Archive for September, 2008
In 2001, a breathtaking artistic innovation was introduced in Santa Fe, New Mexico: The Trail of Painted Ponies model horses.Back then, the horses were life-sized fiberglass figures – massive spectacles to behold and amazing achievements. The only problem with them was they weren’t exactly designed for being collectible items.
The Trail of Painted Ponies models of today, however, are made to be collected. They’re small figurines that capture the same “wow” factor as the original-sized models, but only in a much smaller design. There are 132 different figurines to collect, incluing five exclusive models and 20 holiday designs. Twelve of the ponies also was released as a large figurine and four was release as bust figurines. A few of the ponies are retired annually, thereby making those models far more valuable to collectors.
The ponies have also captured the attention of collectors on eBay, which has become the purveyor of places to find the ponies outside of trade shows and other special events. New models are announced twice per year, with the holiday varieties being announced as early as June. Additionally, Native American designers lend their talents to Trail of Painted Ponies for special designs that display their culture’s rich heritage.
A full grown horse is a huge time commitment, especially if you’re interested in riding. It means finding a place to board your animal. It means finding and supplying feed, and it means cleaning out stalls. All of these activities also add up to a massive financial commitment. In short, owning a horse is not the best idea for the casual horse enthusiast. For these reasons, horse owners, more so than most animal lovers, can be fanatical about their pets.
All the horse owners I know choose to express this love of horses through home décor. And that décor can range from decorative, hand painted plates to elaborate horse figurines. Whatever the style or preference of the horse lover, these decorations help to alert others that they’ve entered an equine friendly zone. But these decorations also serve an essential function for the owner. They are constant reminders of the animals they love so well, and this makes the home feel that much more personal.
The Trail of Painted Ponies all began in Santa Fe in 2000 as part of a Public Art Exhibition that invited the very best artists to transform life-size horse sculptures into works of art. At the end of the Exhibition these lifesize works of art were auctioned off for charity.
Since the Art Exhibition in Santa Fe, artists have continued to transform horse sculptures but this time as collectible-sized figurines that are replicas of the original Painted Ponies. These miniature works of art have quickly become one of the hottest selling collectibles in America.