Sunday, April 26, 2015

Weekend show report

My Facebook feed was filled with model horse show photos yesterday, the best of which came from the Quabbin Valley Performance Open show in Spencer, Massachusetts. Tackmaker, Darleen Stoddard posted this report on her own blog and was kind enough to allow me to share it here as well. Thank you so much, Darleen, and congratulations on all your wins!

Quabbin Valley Performance Open

by Darleen Stoddard

I had a blast yesterday at Quabbin Valley Performance Open.  To say the competition was stiff would be a *HUGE* understatement!  It seemed to me to be as stiff as showing at Nationals, at least from what I remember of my last time showing at Nationals.  My usual style of showing the same tack set with minimal changes in a bunch of different classes just does not really fly anymore.  I’m slowly convincing myself that making tack for my friends and living vicariously through them is sounding more and more where I want to be.  I’m getting too old to change tack/accessories for every single class, and I really hate holding things up for the judge.  Woo, stressful. 
Speaking of huge, the horse pictured above is owned by Linda White.  He is 1:6 scale and dwarfed the traditional size (1:9 scale) horses pictured in the background.  That said, I would have a blast making tack for something that scale.  There’s so much more detail that could be added to something that size!  And the doll?  Wowza!  He looks real!  I want to say that can used for the barrel is large baked-bean size.
Here’s Jackie Arns-Rossi’s horse, Heidi (Morgen Kilbourn Hazel resin), with all her champ ribbons for the day.  Jackie does not have a problem with multiple tack changes, nor does she have a problem with showing multiple horses in multiple divisions.  She claims this is “fun”.  Love my crazy hobby friends!  
And you know how I have said that my tack either tends to stay in our region or come back to our region?  Well I spotted a couple of my sets owned by Danielle Feldman, who moved to our region some years ago.  I’m always glad to see that they are not only still loved, but still being shown! 
I can’t remember when I made the Southwestern themed set (I think 2006), but the Celtic saddle is over 10 years old!
And Danielle Miller was showing her cross set as well.  Pretty sure this one is also over 10 years old.  Love this custom breyer by Tiffany Purdy:
My new Morgen Kilbourn Ranch Mare, painted by Liz Bouras arrived in time to bring to the show.  She’s more of an all-around horse, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with her, but she’s fun in both English and Western.  Alas I didn't get any shots of her under English tack. Here she is doing her ranch sorting thing:
She did take reserve champ in the really tough Stockwork division.
But my champion of the day was my Carol Williams Victrix p/b Ann Harris.  Chromie hanging out with my one *HUGE* can of Dew, waiting for his western classes:
He received some much coveted NAN/Regionals cards in Showmanship and Parade, took reserve champ in costume, and went on to win the Four-Square Championship.  
I've never shown a standing horse in more than 1 class before, was a fun challenge!
Thanks again, Darleen. That was great. Be sure to check out Anne Field's blog for more QVPO stories and photos!

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Margaret sent me a new saddle rat.
Today we introduced her to Pixie. 
Cold shoulder.
"Come on Pixie. Say hello."
"I guess you're okay... 
but I'm still not going to share my Yogies." 
Since both rats were getting along, we decided to stage a modified Hurry Skurry competition. The new rat got stuck on the first jump...
but Pixie easily climbed up... 
and over. 
Yogies for the champion. 
She's such a good rat!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Almost wordless Wednesday

I love taking pictures of my kids, and I love taking pictures of horses. When I can combine the two, I am a very happy woman. Here are some of my favorite photos from the last couple weeks. Enjoy!

It had to be done, part three

We've taken photos of Ryan's horse mask with horses, on horses and on dogs.  What else is left? 
Foals, of course! 
Ryan and his mask accompanied me to the barn last Sunday, and we had a great time introducing the Kenlyn babies to my son's weird equine alter ego.
It wasn't love at first sight...
but fear quickly turned to curiosity. 
"Are you my mommy?" 
"No, wait. I think you're my creepy uncle Harry." 
Ha! That was fun. Thanks for being such a good sport, Ryan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Props by Ryan, part three

Last week, Ryan used a 3-D printer to create a pair of scale model jump risers. The results were wonderful, but the process was slow and the material costs were relatively high. Yesterday, he decided to give it another try, this time with a CNC machine.
When I arrived, the bottom half of the risers was done, and the machine had just started carving out the tops.
Another view. 
This machine can carve nearly any material--foam, plastic, wood or metal. Ryan chose to use wood because it's less expensive than plastic or metal and sturdier than foam. 
While the machine did its work, Ryan ushered me over to his computer... 
and showed me how to digitally construct a jump riser. 
We googled other types of jump risers... 
and he built one of those, too! 
After that, we checked the CNC machine. It still had a ways to go... 
so Ryan gave me a tour of the lab. This is smaller 3-D printer... 
and this is the plastic cord that goes into it. 
This is a laser cutter.
I'm guessing it's similar to the one my friend, Bobbie, and her husband own. 
We looked at the wind machine... 
and then it was on to the other room where all the scary things live. 
No really. 
This is not my best look, but better safe than sorry! 
The 3-D printer uses an acid base to support non-weight bearing parts and pieces. After each item is printed, it goes into a base bath to remove the acid. 
Ryan's friend, Aleks, printed this. I think it might be a voodoo doll head! 
At this point, some fifty minutes after I'd arrived, the jump risers were finally finished.  
Ryan opened the CNC...
and extracted his handiwork.
Looking good!
There are still a few little issues to clear up, but he's definitely on the right track!