Pinspiration Monday: White Horse

No…Not the “Knight in Shining Armor” type of white horse…I’m talking about the ceramic version! I have seen these regal little figurines pop up a lot recently in home decor trends. They don’t really serve much purpose, but I think they add a touch of elegance to a space. It doesn’t hurt that I grew up riding horses (as did my mom and cousin) – It kind of runs in the family, so horses are special to me. You might remember these little guys I picked up at a thrift store fairly recently…

But anyways, I have been itching to buy into the ceramic white horse trend for the last couple of months. These are the pins that have inspired me and led me to this point and blog post:

(red arrow above was added to direct your attention to the chunky white horse tucked away in the bookcase)

I FIRST really noticed this accessory trend when browsing through one of my favorite home decor blogs, One Brooklyn Modern. If you are into modern, sleek design and urban architecture, Anne’s blog is for you! Love it…But anyway, back in May she received a rather large brown box – Inside was the most exquisite horse statue I’ve ever seen! Sooo jealous…

It’s pretty large too…The whole thing almost came up to her husband’s hip! I knew I had to try something like it…My solution? It’s probably not too hard to guess what with my obsession over white spray paint 🙂

As I mentioned before, I grew up in a horse-oriented family so it should come as no surprise that I spent a lot of my childhood playing with horse toys. I had a big pink bucket full of the plastic variety and could spend HOURS engrossed in their imaginary lives. I haven’t gotten them out and dusted them off in a while though…Until now.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on designer white horses or wasting too many hours combing through thrift stores to find the perfect vintage statuette, I simply made a quick trip to my parents house 12 minutes down the road and picked up three of my childhood toys. The plan was to choose one, spray paint it white and use it to style up the DIY-ed oak shelves in our living room. Can’t beat FREE!

These were my options…Mr. Gray pony:

Black Beauty:

And Mrs. Brown:

For anyone familiar with horse toys, you may recognize that these aren’t just any horse toys…They’re Breyer horses. It’s difficult for me to even call these “toys” given their price tags (click on over to their website to see how expensive they are). But my justification for essentially ruining a collector’s toy was that the horses pictured above are probably upwards of 18 years old and pretty banged up by a young child (who shall remain nameless). I doubt they are worth anything – And even if they were, they hold too much sentimental value for me to want to sell. By making one of them usable again, I feel like I’m giving it a new life. That satisfies my conscience at least.

So to make my decision, I placed each of the three on the shelf for comparison.

Ultimately, I chose Mrs. Brown because I liked her very relaxed posture in comparison to Black Beauty’s gung-ho attitude. Mr. Gray Pony was a bit too small for the space…So after a solemn farewell and “Good luck!” from her horsey friends…

…Mrs. Brown got ready for her makeover. After a few quick sprays from my white spray paint out on the front side-walk, she was looking a bit more monochromatic!

Only one problem…Had to get her underside done! As you can see, I had missed a few spots.

So I broke out some yellow cleaning gloves and held her by a hoof to get the rest all painted – Here she is all done!

After an hour or so of drying (or about 25 minutes because I’m too impatient), I put her up on the shelf in her new place of glory!

I love how the glossy paint really DOES make it look porcelain or ceramic! It’s difficult for me to believe it since I’ve been acquainted with this particular horse for my lifetime, but hopefully visitors will assume it’s the real deal (unless of course, they read the blog…). I also love how the white brings out the muscles in the figurine – The great thing about using an expensive Breyer horse is that you know you’ll get a really nice looking and true-to-life figure when all is said and done.

Happy Monday!

(Photo credit for huge white horse from One Brooklyn Modern: here)


47 thoughts on “Pinspiration Monday: White Horse

  1. Tori

    Hey Carrie! I was wondering where you got that amazing clock! I love the look of it and have been searching for a whimsical, yet sleek clock for many years… Any advice on where to find one?? Thank you!

  2. Jessie

    J’adore! Like you, I grew up riding and collected Breyers as well. This is an awesome idea and I will definitely be picking someone out of my herd to class up my office!

  3. Carol

    You can research the value of your model online before altering it. Even damaged, some vintage horses (not just Breyer) are worth $50-$100. I have several worth possibly twice that by now. A newer horse could be a better choice.

