It started off innocently enough, with a led pony trek at a local stables. The stables also held pony days, where the kids get to go into the yard for a few hours, learn a bit about looking after a pony and have a little lesson. DD1 was super keen to attend one of these days and dragged DD2 along for moral support. They both had a lovely time but in the car, on the way home, it was obvious that DD1 had been bitten quite badly whereas her younger sister had viewed the experience as merely just a nice day out.
The next step was regular riding lessons, at a different stables. One that doesn’t allow the riders to use a crop and most importantly of all, has a covered arena. We’ve been rocking up here on a Sunday morning for years now. Sometimes we take one of the smaller ones and they have a lesson after DD1. DD2 still isn’t that interested but DD3 and DS love their ponies too.
Now and again DD1 asks us why she can’t have a horse of her own. Some of her friends do, they keep them at nearby stables and livery yards. It would be difficult, but not impossible. She would have to give up all her other interests and after school activities to pay for it, and would spend all her time up at the yard. These are things she would happily do in order to have her very own pony.
The answer is basically that I don’t want her to focus solely on horses. I don’t want her spending all her spare time out of the house just yet; she’s 11, it won’t be long before she’ s never at home anyhow. I don’t want to have to drive her somewhere every day and I don’t want her doing ‘just’ horsey things. I don’t want to get into competing every weekend. We have the rest of the family to think about and at the moment, weekends are relatively relaxed affairs. And although I like horses well enough, I’ve never been completely dotty about them. To me they are just large, usually friendly enough animals that can do quite a lot of damage if they get upset.
If we lived in the country and had some land, or she could walk to the stables, then maybe I’d think about it. But we don’t, so for now DD will have to be content with lessons, books and magazines and the odd pony day. Oh, and horsey stuff, she loves anything equine.
So when I was asked if I’d like to review the 6 new Braided horses by Schleich, which are aimed at girls aged 5-8years, I knew DD1 would love them too. She already has quite a collection of model horses and enjoys learning about the different breed characteristics.
I was right. When they arrived, she immediately took charge of working out who was going to have which horses. I had been worried about how I was going to share 6 figures between 4 kids but I needn’t have. DD2 wasn’t at all interested. You can see her sitting on the sofa, much keener on the TV.
This little fellow, a Lipizzaner foal, was fiercely argued over by the youngest two.
While DD1 claimed the Lipizzaner and Haflinger mares for herself.
As with all the Schleich models, these horses are perfectly proportioned but have beautifully detailed braided manes. They are also a nice weight, when you pick them up they feel quite substantial.
The Schleich Braided horses make a nice little gift for any horse lover of any age of sex, in my opinion. My 11 year old definitely loved them as much as, if not more than, my 7 year old girl, and my 5 year old boy enjoys playing with them too.
They may not be the real thing, but for my children they will have to do, until they grow up and can have real horses of their own.
Schleich Braided horses stand 9-12.5cm high and have a RRP of £5.99 for Mares and Stallions and £3.99 for foals.
We were given 6 Schleich braided horses to review but the opinions expressed above remain my own.