Saturday, November 17, 2018

NaMoPaiMo in JAH

Although most of these horses will never live on my shelves, I truly feel as if I own a teeny, tiny piece of every model painted during NaMoPaiMo. 
Because of this, I was really happy to see no less than three of "my" NaMoPaiMo ponies featured in this year's edition of Just About Horses.
Stephanie Blaylock's magnificent Appaloosa Duende was pictured in a piece about the BreyerFest Best Customs Contest.
and both Vincent Lange's 2017 and 2018 NaMoPaiMo projects were part of his profile in the Rising Stars feature.
Congratulations, Stephanie and Vincent! I can't wait to see what you paint in 2019!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday favorites

Teresa came over for a visit today, and she brought with her a copy of this year's Just About Horses magazine.
We had a great time flipping through the pages and admiring the pretty ponies... Especially these pretty ponies!   
Yes, that's my own Jennibray, Olivia and Lady Liberty featured prominently in a performance article by Tiffany Purdy.
Oh, this makes me so happy. Thank you, Tiffany and Breyer!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

My favorite person

Right now I am riding three grey horses. This isn't a problem for me. They look - and ride - completely different, and there is zero chance I will ever forget whose ears I'm looking through.
However, it has been confusing for some of the people at the barn. The other day, I was leading Santana back to the gelding field. We stopped to talk to one of the newer boarders, and she asked if he was Pearl.

"No, this is Santana," I said, "He's my favorite." Then I paused and added. "Not necessarily my favorite to ride, but he's..." my voice tailed off as I struggled to define my feelings for Santana

"Your favorite person?" Amy asked. 

"Yes, that's it," I said. 
And he is. Santana is my favorite person, who also happens to be a horse!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Team project

Seven years ago, a much younger Darcy "customized" one of my Breyer dolls.
I posted pictures of her work, and lots of people suggested that I turn the doll into a paralympic rider. I thought about it, but that seemed like a lot of work. Eventually, I tossed her into a body box and forgot about her.
Several years later, I had an idea for a performance entry that included a doll with a broken leg. I dug up the doll and gave her two new feet - one in a boot, and one in a cast. I rebuilt her arms, but got stuck when it came to the hands. Eventually, she went back in the body box.
Earlier this year, Zica announced that they were discontinuing the Yvonne doll. I bought a couple, and she came with extra hands. Just like that, my doll project was back in business.
Except...  the clothes. I was able to salvage the Breyer breeches, but she really needed a new shirt. I thought I could make her a sweater from a sock using My Froggy Stuff's video tutorial. It kind of worked.
As luck would have it, Anne Field messaged me while I was working on the sweater. I told her what was doing.

"Why are you working on a doll?" she asked. "That’s my job.?"

"Well. I'm cheap" I said. "Plus, I feel like I should be able to make one stupid, little sweater."

"I like trading," Anne reminded me.

I looked at my poor little sweater again, and decided that Anne was right. This really is her job.

My broken leg doll came home today. Darcy inspected her and deemed her acceptable.
I still need to shorten (and find) her crutches, but she will make her performance debut at Battle of the Breeds.
Not on this horse.
I always say it takes a village to show performance. In this case, my village consists of Darcy and Anne. 
Thanks, ladies. I couldn't do it without you!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stress tigers

I had a dream about the upcoming Clash of Colors/Battle of Breeds show.

It was the morning of the show. I'd woken up bright and early, and Seth helped me load the car. Then I made the short drive to the show hall. The room was bigger than I'd expected and filled with out of town hobbyists, including Heather Jackson-Lain and Laura Skillern. I spent some time chatting with them, and then more time admiring Sandy Sanderson's HUGE mountain trail diorama. As show time drew near, I started to unpack my horses. Lo and behold! I had no horses to unpack. Instead my tubs were filled with books, dishes and other household goods. What?!! I told the show holder that there was some kind of mix-up, and she offered to hold the division for me, provided all the other performance showers agreed. She polled the entrants, and Heather Malone was the only one who was willing to wait. I decided to go home and get my stuff anyway, but when I walked out of the show hall, there was a tiger standing between me and my car. He looked hungry. Then I spotted two more tigers walking toward me. Since I did not want to get eaten, I went back in the show hall, got my camera and started taking photos. Then - finally - I woke up.

I think this is what my friend, Erin refers to as a classic model horse show stress dream.

The truth is, I do feel stressed about this show. 
I shouldn't. Clash of Colors/Battle of Breeds is my favorite kind of show. It has an extremely convenient location (less than ten miles from my home!), an innovative performance class list and lots of goodies. Just look at the "Horse Show Survival Kit" show holder, Renae Grinlaubs is giving to each entrant!
I started preparing for this show back in September. I made plans. I made lists.
I made tack. I made arrangements.
And then it all just kind of stopped.
Part of this is just the normal ebb and flow of life. There are only so many hours in the day, and it's impossible to fit everything in. Mostly, however, it's due to an ongoing hobby slump. This has effected not just my show prep, but multiple other hobby commitments. I feel as if I am impossibly behind on everything and will never, ever catch up.
I get exhausted just thinking about it.
I'm not giving up, though. Those tigers aren't going to get the best of me.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dog park Sunday

We woke up to a couple inches of new snow this morning.
Seth decided to take the girls to the dog park. I didn't have anything else to do, so I tagged along.
Despite - or perhaps because of - the weather, the dog park was a happening place.
There were lots of dogs...
and lots...
of dog coats!
My fluffy girls don't need dog coats.
Darcy enjoyed playing with all the other dogs.
Emma isn't as sociable. She doesn't really like other dogs, so her "play" mostly consists of running around the outside of the pack...
and barking.
The only dog she really wants to play with is Darcy.
Poor Darcy.
Seth doesn't like crowds either so he headed off to parts unknown.
The girls went with him at first...
but they came back to me eventually.
Good girl, Darcy.
Good girl, Emma.
On the way back, Emma decided she wanted to "play" with Darcy again.
Poor Darcy.
"Go away, Emma."
"I don't want to play with you!"
That was a good way to start my day. Now I am back in my studio, waiting for inspiration. Waiting. Waiting...

Friday, November 9, 2018


Thunder's mother has completely recovered and is back in the saddle. Although I enjoyed my time with him, I am happy to see them together. He is the perfect horse for her.
I was worried that I wouldn't have anything to ride this winter, but so far, nothing could be further from the truth. 
My long-time regular ride, Santana, has made a welcome return to soundness, and we've enjoyed several really good rides in the last few weeks.
I've also picked a couple new mounts. One is Kenlyn Stealth, who was featured in Monday's post. 
Stealth is a nineteen year old Arabian gelding. 
He has an impressive endurance record, and is pretty much the embodiment of everything I like about Arabians. I feel very fortunate to be trusted with him.
The other new face is A Sacred Pearl. 
Pearl is a greyed-out tobiano daughter of the well known Paint stallion (and Breyer horse!), Sacred Indian. Like Stealth, she boasts an impressive resume, both in the hunter and pleasure driving rings.
I often say that I'm a hunter girl at heart, but truth be told, it had been a long time since I'd actually sat on a hunter. It is a real pleasure to ride Pearl!
Sometimes it's hard to be a horseless rider, but not lately. The last several months have been filled with a lot of really nice, really different horses. I love the variety, and I am looking forward to many more good rides in the next month and beyond.