones you are going to show — your show model horses,” club officials stated. “If some of your model horses have scratches, dirt or marks that will not come off with warm water and dish soap, you can paint them (with paint like Testors model paint).”

In painting one’s model horses, they become custom model horses that can be entered in the model horse show custom class.

“Model horses that you want to show should be stored with the original information from the package if you have it,” club officials stated. “This package information tells you what breed it is, like an Appaloosa horse, and more information about it.”

To store a show model horse, one can use a clean, old T-shirt to wrap around it to prevent scratching, marks and dirt. One should create an information card or sheet about the model and store it together. Using the information sheet, model horse owners can decide which model horse they would like to show and which model show class they would like to enter it in.

“If you have several model horses, the information sheet becomes very useful to decide which model horse class to enter the horse in,” club officials stated. “You can enter only one model horse in a class.”

There are generally two types of model horse show divisions or groups for the classes — Halter or Performance classes. Halter classes are based on breed standards and the model horse’s condition. Performance classes are based on the correctness of horse tack and/or rider shown and the accuracy of diorama (if a Diorama class). 

A basic model horse show class for ages 5-8 might be the Leadline class. For older children, model horse show classes might be Futurity (foals/yearlings/colts-male/fillies-female), English, Western, Breeds, Horses in Books and/or Film, Custom Horses, Costumed Horses, Best Collection or Dioramas. Ribbons are awarded for each class, and Grand Champion ribbons are awarded for a group of classes or division.

There are many websites one can choose to look up their horse breed, like the breed organizations. 

“For our example of an Appaloosa horse, the breed organization is the Appaloosa Horse Club or American Quarter Horse Association,” club officials stated. 

There is a North American Model Horse Shows Association (NAMHSA), and its website is Virginia is in Region 9 of the NAMHSA.

In December, the Britches & Boots 4-H Horse Club will have a Christmas party, Secret Santa horse ornament exchange and service project to collect items for Franklin Cooperative Ministry’s hygiene and household bags. 

Club members enjoy many activities, monthly meetings and give service to the community. 

For youth ages 5-19, 4-H has many opportunities to offer. Younger members ages 5-8 join as Cloverbuds to learn about 4-H and learn about horses, service projects and different competitions earning Cloverbud ribbons. Junior members ages 9-13 participate in meetings and can be elected to club positions or club offices; can participate in competitions they choose like the District Horse Show qualifying for the Virginia State Horse Championship Horse & Pony Show, attend clinics and can participate in service projects at Graz’n Acres Therapeutic Riding Center, Diamonds in the Rough Equine Rescue and Franklin Cooperative Ministry supporting families in need. Seniors ages 14-19 compete, provide service, attend clinics and meetings, serve as club officers as well as learn leadership skills to participate as CITs (counselors-in-training) and counselors at the Isle of Wight/Southampton County Junior Camp, can attend Virginia 4-H Congress and/or become Horse Ambassadors. 

To join 4-H, register online at or call the Southampton County Extension Office at 757-653-2572.