Third Book Joins Hartland Stable

I divided all Hartland horses of the 2oth century into two groups by their mold shape: horses designed for riders ("rider-series" horses), and horses not designed for riders ("breed-series" horses). One book covers each group. The latest -- third -- book is on the models made since 2000, and it includes both types of horses.

The fact that Hartland made two "thematic groups" of horses seems to leave some people still confused. It is important to know whether your horse was part of the "rider series" or the "breed series" because if you buy "the wrong book," you won't find the horse you are looking for. To make it very simple, answer the questions below:

Which Kind of Horse -- rider-series or breed series?

1. Does your Hartland horse have reins?
(On a real horse, a rein is the strap that goes from the horse's mouth [from the bridle bit] to the riders hand. Typically, there is one strap from each side of the mouth, so there are two reins, which are referred to as "the reins.")
On a Hartland horse, the reins can be a flexible plastic lace, a chain, or rigid plastic that is molded to the horse.)
If yes, it is a rider-series horse.
If no, go to the next question.

2. Does your Hartland horse have bridle straps molded onto its head?
Those go up the side of the face, behind the ears, across the forehead, and under the jaw.
If yes, it is a rider-series horse.
If no, go to the next question.

3. Does your Hartland horse have a hole through its mouth?
(The hole was designed for the reins -- flexible plastic or a chain -- to pass through.)
If yes, it is a rider-series horse.
If no, it is a breed-series horse.

Which of the Three Hartland Books is My Horse In?

Rider-Series Horses:
                                    99% of them are in Hartland Horsemen
                                       1% of them are in Hartland Horses: NMH Since 2000
Breed-Series Horses:
                                    97% of them are in Hartland Horses and Dogs
                                       3% of them are in Hartland Horses: NMH Since 2000

If there's more than one Hartland horse you want to look up, chances are that you'll need at least two of the books! The three books are described below.

Hartland Horsemen is on the 2oth century (1940s-1990s) rider sets and all horses of the mold shapes that were designed for riders. All horses in this book have reins, but if the reins are missing, they still have a rein hole through the mouth. Their breed type is generic. They were sometimes sold without the rider, but that is beside the point. This book includes some Paola Groeber models.

Hartland Horses and Dogs, on the other hand, is on the 2oth century (1950s-1990s) horses designed to represent specific breeds. They were never paired with a rider, and they have no reins or rein holes. The majority of Paola's models are in this book. The detailed history of the Hartland companies, found in this book, is of interest to all Hartland collectors.

Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 is on the new models released since 2000. See the News page for details.

More on the difference between the two thematic types of Hartland horses is found in the essay below, "Hartland Horses are complicated." Following that and the "Three Excellent Books" essay, a table summarizes the scope of the two books on the 20th century horses.

Hartland Horses are complicated!

 Hartland horses are more complicated than Breyer horses, and the books about them are, too.
On the subject of Breyer, each Breyer book includes all Breyer models (up to the time the book was published).
The subject of Hartland, though, is divided up among three books (all by Gail Fitch, from Schiffer Publishing). Each book covers a different group of models.
Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 is on the models MADE FROM 2000 through 2007 -- and it points out which models were still available when this book went to press in 2012. It is so thorough that even about 100 test pieces (unique models) are illustrated!  

That part was easy. Now comes the part that might seem confusing at first: The older models, the ones MADE BEFORE 2000, are divided into TWO books!
That is because there were two thematic groups of Hartland horses made during the 1940s through 1990s.

Hartland Horsemen
Some Hartland horses had reins (or a hole through the mouth for reins), and they usually came with a rider and/or saddle. Those are the "Rider-Series Horses" or "Horses Designed for Riders." They are in the book Hartland Horsemen, published in 1999. That book, on Hartland's "horse-and-rider sets," is appreciated not just by horse lovers, but also by fans of the TV westerns broadcast in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hartland Horses and Dogs
Other Hartland horses never had reins, saddles, or riders. They do not have bridle straps molded onto their head. Their purpose was not to be somebody's mount! Their purpose was to represent specific breeds of horses! They were sold individually or as horse families; you know: stallion, mare, and foal! They came in all the popular breeds and a wide range of colors, and depict equine action very well. These are the "Breed-Series" or "Regular" Hartland horses! They are in the book Hartland Horses and Dogs, published in 2000. This book is full of beautiful model horses! Each horse has an individual picture, and the pictures are large and colorful.

