Answering this hasn't been easy. At first I just didn't want anything or have anything to do with anything anymore, but this is my baby and I do own the domain name until 2027 so had to do something.
I asked myself a very simple question, what about Chestnut Ridge made me happy? What did I want to do? The answer was so telling. It wasn't the selling of models that made me happy, that wasn't what I enjoyed, that isn't what I really wanted to do. What made me happy, what I enjoyed most was encouraging others to take part in the hobby I love so much and that has given me so much. I wanted to spread the love and the joy of the hobby I feel.
And I think that is something that is so often lost. "It's meant to be fun" is a phrase you hear so much from dejected hobbyists as they step back and sell their collection. It is a phrase I have uttered as I have sat in tears because of some stupid hobby related incident.
So what did I want Chestnut Ridge to do? What could I do about it? I have a platform, a huge customer base and thousands of website hits each week, how could I change things? How could I create a positive environment where people could fall back in love with the hobby again? How could I encourage creativity and say "you know what it's OK to show off your models and your winnings, you worked hard for this!" because that is OK. It's OK to try, not everything you create has to be perfect, not everything you do has to make sense! There is no right or wrong way to collect model horses, do what makes you happy and what you enjoy.
And that is how we got here. A website not designed to sell things, but to encourage others to get involved, have fun and try something new. A place to escape for half an hour as you flick through old show pictures and laugh at the memories (remember that time there were giant grapes and My Little Ponies? Or Gavin? Or Pirate Pete?).
'Don't do drugs kids' - also don't let Dani and I any where near giant grapes, weird things happen...from The Great British Dust Off
I give you the brand new and very very different Chestnut Ridge. Not a shop. A community. www.ukmodelhorses.com
Please note that the website is still under development, many pages aren't finished, many products aren't added. But we are getting there. For context it takes about 15 minutes to do one product (I miss my superfast broadband so so much). Please just be patient and keep checking back, things will change every single day.
Below I've gone through everything in a bit more detail to explain the decisions I've made and also to give you some information about the content.
We will still be selling a wide range of model horses and hobby supplies. But things are a bit different. No more stock images. No more in the box models. Every model we sell will be out of box and photographed so you can find the perfect model for you. Whether you are looking for something to customise and are happy to take a horse which is poorer quality or are after your next show horse we will have an ever changing selection available.
Our shop can be found here: https://www.ukmodelhorses.com/shop.html#/
Throughout the site I have added hundreds of pictures from live shows. Many of these are not my model horses.
If you own one of these horses and do not want the image on the website please email me.
If you own one of these horses and want more information added (such as name, your name, artist details etc) please email me.
If you painted one of these horses/made the tack etc. and want your information added please email me!
Chestnut Ridge is not just an excuse for me to listen to my own voice. I want it to be collaborative. I want your contributions, your opinions (remember this is a nice happy place), your articles, your photographs for the website and anything else you may want to contribute. If you want to contribute something please email me
The website is still under development stage so if you notice something that isn't working (e.g. a dead link), a spelling mistake or just have general feedback please email me.
There are still many things that I want to change and will change so be prepared for things to change! But having people place orders, sign up to accounts, read the pages etc. is really helpful as it helps us identify any issues.
The Domain Name
That isn't www.chestnutridge.co.uk I hear you cry!
Yes well...there are a few issues with transferring the domain name that are boring and basically just involve people procrastinating (not me for once) but it will eventually direct to our new site.
In the meantime please enjoy our new domain www.ukmodelhorses.com
The CollectA Issues
In order to avoid me repeating myself again and again please read this Blog post about CollectA horses here: http://chestnutridgeblog.blogspot.com/
We will no longer be cross selling the same products. That means that custom painted horses, original finish models, felties and tack will only be for sale on ONE platform.
As well as the website you can find other, completely different, items for sale at:
eBay - https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/diamondsareforever6789/m.html?item=362413028000&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
Etsy - https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ChestnutRidgeHorses
Live Shows - BMECS, Halloweenies, Recycled Live III & East Devon Live in 2018
I will no longer be taking commissions on tack or customs. But I have plenty of pieces in progress and you will be able to find a good variety of new things on a regular basis.
Breyers, Schleich & CollectA
We will no longer be taking any pre-orders, we will no longer be ordering any products in advance.
All the products we stock will be sourced from the current in stock range at the dealers (although it's still dubious whether we can actually get CollectA anymore). I will place orders every few months once the majority of models we have for sale are sold. Items will be sold out of box. Some items will be available on the website and others will be available at live shows, just as with the website these models will be sold out of box.
Finally a huge thank you to Brendon for spending many hours helping develop this website, Laura for reading a lot of the stuff and listening to me rant and my mother for putting up with me crying and ranting when there were serious issues. You guys have helped this dream come a reality, my wish for the future is that we can work together to make a wonderful place for us all to enjoy the hobby we love so much :D
And very finally a sneak hint....next year I will be running a brand new live show....it will not be a BMECS qualifier and it will have some very strange sections but it will be seriously good fun. There will be cake. I will be encouraging Canadian Warmbloods (that's a moose related in joke btw).