Real horses have family lines that are the cause of their colors, temperments, and even their success called pedigree. A real horse's pedigree can be traced back to the sire and dam, great-sire and great-dam, and so on. Pedigree is also put to use when talking about Breyer models. Some collectors enjoy creating "pedigree" lines for their model horses. The collector can then "breed" their model with another collector's model and they can trade pedigree information. Though this may sound pointless, this adds to the realism of owning a model horse.
Collectors research real pedigrees often to get started in created a model horse pedigree to ensure its realism. Then once they have created a pedigree for a model, they track it and record it just like an owner would do with a real horse. Some collectors even have stud books for their model horses in order to keep track of this pedigree information.
Selecting the BreedEdit
The first step to creating a success model horse pedigree is to research what breed your model is. Breyer often promotes their models as a certain breed. Even though Breyer is known for their realism, sometimes the breed they assign a horse isn't accurate and collectors using pedigrees will change the model's breed to some more realistic.
Breyer is known for repeatedly using molds, so they could use an Arabian mold, but call it a Morgan. This isn't realistic enough for some pedigree collectors. If you are going to show your model, you want to know and understand real horse breeds. Serious collectors know what a good example of a horse breed is. For example, even though the Breyer #4 Family Arabian Stallion is called an Arabian by Breyer. He is a poor example of the Arabian when considering comformation and he is often painted incorrect colors for a real Arabian.
Collectors will use the internet or horse breed books to decide what would be a good breed to reassign their model. They check to make sure the comformation and colors are realistic compared to the model and the real horse breed. It is a good idea to make a comparison list when picking a model horse breed. Write down the breeds you have in mind for the model and a list of common or encouraged characteristics these breeds really have. Then compare the list with your model. You will be able to easily narrow down the breed selection this way. It is also a good idea to check horse breed association websites for detailed judging information on the breeds.
A competitive strategy when selecting a breed is to select a breed that isn't popular in the show ring. Model horse shows can be easier to win this way. Fewer competition will raise your chances of winning the show. Quarter Horses, Paints, Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Appaloosas are highly popular breeds and if you are selecting a breed based on your ability to win, it is suggested you do not pick one of these breeds.
Creating Pedigree LinesEdit
There are two ways collectors choose to select pedigree for their model horses. One way is to select "parents" and "bloodline members" for their model horse or to research actual horse pedigrees.
- Selecting "Parents": When selecting "parents" for your model horse, you are indeed selecting your model's pedigree. You should look for parents that already have a good or long pedigree themselves. Parents without any pedigree themselves already leaves you knowing nothing about your model's pedigree in the long run. You want parents with history in the pedigree and parents that are obviously the same breed as your own model. Collectors "breed" their models and then will provide lists of descriptions of horses. Some collectors expect a "stud fee". The stud fee can be all roleplay, but sometimes serious collectors want a few dollars for their pedigree information. Be prepared to pay some real money if you want a very detailed, realistic pedigree. Your pedigree lists will be exchanged upon payment and the collector will have rights to add the models to their own pedigree.
- Selecting Using Real Pedigrees: The second option is to select your model's pedigree using real horses. Research real horse pedigrees and then use that as a format for your model's pedigree. Pedigrees can be found on online listings or breed assocations. You should look for real horses that show the same characteristics as your model. This is a very popular method of pedigree creation because it is free and easier for less serious collectors.
Age and GeneticsEdit
Next, collectors will select an age for their model. Obviously the models do not actually age, but this is another way to add realism. When adding pedigree, there are aging and non-aging models. If you have a foal model, the foal model is suggested to be non-aging. You should check your model's age against its "parents"' ages to make sure it is realistic. If breeding your model, keep in mind that real stallions do not start breeding until about 3 years of age and most mares are forced to wait until 5 years of age. This can vary depending on the breed and horse however. Every model should be at least 3 years younger than the parents.
Researching horse genetics is also needed for pedigrees. Collectors need to know what genes are dominant and which are recessive. It is suggested that collectors purchase a book on the subject to help them create the genetics of their model. The genetics decide the horse's color and in order to continue your pedigree, you need to know what color or markings your model's offspring could have and could not have.
Collectors who "stud" out thier models often have a good pedigree already set up for the stud. When asking a collector if you can stud with their model, make sure you are ready to pay a stud fee if needed, that your horse is the same breed (Warmbloods are the exception), and you have a pedigree you can give them in return. Some collectors post their studs on Youtube or Breyer forums. Studs are normally stallions and collectors may also ask you to name your model's foal, so people will know their stud is part of your model's pedigree. This also adds to realism, as this happens in the real horse world. If you are get "parents" from a collector for your model, they may also want a say in the model's name.
The stud fees are almost always under $1 US and the most common price being a mere 10 cents per parent. If you are a mare owner, you should limit the amount of foals allowed to your mare per year. Mares can only have one foal a year realisticly, but some collectors choose to roleplay that they use "embryo transfer" and therefore allow their mare to have more than one foal a year. Stallions may be bred many times in a row without problem.