HORSES are an expensive hobby – but pony-mad Beatrice Salt has spent £20,000 on her equine collection – of My Little Ponies.
Beatrice was thrilled to receive her very first pastel plastic pony when she was aged just three, in 1996.
But now aged 27, she admits she’s never got over the urge to collect the 80s and 90s favourite – and now has a whole room of her house filled with memorabilia and toys that has set her back more than £20,000.
The video editor admits she’s blown cash on her collection that she’d wanted to put towards a deposit for buying a house with partner Tijay.
But any house she eventually buys will have to be big enough to house her stable of almost 600 ponies.
Beatrice, from Halesowen, West Mids, said she spent years hiding the collection but now she couldn’t be prouder.
She said: “My collection currently takes up 75 per cent of my study which I call the ‘pony room’ as opposed to the office.
“I have 39 shelves full of My Little Pony stuff – from roller skates, books and toy castles.
“There are 21 shelves with 15 to 30 ponies stretched across them.
“I am running out of space so I have filled the top of the shelves too with pony teddy bears.”
The ever-growing collection has brought Beatrice great comfort throughout her life.
She said: “I used to get bullied about anything possible at school so the collection gave me something to focus on.
“It was kind of therapy for me.
“I never used to tell anyone about it but now I know it is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
Beatrice admits she sometimes dips into her mortgage savings to fund her collection.
She said: “I have been known to prioritise ponies over things I need.
“I am saving for a house but when times are tough, I tend to do what makes me happy rather than save money for a house.
“Some days are more difficult than others and there’s only one thing that can cheer me up which is a pony.
“I definitely understand it is important to save for the future but I don’t if it means putting my happiness last.
“Tijay is very supportive and doesn’t mind if I use my savings to buy a pony.
“He often treats me to pony-related gifts too which is super sweet.
“I suffer with depression so he understands that buying something every once and while will give me the re-charge I need.”
Beatrice has 580 ponies and the most expensive one cost £290.
She adds: “As a kid, I remember thinking they were the cutest things I have ever seen.
“And I still think they are adorable hence why I have continued to collect them.
“I love how varied they are and how creative the designers were with their designs.
“I love looking at them and there are so many different ones, names, sets.
“The merchandise isn’t just t-shirts and duvet sets, it is everything and anything with a little cute pony on.
“Even now, 24 years later, I am finding new amazing things.
“I have shampoo bottles in the shape of ponies, plastic cups, bags and accessories for the ponies.
“Sometimes I buy infant clothing because I just can’t resist.”
Beatrice scours the internet daily to bag herself a bargain.
She has also found the toy at car-boot sales and was once lucky enough to pay £5 for a rare pony which is worth £400.
She said: “My collection is probably worth approximately £12,000.
“I have spent more like £20k but that is fine because it’s totally worth it.
“The collection is nostalgic for me as it brings me back to when I was a kid.
“I’ll always remember opening ‘My Little Pony’ presents at Christmas and Birthdays.”
Beatrice admits previously using her student loan to purchase a pony every other day.
She now buys three to four items per month and has no plans on stopping any time soon.
She said: “My dream is to own every single one.
“It would be great to one day own my very own pony museum.”
Beatrice’s love for the vintage toy prompted her to set up her own business called ‘My Little Stable’.
She adds: “Sometimes, I may not find a pony for me to buy but another product to sell.
“There’s a friendly community out there who share a love for toys from the past.
“It is great to help like-minded people by selling them goods they have struggled to find.”
In other real life news, this Primark-obsessed woman has spent over £1,000 in a single shop.