  4. Ainhoa

    The horse looks great spray painted white! And I had no idea they were so expensive! It reminds me of Beanie Babies, apparently people collect them and can be quite pricey if it’s an old model.

    1. Carrie Post author

      Thanks! Yeah…My sister and I definitely bought into the Beanie Baby craze…We have something like 75 of them in a box in our parent’s attic =)

  5. Gwen

    I absolutely love this idea and it really does look like porcelain or ceramic horse! I was not a collector of horses (more into cats) but one of my dearest childhood friends was and this post brought back some wonderful memories! I wish I knew where she was so I could make her one but since I don’t, I am going to make one to remind me of those days. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kristin

    Love the idea! I also collected Breyer horses as a child and had that very one! If you look at it’s underside you can tell it most certainly is not a Mrs. 🙂 His name was Rugged Lark ( modeled after an actual real life extremely talented pleasure horse) that I got to meet one time at Quarter Horse Congress. Regardless, I loved the outcome of your project!

    1. Carrie

      I used a glossy white spray paint. I didn’t use a primer – I’ve actually never used a primer before and still have good results. Hope that helps!

  7. Kelly Abernathy

    Hi Carrie. I love your eye, your talent and your voice. Wondering…what is the wall color and brand on this room. I love it and Mrs. Brown’s shiney white coat looks great against it. (Sorry if this an offending opt-repeated question!) Thanks! -kca

  8. Steff

    Right, that’s it. I’ve read enough.
    I’m off to raid the toybox- the kids are small enough not to be able to do anything about it! *evil laugh*
    My Mm has a beautiful ceramic horse figurine I have admired and loved since I was a nipper. She wouldn’t let me touch it for fear of my grubby paws wrecking it, which only increased my love for that thing.
    Mind you, I’m 33 now, but it seems history and trends tend to repeat themselves.
    Ha, Mum, now I can have my own and touch it as often as I want! 🙂
    Thanks for this post, couldn’t be happier about this new inspiration!

    1. Carrie Post author

      I’m SO glad to give you some inspiration!! This is definitely one “ceramic” figurine you can play around with and touch all you want – Enjoy!

  9. jncahill

    Not a huge horse fan (except unicorns), but that is lovely and turned out well. It may even be better than the real thing because you save money, it’s something sentimental, and if it were to fall, it probably won’t break like something ceramic will. I may have to do this with an animal I love (cats…). Thanks for sharing. Great photos and lovely house.

    1. Carrie Post author

      Glad you like it!! I agree that the durability is a nice bonus…Definitely not as breakable as something ceramic!! Thanks for stopping by =)

  10. Stefani

    As a horseback rider and former Breyer collector, I have to admit I was kind of sad when you spray painted your horse! But I get overly sentimental and attached to objects, so don’t mind me. It really does look great. I just saw that Fab has these horse book ends and hooks made out of Breyer horses: I think these would be relatively easy to DIY (though I have no idea what the inside of a Breyer looks like), and could look really awesome, especially sprayed gold or white. I just don’t have the stomach to take the axe to my old horses 😉

  11. TALang

    Love the horse upcycle idea! My one and only complaint is probably just particular to me, but those screws holding up the shelves need to be dealt with. Paint them, wood putty them and then stain them or something! Please. To me it ruins the entire vignette you have going. I love all the rest of it, including the clock. Nice job.

  12. Colleen

    this is fantastic! I have all three of those and played with them for hours just willing them to come to life. Your project brought back some very wonderful memories. Thank you.

  13. Anja Hughes

    Oh my gosh! I had/ may still have the same black Breyer horse… his name was Thunder. Can’t believe I still remember that. The “make-over looks awesome! What type of spray paint did you use?

  14. m

    Hi! I have a suggestion of what you could do with your other Breyer horses! (if you want to recycle them) Have you heard of chalkboard horses? I’ve seen them on Polyvore…anyway all you do is spray paint the Breyer horse with chalkboard spray paint, and you can write on it with chalk! A cute accessory for an office desk, I think! If you’re interested, you could just do some more research…but I think it’s a great idea! 🙂


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