NOTE: Hartland Horses and Dogs is the only book with the very detailed chapters on Hartland history (through 1999) and artistry, and includes the Hartland model dogs. Because of the history and artistry chapters -- illustrated with vintage, historic photos -- the horse-and-rider collectors love this book in addition to Hartland Horsemen. Everyone loves this book!
Each book is at least 160 pages, is 11" x 8.5", and includes hundreds of color photos (over 1,500 in all). All three books include values in addition to everything else they do.
I am the author; I sign and number them and enclose extra information, including a subject directory/index.
You can buy them with PayPal or a check from my website,, or from me at eBay (ID: hartland_guru), or from the publisher or numerous booksellers, but the signed ones and index-directories come only from me.

Hartland did very special things!
Gail Fitch
December 19, 2014
[The "Which Kind of Horse" quiz and "Which of the Three Books is My Horse In?" were added to this page on December 21, 2014.]

What Marney Walerius, Nancy Young and/or Felicia Browell, et al, are to Breyer, Gail Fitch is to Hartland, only Gail started long before the Breyer authors did, and published full-color Hartland books starting 31 years ago. The first Hartland book came out in February 1983. It had 26 photo pages in full color!

In 1980, after college but before graduate school, Gail began locating and interviewing Hartland officials who worked for Hartland in the 1940s through 1970s. For 16 years, she self-published non-profit model horse books in full color, adding in the new models of the 1980s and 1990s. She made the books continuously available to grateful collectors, who were in awe of her books and contributed to them.

Since 1999, Gail's Hartland books have been published by Schiffer, the noted antiques, art, and collectibles publisher. The books are available everywhere fine books are sold, but they are available from the author as well. She signs and numbers each book,  and provides extra, printed information that is not found in the books. All of that is at no extra charge. Also, a book purchase puts you on her email list for new books, her horse collecting magazine (Model Equestrian), and sometimes special sales of Hartlands that she does on commission for others.

The three books cover all Hartland horses and Hartland horse-and-rider sets from the 1940s beginnings through the latest production in this century.
The books are:
1. Hartland Horsemen -- on rider sets and horses with reins (last century)
2. Hartland Horses and Dogs -- individual horses and horse families (last century)
3. Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 (horses and horse-and-rider sets from, obviously, the new century!)

These are outstanding books with extensive historical research, detailed facts and model descriptions, gorgeous color photos, market values, and literary quality.
Reading these books will make you feel close to Hartland and the people behind the companies that produced them. The history and artistry chapters include interviews with the sculptors, owners, executives, and others, detailed historical chronology, and an explanation of Hartland's incredible mold-making process that yielded such excellent sculpted detail. These books are a wonderful source of information and a visual delight for horse and art lovers.

The books may be ordered at: by PayPal or mailed check.
The author also sells them on eBay, where her seller name is hartland_guru
These books are "the source" on Hartland. Join the fun!

February 5, 2014

Hartland Model Horses in The Two Original (20th Century) Hartland Books
  Hartland Horsemen Hartland Horses and Dogs
Category Horses Designed for Riders Breed-series Horses
Breed Type Generic; not intended to
represent specific breeds
Specific breeds named on the package and in catalogs
Had Reins? Always had reins; if the chain or plastic lace reins are now lost, the mouth hole for reins will still be there; nearly always had a molded-on bridle headstall; on the smaller horses,  the reins are rigid plastic and are molded-on  Never had reins; no mouth hole and no molded-on tack of any kind (except the Budweiser Clydesdale)
Had Riders? Often, not always, had riders Never had riders
When Made Late 1940s-1994 Mostly 1961-1994;
some early 1950s


