#TBT: Model Horses, the Gateway Drug

As they say, horses are as addictive as drugs and twice as expensive — and it can all start with those little plastic versions.

Comic courtesy of Kellie Lewis

Comic courtesy of Kellie Lewis

Parents, listen up! There’s a not-so-new drug on the market that’s making a comeback … actually, it has never left. Be on the lookout for MODEL HORSES.

At first everything seems so cute and innocent — until it spirals out of control.

It starts with the child wanting a model horse for a special occasion, like a birthday, Christmas or bat mitzvah. Maybe you’ll cave in and buy one — this will be your first mistake. Buying one just starts the ball rolling because now your child wants another one, and another, and eventually they’ll ask for a real live horse. Once the child has gotten to that level, there is no turning back. You’ll be in too deep. You might as well kiss your pocketbook and weekends and weeknights goodbye. No one ever asks for just one model horse. And they never stop at just the models.

Signs of addiction:

  • Your little girl or boy will start collecting these magnificent 12 inch tall life-like horses.
  • He or she will stop hanging out with friends and instead play with the horses while being locked up in the bedroom.
  • You’ll find random household belongs missing. (They have become construction materials to build tiny barns.)
  • He or she gets in trouble for smuggling a model into school in the backpack.
  • He or she will try to convince friends to get Breyer horses of their own.

At this point, the indicators become more troubling:

  • The child will start making remarks like ” I wish I had a real horse. Will you buy me a real horse?”
  • He or she will make promises they won’t keep. “Mommy, I promise to do all my homework if you buy me a horse. Daddy, I promise to be the best kid in the world and never back talk to you.”

What you can do:

  • Don’t buy her that first model horse! (If you already have, there’s not much you can do at this point.)
  • Lock up your check book and cash.
  • Don’t be persuaded to look at any horse websites or magazines.
  • Try to get your child into sports that don’t cost half your paycheck. (Think baseball, basketball, chess, etc)
  • Convince your child that dating and fast cars are much more interesting.
  • Get a big pillow to cry in.

When your kid is in too deep and you’ve already bought that a real horse:

  • Accept the fact that every waking free moment will be spent at the barn.
  • Kiss your money goodbye.
  • Learn to love the smell of manure.
  • Learn to live like a hobo since all of your money will be going to the horse.
  • Have a good pair of walking shoes … you’ll be doing a lot of it between the barn, the horse shows, the clinics …
  • Become friends with the vet. Maybe even date a vet.
  • Take the plunge and get a horse for yourself.

Confession time, Horse Nation — were model horses your gateway into the equestrian world? Share in the comments section!

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