Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Arapaloosas

There's usually a draft horse show on the last day of the Arapahoe County Fair, but this year, the Sunday equine competition was limited to a 4-H Showmanship Contest.
Honestly, I don't find showmanship to be terribly interesting, especially not at this level.  I wouldn't have bothered to watch it all, but (butt?)...  
Appaloosas!
Longtime readers might recognize this horse.  She was featured in an Almost Wordless Wednesday post in 2012.
A few months later, Jamie Baker (now Castleman) used those photos to paint a sensational Dante.
Even though my good camera is still in the shop, I couldn't resist taking more reference pictures of both her...
and her less flashy stablemate.
Because, you know, someday I will paint an Appaloosa!

Countdown

In about two weeks time, this blog should receive its two millionth page view.
The second million isn't nearly as exciting as the first...
but it's still worth celebrating.
So I've decided to hold another raffle.  From now until the moment when the Total Pageviews counter reads 2,000,000, every comment left on this blog will equal one raffle entry.  Old post, new post, multiple posts--it just doesn't matter.  All comments are created equal and all comments count.  The winner will get a custom tack item.  I haven't decided exactly what, and it might take me a while to deliver it, but someone will win something nice.
Anne Field's prize for the One Million Pageview raffle
Good luck to all, and thanks for reading!

Monday, July 28, 2014

World's smallest horse

Yesterday, Ryan, James and I visited the Arapahoe County Fair in Aurora, Colorado.
We had a great time riding... 
the rides, 
 petting...
the animals, 
playing with technology... 
and eating fair food. 
As we wandered around the fairgrounds,
we couldn't help but notice several "freak show" type attractions.
I had no trouble passing up the Snake Girl or World's Smallest Woman... 
but the World's Smallest Horse was a lot more problematic. 
Ten inches at birth!  Alive!  Smaller than a dog!  
I didn't want to be intrigued, but I was.  I also didn't want to waste a dollar on something this exploitative frivolous.  In an effort to get around the entry fee, the kids and I rode the roller coaster next to his booth, in hopes of catching a glimpse of him from the air.
No dice. 
Knowing I was going to regret this, I paid my dollar and climbed onto the viewing platform with my camera safely secured inside my purse.
I looked down and saw...  
a miniature horse.
He was small enough...
but not appreciably smaller than any number of minis...
I've seen over the years.
What a rip-off.  I want my dollar back!  At the same time, I also want to build a "World's Smallest Horse" booth for one of model minis!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Desperately seeking Cinnamon

My teenage years were filled with horses, the most important of which were Cinnamon...
and Snickers. 
For more than thirty years, I've wanted portrait models of these two.  I always thought Snickers would be the bigger challenge because of her complicated color and less standard body type.
Recently, however, Tiffany agreed to customize a Breyer Gizelle in her likeness.  I am so excited about this model.  I just know it will be perfect.
So, that leaves Cinnamon. 
Unlike Snickers, Cinnamon had a lot of pony type.  
I've been looking for an affordable (i.e. tradeable) Eberl Welsh pony for years, and today, she finally arrived. 
She is soooo cute and would make a fine Cinnamon... 
but I think the Eberl Anya that came with her, might be even better! 
What do you think?
This is Cinnamon... 
and this is Anya.  They're pretty similar!
Because Tiffany is the best friend ever, she's offered to paint one of these models to look like Cinnamon.  I just need to decide which!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Matt the cowpony

I didn't bring any riding clothes with me when I packed for our road trip.

At the time, this seemed like a sensible decision.  Even through our itinerary included a lot of horsey stops, time constraints made the possibility of riding seem fairly remote.  Also, boots and helmets take up a lot of space.  It was easier to leave them at home.

Of course, this just about guaranteed that I would get to ride, and that's exactly what happened at the end of our day in Amarillo, Texas.
Andrea drove us out to the barn to meet her Quarter Horse gelding, Haidaseeker Playboy, who is better known as Matt the Cowpony.  Matt is quite possibly the only horse ever to simultaneously and successfully compete in FEI level dressage, reined cowhorse and competitive trail riding.
Andrea saddled him up and put him through his paces.
What a cool horse!
Then it was my turn.
We started quietly at the walk, 
moved up to a trot... 
 and progressed to the canter.
After that, things got real interesting...
With Andrea's coaching, I was able to guide Matt through a couple reining spins.
Oh my gosh, that was just about the most fun thing ever!
 "What a good great cowpony!"
I also got to do a little piaffe, but sadly, there's no photographic evidence.  Believe me when I say this was one of the best rides ever.  Thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing your wonderful Matt with me.  I will never leave home without my riding clothes again!