10 Reasons to buy Hartland Horsemen: 

 1. Arresting visual appeal -- 500+ color photos
 2. Historic photos of celebrities and pre-1970 Hartland personnel
 3. Test color models by Paola Groeber and Hartland copies
 4. 200+ photos of horses with reins or rein-ready (not the breed series*)
 5. Riders, saddles, hats, guns, other accessories, boxes

 6. Values that have received excellent reviews
 7. Information is clear, detailed yet succinct, and well organized -- 160 pages
 8. It's the first book in the Hartland series -- so far there are two
 9. Once you open this book, an hour can go by very quickly!
10. It makes a great gift for horse lovers, TV western fans, toy or model horse collectors, etc.


What people are saying about Hartland Horsemen:

Hi Gail!
I am thrilled with these books! The photographs are outstanding!
Happy Trails,
Leslie Lloyd
June 27, 2006

Hi Gail,
Just wanted to take a moment and write to you and let you know just how much I enjoy your
Hartland Horseman book. If I have opened it once, I have opened it a thousand times. I just
can't put it down. Every time I open it, I learn something new as well as enjoy just looking at
the pictures. I have traveled to four different states in the last month and guess which book I
took with me to read on the planes? Pretty obvious to me that you not only did your homework
and relayed  interesting facts about Hartlands to us, but you very much love what you do. For
your time, dedication and love for the hobby, I thank you very much for the many hours I will
be able to enjoy this book. God Bless you, Gail Fitch!" -- Craig Blankenship, 2-9-05

"Gail, Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your volume, Hartland Horsemen. It has been invaluable for me in researching for my Hartland collection. You did a wonderful job." -- Mike Griffin.

"Ms. Fitch, I just wanted to compliment you on a truly fine book. I find the Hartland statues fascinating, and your book really brings them to life."
-- Bill Lyon.

"Gail, I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with the Hartland Horsemen book I got from eBay. I really enjoy looking at it! It is very well done. I enjoy the stories in the back as well. You have done a tremendous amount of research, and have made this book very complete. It has made me even more interested in collecting the Hartland brand, even more than the Breyer!" -- Paula Wagner.

"Gail, I just wanted to take the time and thank you for such a wonderful book you produced on the Hartland Horsemen. I have had this book over [two years] now and it has rekindled my memories...I played just about every day with the [Hartlands] I had as a kid....So, thank you for a wonderful book and keeping me young at heart." -- Steve Babineau.

What could be more fun than a book on the most glamorous toys / models ever made of the
popular TV western shows and cowboy stars of the 1950s and 1960s? "Hartland Horsemen" is
this book. With 160 pages, 542 color photos, and celebrity photos, it is not just a collectibles
book, but a vacation to "yesteryear" for baby boomers and their parents, TV fans, western
collectors, and horse lovers. This copy will be signed and numbered by the author, Gail Fitch,
herself a baby boomer, horse lover, and long-time model horse collector. Contents include care
of models, grading condition, values for each part (dozens of riders, tons of accessories, and
over 100 horses) plus sets in all stages of completeness and condition. There is TV show lore,
manufacturing history, and photo comparisons with Marx, Breyer, and other brands. (For
Hartland horses without riders, see "Hartland Horses and Dogs" by Gail Fitch.

Hartland made the most and best horse and rider figurines in the world! Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Matt Dillon....They're all here. -- Gail Fitch

(Added 2-3-03, 3-2-05, and 7-12-06. Quotes used with permission.)

First Book in the Hartland Series
I sell this book signed and numbered, and enclose a detailed directory that makes it easy to look up riders, horses, complete sets, boxes, and the small parts.

Please note that there are two books on Hartland, and each covers different models with virtually no overlap. This is Hartland Horsemen, the beautiful, 160-page book with 542 color photos that catalogs Hartland's horse-and-rider sets, accessories, standing gunfighters, and all horses from the “designed for riders” molds whether they were sold with a rider or not. (Sometimes, they were sold separately.)    

