I'm not so impressed with the Gotz horse as I am with the dolls. It just isn't to scale compared to the size of the 19.5 inch doll, it is more like a little pony than a horse. I bought it at Christmas for my elder daughter's doll, along with the riding outfit - which is only one outfit, not two when you buy the doll in the riding outfit with her dressage outfit as an extra. The other disappointment was that the riding hat that came with the single riding outfit is not a firm hat, it is rather floppy and small so perches on the doll's head rather than sitting 'protectively' over it as a proper riding hat would.
The horse itself is nice and furry - it is basically a soft toy horse with a wire armature to make it stand up successfully, though it does tend to fall over if the legs aren't spaced apart sufficiently. It comes with a bridle and saddle with a rolled up blanket and is very well made. But the saddle tends to ride back along the body towards the hind legs (I did say it has pony dimensions - its fat little tummy can't help but push the saddle back). My elder daughter loves her soft teddies and a 'Build a Bear' husky dog, but she didn't appear overwhelmed by the horse and still isn't. She recently pointed out the scale problem and commented that she wished the horse was more realistic. I couldn't help but feel the same.
Initially my 5 year old ignored the horse because it belonged to her big sister, but this week while big sis is away, she is playing with all the dolls (with permission), and even played with the horse. I had recently managed to acquire (ebay again) the dressage outfit including the hard hat, and Peter is very smart in it at the moment. He tried riding the horse yesterday evening with my daughter's help and was able to fit his feet in the stirrups but did look rather large for the horse. She then tried riding the horse herself, which was rather hilarious.
So maybe Gotz pitched the horse at the much younger child, whilst American Girl have catered for the older child with their rather splendid looking horses. I would like to get one of these for my elder daughter's doll, but at $75 plus shipping from AG, I'm loath to even consider it (their international shipping rates are not good). There are some used ones on ebay, but again the shipping cost is a big consideration, so I guess this will just have to remain a wish rather than a reality, and we'll make do with the Gotz horse instead.
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