Using Customized Breyer Dolls in Model Horse Performance Scenes

  • 01 of 07

    Using Customized Breyer Dolls in Model Horse Performance Scenes

    Model horse carriage with a driver and two passengers.
    This formal carriage display was one of Anne's favorites. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    Anne Field, a Breyer doll customizer and model horse collector, shared her favorite model horse performance show dolls along with notes on the scenes she created. Using Breyer doll bases, Anne customizes clothing, accessories and more to create one-of-a-kind, prize-winning creations. Here, Anne shares her favorite dolls and scenes and explains the details to help you put together your own award-winning model horse show scene.

    You can read more in this interview with Anne Field discussing her work as a doll customizer.

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  • 02 of 07

    Customized Breyer and Mego Dolls for Realistic Halter Showmanship Entry

    Modle horse halter shownmanship scene using Anne Field Dolls
    Halter showmanship with two custom dolls by Anne Field. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    Anne created this halter showmanship set up for a live model horse show scene using two dolls, a favorite model horse, a show halter and lead, and an orange cone for a prop. Breyer doll "Brenda Breyer" was used for the show entrant. Anne rooted her hair for a more realistic appearance and custom-sewed the clothing, creating the appropriate show outfit for a Western halter showmanship entry. The judge is a Mego doll base with machine-sewn gray pants, white shirt, red tie and a black coat. Anne used a simple piece of ultra suede to mimic the show arena floor, which sets her entry off from others on the show table in the live model horse show hall.

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  • 03 of 07

    Creating Dolls for Dressage - Breyer Doll Customized as Dressage Rider

    Breyer doll by Anne Fields Customized as a hunt seat or lower level dressage rider.
    A Breyer doll, customized into a lower level dressage or hunt seat rider, performing the "halt at X" movement in a model horse show. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    As you study this picture of a wonderful live show dressage setup, notice the reference photo in the lower right-hand corner. Anne copied the photo precisely down to the details of how the rider is positioned. This is a huntseat or lower level dressage doll made from a Breyer Doll, the Brenda Breyer body. Anne added new rooted hair, fitted breeches, leather boots, a white shirt and a black hunt coat. The gloves are painted on and coated with matte finish to protect the paint.

    Anne said, "To learn to make boots, I used paper pieces and would wrap them around the doll legs and feet to work out how to make a usable pattern. Thin lambskin is the best leather I have found but it is hard to get ahold of these days. Dyed skiver can work well but you need to coat it with clear nail polish or matte finish so it doesn't rub off on the breeches or horse. One of the most fun things about using dolls in set-ups is adding a bit more fun to a scene and this scene could not be done without a doll. As an added touch I found documentation that has a horse in exactly the same position as my model."

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  • 04 of 07

    Carriage Driving Scene with Customized Breyer Dolls

    Model horse carriage with a driver and two passengers.
    Three customized dolls complete this miniature carriage driving scene. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    This carriage driving scene and the accompanying three customized Breyer dolls was one of the most detailed commissions Anne Field ever completed. Anne lists this one among her favorites.

    "This is one of my favorite special orders. The driver's outfit was copied from a photograph and came out very close. The two grooms were done from a photo and a sketch sent by the customer. It's such a complex and unusual set of dolls."

    Carriage driving and harness classes for model horses are some of the more complicated model horse performance classes to enter. Not only must the model horse be perfect, but the harness, the vehicle, and the driver dolls must all complement the scene.

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  • 05 of 07

    Breyer Dolls Customized by Anne Field In a Therapeutic Riding Scene

    Model horse therapeutic scene with rider dolls by Anne Field.
    Unique therapeutic riding scene for model horse show performance. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    This other performance setup features custom Breyer dolls in a therapeutic riding scene. It holds a special place in Anne's heart and is one of her favorites.

    "This is my favorite live show entry as it means a lot to me. My son took therapeutic riding lessons for several years. It's one horse event where I have a lot of real experience. I updated it several times over the years until I made this scene.

    "The judge isn't essential to the scene but I think he adds a nice touch. The horse is outfitted in regular English tack with the reins wrapped around the horse's neck and a halter over the bridle. Reins are attached to the halter rings for the rider to use and there is a lead rope as well. I have photo documentation for the equipment set-up. The leader doll is a Brenda Breyer doll with original hair, jeans, leather boots and an oversizes men's shirt. The side walker is a Brenda Breyer doll with new rooted hair, breeches, leather English boots and a sweater. The sweater was made from scraps of knit fabric. The youth rider is a remade old style bendable Breyer youth doll. I repainted the face, resculpted the chest and removed all the hair to turn her into a boy. Then I snipped very short pieces of viscose and glued them on the head."

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  • 06 of 07

    Customized Breyer Doll for Western Pleasure Model Horse Classes

    Western pleasure model horse doll rider customized by Anne Field.
    Western pleasure doll with unique custom printed silk shirt by Anne Field. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    Anne shared some tips for creating unique and original Western pleasure Breyer dolls. If you're interested in creating your own customized Breyer dolls, it's helpful to learn how to sew and to enjoy sewing.

    In this setup, Anne customized a Breyer doll with carved feet and a slightly thickened waist for a more natural appearance. The first finger on her left hand is separated from the rest so she can hold the reins correctly as well as a partially repainted face with new eyes and make-up. She is wearing shorts under her chaps to reduce bulk. Her boots are made from the same ultra suede as her chaps and her top is one of a kind printed silk.

    Anne said, "You can buy silk sheets at craft stores or on line. Then you can either print fabric from the Internet or you can hand paint it in a water color effect (thin down paint and paint it on the fabric). This makes for really unique dolls. The body upgrade s are standard on my newer dolls. It makes them more user-friendly and helps them look more like real people."

    See information on customizing fabric for miniatures for ways to create your own small scale fabrics.

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  • 07 of 07

    Customizing Your Breyer Doll - Tips and Advice for Making a Unique Rider Doll

    Western pleasure youth rider doll customized by Anne Field.
    Youth rider doll customized by Anne Field. Copyright 2011 by Anne Field. Used with permission.

    The last picture of a customized Breyer doll really shows Anne's step-by-step process for creating a truly one of a kind doll for your model horse show setups. Here, Anne explains how she created this Western pleasure youth rider.

    "First, I started with a partially rebuilt Breyer Ashley doll. She has new rooted viscose hair, new thighs build from wrapped wire. Out-of-the-box Breyer youth dolls don't sit well or hold their arms well. The first thing I do is take them apart and rebuild them as needed. They usually get new legs (or at least new thighs) and hunt seat dolls always get new upper arms as well.

    "The youth dolls almost always get new faces or partial new faces. This doll has a one of a kind printed silk top with added gold glitter paint. Her chaps are made from ultra suede with gold paint accent. The boots I use are cut down painted hunt seat boots. I cut off the doll toes and glue the boot inside the pants or chaps at the sides. That way the doll can still stand or go heels down."  Anne also pads the dolls' bottoms so that they sit better in the saddle.

    These tips should help anyone interested in customizing Breyer dolls create great dolls for performance setups at model horse shows.  Thank you to Anne Field for the photos and expert advice. Visit Anne's website, Field of Dolls, for more information on her original and customized Breyer dolls for model horse show performance.