The models in this book span the 1940s-1990s, and includetest color horses by Paola Groeber from 1986-1990. Hartland produced amazingly attractive and complex rider sets, and
many are clearly recognizable as TV western heroes from the 1950s-1960s and favorite characters from American history.Their sculpture set the standard for detail in plastic models.

Numerous horse-and-rider collectors and model horse collectors contributed photos of rare models. There is a company history encompassing FOUR Hartland horse companies from 1939-2000. The original company began making horses in the late 1940s, and the first riders appeared in the early 1950s.

This book will allow you to match the riders to their correct horses, and match the accessories to the riders. Included in the 20 chapters are tables of brand and copyright marks on the models and their boxes, dates of the TV shows, advice on model care and repair, the differences between the originals and re-released models, and originals versus copies, reproductions, and customized models. Several brands of copies and similar-looking horses and riders, including by Breyer, are shown for comparison.

There are detailed, value tables for finding the value of sets and individual pieces, taking into account completeness, condition, and scarcity of the sets and their parts. Values are also given under each photo.    

Resources and a bibliography are included. Historic photos include owners and personnel of Hartland dating back to the 1940s, and TV stars holding Hartland models. The TV shows are described also.

 The author, Gail Fitch, grew up with the TV westerns described in this book. She is a researcher/journalist, and, beginning in 1980, interviewed many Hartland personnel to obtain the authentic story of this remarkable company. An equestrian, and long-time model horse and Hartland collector, Gail has made her Hartland books a labor of love for 20+ years.

Now professionally published, this edition, Hartland Horsemen, is from Schiffer Publishing, the leading publisher of model horse books (and other collecting and hobby books. Schiffer has brought us Breyer and Hagen-Renaker books, too.) Please see the order form. Thank you and enjoy.


If you love model horses, your shelf should have this book on it!
     Known for detailed sculpture and astonishing colors, Hartland Plastics has always been an important contributor to the model horse scene. This book begins with the 1960s and documents Hartland horses to 2000. These are the Breed Series Horses, the ones without riders.
      Your book will be signed and numbered by the author, Gail Fitch, the horse lover and long-time model horse collector who is called "the historian of Hartland Plastics." 2003 is the twentieth anniversary of the first publication of Gail's Hartland books. They've come a long way from then to this 188-page book from Schiffer Publishing with over 739 color photos!
     This is your source for identification, values, model horse history, the DETAILED Hartland company history, artist interviews, hobby resources, and more.
     Insured shipping is $3.50. Check, money order, or PayPal. Enjoy!

Book Size: 11" tall, 8.5" wide, over 1/2" thick.
Binding: Paperbound
Color Photos: 739
Photo Size: No more than six photos per page
Values Included: Yes

Beauty of Hartland Horses Captured in 739 Color Photos!

Hartland Horses and Dogs is the beautiful, 188-page book with 739 color photos that catalogs Hartland's breed-series horses from the 1960s-1990s. (For questions on which models are in this book vs. which are in Hartland Horsemen, see the article below.)
      Red, orange, yellow, blue--Hartland horses have never been boring, and their sculpture set the standard for detail in plastic models. Several dozen model horse collectors contributed photos of rare models. Hartland Horses and Dogs lists ALL known models, even one-of-a-kinds, through August 2000, and even illustrates many of the extremely arre models!
      There is a long, company history which actually encompasses FOUR Hartland horse companies from 1939-2000. The original company began making horses in the late 1940s. (The fifth Hartland horse comapny began making models in 2001.) Included in the 22 chapters are a very detailed description of how the models were made and a chapter on the model horse hobby. Hobby resources and a bibliography are included. Values are given with each photo. Historic photos include owners and personnel of Hartland dating back to the 1940s, and scenes inside the factory.

