Life is going to be - unusual - for a while. We all need to do our part to help protect the vulnerable among us, and history will remember us for how well we take care of each other.
So, how can we stave off boredom and make this a productive time for ourselves? As horse lovers, there are LOTS of things we can do! Here are some that we're doing here or have heard from other horse lovers. Please feel free to add yours in the comments section below! We're all in this together, and if we use our time well, we could come out of this strange time with more knowledge and skills than we had before.
Stay socially connected - If you're sick of Facebook, try modelhorseblab.com . It's a wonderful, active forum site for model horse collectors. People share photos, ask questions, answer questions, and talk models. I have even jokingly called it "my exercise program," because I almost always read something about a model I have that I didn't notice, and have to run upstairs to my personal herd to see if mine is the same way. Model Horse Blab has a free membership which will keep you plenty occupied for weeks or longer. If you'd like access to additional forums, like the Artist's Corner, there's a very reasonable annual membership fee, but there's lots to do on the free membership. And set aside several hours for your visit - Time flies when you're reading and talking about ponies!
Try your hand at customizing - Have a model lying around that is in sad shape and wishes he were beautiful again? Why not try your hand at repainting him? Or you could buy a body model from Triple Mountain or some of the SM Paint and Play sets to paint. There's hours of fun to be had, and with some practice, you could become a great customizer! There are lots of superb tutorials for customizing, tack making, and more on youtube.
Read up - This is a great opportunity to learn more about horses! What's your interest - Do you love certain breeds? Learn more about them, their history and the famous horses in their bloodlines. Maybe you love all horses - Take this time to learn about rare breeds you haven't heard of, like the Konik, Abaco Barb, and more. You might also want to study horse anatomy if you're interested in drawing, sculpting or customizing. Knowing where the muscles are and how they change shapes when the horse moves will make your artwork more lifelike.
Outdoor time - If you are south of us where it's warmer (it's just above freezing here as I write this), maybe you can take some of your favorite ponies outside for a photo shoot someplace quiet. Whether using them for photo shows, storytelling, or just as beautiful pictures of your favorite horses, the fresh air will do you good and they love to go on adventures! Just be careful around water... local customer Maija once had to chase a Dominante who started to float away during a photo shoot at the water's edge! Andalusians do love to swim!
Add to your herd - Since shopping in person is out of the picture for a while, this is a great time to take stock of your herd and make plans for who you want to buy next. Then you can watch for that model to go online either here or elsewhere so you're ready to snag him! If money is tight, you can make a list of models you want to add as a fun way to look forward to things getting back to normal. Many sites, including ours, offer a Wish List feature - After you log in, you can add as many ponies to your Wish List as you like so that you can begin thinking about who you'd buy first when you're able to. (Just remember that vintage models come and go here, so if we sell the one you're looking at, it will disappear from your wish list.) You could also start a Pinterest photo collection of models or horse images you love.
Get some exercise - Stick horse races and dressage classes are all the rage in Europe and catching on quickly in the US. All you need is a stick horse (a broom will do if you don't have a stick horse) and your imagination. Try a dressage test in your living room or create a full jumping course outside if you have the space. I can tell you, trying to do anything while riding a stick horse is a whole new set of skills! And even dressage is harder than you might think. Memorize the pattern and then change gaits at the prescribed points in the arena. What a fun way to stay active while social distancing... and when this is over, you'll have a leg up on any stick horse competitions that crop up in your area!
Update your inventory - Do you have an inventory list of your models? Do you have a foot tag for each model to make it easy to match to your inventory? This "extra time" you've got is idea for getting your inventory list up to date! It's important for insurance and in case anything should ever happen to you. I have written a blog post on how to create your inventory list, what info you should include, and what you may want to put on foot tags. This project is also a great way to reconnect with your models one-on-one.
Here at Triple Mountain, we'll be posting more articles and looking for more ways to bring some more horse-related fun into your home. Please tell us what horse-related things you're doing while social distancing! We'd also love to hear suggestions for future blog articles here... What would you like to learn more about?