Model horse customization begins with a release ceremony. The Breyer logo should be sanded off first. This embossed logo is often found on the inner thigh of any model, usually hidden from view by the horse’s opposing leg. Then the seams should be sanded smooth, so that there is no trace that two hollow plastic halves were once melded together by a higher being. This frees the horse from its past and breaks any possible tie with the Breyer brand, priming the horse, a wild and free creature in its own right, for its new author.
This sort of “clean slate” was also prized in the sim horse game I played. Surprisingly, this game called “Horseland” didn’t supply any images of horses: they were all created or collaged by users. I remember being driven by my mom to Best Buy to purchase Jasc Paint Shop Pro, the graphics program that would let me create beveled edges and seamlessly fade images into each other, for this purpose. I felt closer to my sim horses by giving them these custom, “pro” collages made possible by my new software.