Hartland Horses and Dogs Arrived in Stores in January 2001
"Arabians, Thoroughbreds, Saddlebreds, and Quarter Horses have led the Hartland parade of breeds prized by horse lovers for four decades. Capturing grace, power, spirit, and refinement in plastic, Hartland horses and dogs portray the majesty of the equine and canine worlds with detailed conformation and breathtaking colors. The quality of the 1960s sculpture by Roger Williams and Alvar Backstrand and fine attention to painted details are evident in all sizes of Hartland dogs, horse families, and individual horses from 2" to 10" high. Hartland Plastics (1939-1978) was a small, midwestern company that set a standard of excellence for mass-produced models. Three later companies have carried on the Hartland line of champions. Hartland expert Gail Fitch has assembled this guide complete with color photos and valuable information for the collector, including current prices and advice on care and repair of your models."--from the back cover of Hartland Horses and Dogs, copyright 2000.
      I'm a researcher/journalist, an equestrian, an art and animal lover, and long-time model horse collector. This book has been my labor of love for 20+ years. Now professionally published, this edition, Hartland Horses and Dogs, is from Schiffer Publishing, the leading publisher of model horse books since 1996. (Schiffer has brought us Breyer and Hagen-Renaker books, too.) Purchased from me, this book comes signed and numbered and with a detailed, helpful directory. See the order form at this web site.
     Thank you, and enjoy this second book in the Hartland series.

Here's what readers say said about "Hartland Horses and Dogs:

     Hi Gail!
"I am thrilled with these books! The photographs are outstanding! Happy Trails,"
Leslie Lloyd, June 27, 2006

     "It's fascinating, thanks." -- Rebecca R.

     "It's wonderful. Before this, I never had a clue what my Hartlands were worth. I didn't realize you were also the author -- so great job." -- Nancy M.

     "Thank you for packing it so well. It looked like being just bought in a bookstore and this after this long trip." -- Andrea T.

     "My book arrived yesterday while I was...packing for my first live model show! I had the best time looking through it and starting my wish list….Kathy P

     "Once again you did a fantastic job. I'm starting to collect the breed series since I'm only short three of the riders series" -- Joe M. (who previously bought "Hartland Horsemen")

     "Fabulous...I love it...What a huge help to the hobby these books are." -Susan Y.

     "Hartland Horses and SUPER! -- Candy E.

     "Thank you. It's great and well done. I'm afraid I didn't get much done yesterday afternoon, as I had to immediately read it from front to back." -- Sallie.

     "I got the book and I LOVE it. What a great job! This book is a classic. I am learning all kinds of stuff. I had no idea that there were that many Hartland models and colors." -- Susan P.

     "I love it. Thanks so much for doing this book. You've helped a lot." -- Marsha.

     "Wow! I love this book! It is so neat and I can't thank you enough for putting it together. I just wish the clay horses could be found." -- Laura P.

     "I just love it. You did such a great's so neat to have such beautiful pictures of all those different Hartland models." -- Anni S.

     "The photos are wonderful, and I also found all the copies of molds interesting." -- Kathy P.

     "Received your book and wanted you to know how impressed I am with it! Wow! Beautiful pictures, very easy to read, and so interesting. Amazing job, much nicer than the Breyer book. I especially liked your tips on packing for shipment. I know that will help me. Also, the history is very fascinating." -- Pam L.

     "This book has beautiful photos and is well organized. The history of the company was fascinating." -- Barbara W.

     "Oh Gail, the new book is FANTASTIC...Your photos and explanations are very clear and easy to follow and your knowledge is obvious. I especially appreciate all the photos of the people involved. It really brings the history to life." -- Melissa G.

     "Wow, it is really a lovely book and I couldn't put it down." -- Cheri

[Added May 15, 2003; latest addition: July 12, 2006]


Hartland Collecting Keys

This information has been given (free) with books purchased from me since February 1, 2001.
If you bought the book earlier or elsewhere, you missed this.

Latest Changes to this page: April 30, 2012