Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Almost wordless Wednesday

No tricks--this group of photos is definitely a treat!  

Hobbyist Cindy Evans is as good a photographer as she is a customizer, and that's saying a lot.  Cindy has a seasonal job at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky and took these pictures during the park's 2014 Halloween Horses of the World Show.  Enjoy!
Superman! Brother Oh Brother the Tennessee Walking Horse — with Cassie Thompson 
Superman! Brother Oh Brother the Tennessee Walking Horse — with Cassie Thompson
Lord of the Rings Elf Tauriel with Shekinan the Icelandic Pony — with Taylor Davidson
Lord of the Rings Elf Tauriel with Shekinan the Icelandic Pony — with Taylor Davidson

Frozen with Anna and Elsa with Felicity's Sean and Mid's Oliver the Fjords — with Jensine Cumbia and Paige Grass 
Day of the Dead (Dios de los Muertos) with Brickle Prince, the Hackney Horse — with Chantel Sparrow and Elinor Jay DuVal Schillo 
Little Red Riding Hood (Big Mike, the Miniature Horse) and the Big Bad Wolf! -- with Terry Richards 
Shrek and (Jerry Lee) Donkey — with Wes Lanter 
Phantom of the Opera (Bob's Yer Uncle the Fell Pony)  — with Christine
Cleopatra and her exotic Egyptian steed, Sharico the Arabian — with Stephanie Profitt 
Cleopatra and her exotic Egyptian steed, Sharico the Arabian — with Stephanie Profitt 
The Lion King (Magnatli the Akhal-Teke) and Nala! — with Leigh Anne Miracle 
The Lion King (Magnatli the Akhal-Teke) and Nala! — with Leigh Anne Miracle 
The Mad Hatter with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (Lykle and Mennold the Friesians) — with Alicia Murdock  
Thomas the Friesiain and the Snow Queen
Thomas the Friesiain and the Snow Queen  
GHOSTS! with Shamrock's Billy O'Brien the Gypsy Vanner — with Lauren Elise 

Revcapades

With so many horses in the ring at last weekend's Horsecapades show, I wondered if I'd have trouble picking out Rev.
I shouldn't have worried. 
From the moment he stepped into the arena, Rev was pretty much the only thing I saw. 
My eyes followed him as he worked his way around the Events Center floor.  He danced and pranced and cantered when he was supposed to trot.  Typical Rev.  Grace handled him beautifully.  She didn't get flustered, and they went out the in-gate quieter than they'd come in.
As soon as the performance was over, I headed down to the barn area to find Rev.
I couldn't wait to get my hands on him...
and I know he was happy to see me, too.
While I was there, I had a really nice conversation with Grace.  We compared notes about our favorite goofy red Arab, and it was obvious to me that she was absolutely smitten with him.
I miss Rev, but I am happy he belongs to Grace.  The two of them make a wonderful team, and I couldn't imagine a better home for him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jennifer's mailbox

One of the best things about writing a popular blog is hearing from readers. Today's post is made up of  excerpts from some of the emails that have brightened my week.

First up is Aurelia from France.  She writes: I've been following your blog for a few years and always enjoy your posts and how to's. Being at first a customizer, perhaps it's your blog which made me want to try making tack for my models. Anyway, when I read the guest post by Lauren Mauldin called Lauren's list, I was suddenly tickled by the desire to try making some of those items. Especially the shipping halter. There was something about it that reminded me of something I had in my house. Pipecleaners ! I use them sometimes on halters for "fluff" nosebands but a full fluff halter I had never done ! Here's a picture of the final product.  There's still room for improvement, but at least I had fun doing it. Next time I'll tackle the standing wraps.
The next group of pictures comes from Anna Yager of Ebb and Flow Studios.  She says:  I just wanted to send you a big 'thank you' for all of your fantastic reference photos/spotlights over the years. I frequently find myself rereading posts like "Handy Hunter" and "Classes at the Point to Point" because of the fantastic photos. In fact, whenever I need a good reference picture for something (tack making or show based) I go to your blog before even making a google search! 

That said, you've led me to create many wonderful things, including some live show entries for the hunter/jumper class which I took with me to my first ever performance show earlier this month. They served me very well!!
The first was based off your Performance Spotlight post about Handy Hunters. I've loved that post for a long time and finally had the perfect opportunity to make and show my own two option trot fence, thanks to your photos. 
My other entry for that class was all thanks to a post talking about how hunter jumps can be made more interesting than just stained wood and flowers. I don't think the photos were yours, but you helped me find them!
I  had a blast making them both and couldn't have done it without your amazing blog!

Thank you so much for the continued inspiration. 
Finally, my friend Regan sent a group of photos from her son's field trip to Bartel's Farm in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Because donkey! 
Thank you, Aurelia, Anna and Regan.  Inspiration works both ways, and I get as much from you as you do from me.  Please keep the stories and pictures coming!  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Playing with fire

When I was still young and fearless, I wanted to be a Roman rider.

Snickers and CB were roughly the same size and got along well, so it was no problem getting them to stand side by side while I stood with one foot on each of their backs.  Unfortunately, things deteriorated quickly once I got them in motion.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get them to stay alongside one another for more than a few strides.

What I didn't realize at the time...
is that I should have been tying them together!
Here's a look at the mechanism used by the Westernaires Roman riding team
There are times, however, when the Romanaires unclip those horses.
For the finale of the Roman riding performance at last weekend's Horsecapades, each rider unclipped his or her horses and galloped down a row of lit torches.
Most of the horses stayed pretty close to one another, but a few of the riders were really doing the splits as they went over the flames.
It was awesome and just a little bit terrifying. 
I know I always say this, but will someone please set this up in model horse scale?

Horsecapades

Rev's new owner is a member of the Westernaires, and she invited me to attend their year end show at the National Western Events Center in Denver, Colorado.
 The pre-show opened with ponies...
and vaulters. 
They were followed by the first of many drill teams... 
and horse and human line dancers. 
One of the historic groups was next.  
Featured riders included Buffalo Bill Cody... 
and Annie Oakley. 
Then it was time for the main event. 
There were more than two hundred horses in the grand entry parade.  Amazing! 
Things slowed briefly for the national anthem...
but after that the action was non-stop.  There were trick riders and cavalrymen,  
drill teams, 
Roman riders,
rope twirlers and whip crackers.
Founded in 1949, the Westernaires is a mounted organization for Jefferson County, Colorado youth.  Although riders age out of the program after graduating from high school, alumni are invited to participate in the Horsecapades. 
I enjoyed all the groups, but my favorite was probably the Riders of the Steppes. 
These boys really do some neat acrobatics. 
I also enjoyed the dressage team. 
This is what Grace would like to do with Rev. 
It's not modern competitive dressage, but a mix of dressage and drill team and circus tricks.  I think he'll be perfect for it. 
Speaking of Rev...  I had to wait until the show was nearly over before I got my first peek at him. 
Of course, Rev is worthy of a post of his own.   So it's back to the show...
which closed with one final drill team. 
This was a really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.  I'm so glad Rev and Grace invited me!