Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Almost wordless Wednesday

Everyone knows that I like horses and dogs, but I also like goats and sheep and pigs and chickens and llamas.  Especially llamas.  Fortunately for me, Aline has all of these at her farm in Bennett, Colorado.  Here are a few pictures of her own little Noah's Ark.  Enjoy!

Visiting Trillium's friends

Trillium will always be my favorite of Aline's horses, but I still have warm and fuzzy feelings for the other members of her herd.  These include her ancient Thoroughbred mare, Laramie, as well as...
and Sara...  
and their foals, Grace... 
and Star. 
 I was especially happy to renew my acquaintance with Aline's stallion, Sport.
Sport was just a little guy when he arrived in Colorado.  Now he is the epitome of tall,
and extremely handsome!
I am so glad I had the chance to visit Trillium and her friends.  It was really great to see them again!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Visiting Trillium

I visited my former lease pony, Trillium, over the weekend.
She was out in the field when I arrived...
but came up to the barn as soon as she heard the hay truck. 
She pricked her ears at the sound of my camera, and I swear she looked over as if to say, "Hey, I remember you." 
That was all the greeting I got.  Trillium has her priorities...
and food... 
comes first! 
Silly pony. 
Oh, I've missed this girl! 
It was so good to see her again!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just about tack

Some things never get old.
This is the second year my tack has been featured on the cover of Breyer's Just About Horses magazine.  I couldn't be happier!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I broke my collarbone exactly one year ago.
When I mentioned the upcoming anniversary to my family, Ryan grinned an evil teenage grin and said, "Let's break the other one!"
Today, I went for a trail ride on Santana.
I did not break the other one.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Russell Family Model Horse Museum, part three

The Russell Family Model Horse Museum, Part Three

The first two installments of the Russell Family Museum tour focused on E.C. Russell's horses, harnesses and carts.  In this post, we're going to look at other parts of the museum, starting with the workbench!
Part of Clair's workbench, along with some of his tools and supplies, has been moved into the museum and set by a window, as he would have liked it.
 This is a neat bit of equine history. Maine used to be famous for it's paper industry, which "back in the day" relied on horse teams to pull logs out of the woods and down to the factory (or river) for processing. International Paper was one of many, and they had their own harness shop to keep the tack in good repair. In the museum they have a copy (original is kept safely in a climate controlled room) of the harness blueprint from that harness shop. I thought this was super cool!
My mother's partner John pointed to this, over the door, and exclaimed, "Hey, there's no horses in this!" To which my mother replied, "Sure there are - About 400."  This is a wooden replica of Philip's truck, made by Clair.
The museum is a wonderful tribute to this incredible artist. His son Philip has grown into a craftsman in his own right. He actually built this truck from a bare frame. On the side he's written "Russell Family Model Horse Museum."
This brought tears to my eyes. On the air breather on each side of the truck, is this message:
Before we left, I had one more place to visit... Mr. Russell's workshop. 
This is where all that magic happened:
 Following are pieces that "didn't get into the museum," says Winnie.
There's also a little area for their kids and grandkids to play.:
I hope you've enjoyed the museum tour. If you're ever going to be in Central Maine, they'd love for you to stop in. There's no admission - Just the way E.C. always wanted it - and they love for people to see his works. 
I hope everyone has enjoyed this series as much as I have.  I really can't thank Eleda enough for allowing me to re-post her words and pictures here.  If you're in the market for a nice vintage Breyer (or My Little Pony), be sure to check out Triple Mountain Model Horses!

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Russell Family Model Horse Museum, part two

The Russell Family Model Horse Museum, Part Two

Let's pause a moment to consider the man behind this prolific work. E.C. Russell (Clair) worked an overnight watchman at the Dexter Shoe Factory and was married to Winnie for 59 years. He loved horses and ponies, and enjoyed participating in pony pulling events. Here's a photo of him with some of the bigger boys:
Most of Clair's work was traditional scale...
but he wasn't afraid to go smaller.
Each cart... 
and harness was different. 
This is a Snow Roller. When people traveled by sleigh (before cars, for you whippersnappers out there), it was the road crew's task to take their team through the snow and pack it down with a huge, heavy roller so that sleighs could pass over it easily. I wouldn't have wanted that job - as neither man nor beast!
Do you know what this is? It's a hearse! He built a little coffin for it to carry, and Philip tells me that there's actually a doll inside the coffin!
Two Cultivators - single and double hitch.
I love this little hay rack set!
This guy's pulling a V-Plow with wings. It's just like a plow truck of today, just one horsepower!
This is a Dump-body Wagon aka Manure Spreader.
Manure spreader, hard at work:
A pulling team hauling a sled piled deep with "cement" weights.
The Belgian on the top shelf  is pulling a delivery wagon labeled "Hay and Grain."  The Clydesdales are hitched to a winter-fitted log skidder with skis instead of wheels.
Here's another skidder.  This one is transporting firewood (shorter logs, stacked sideways). 
Top is labeled "Jigger Wagon." You can guess what it's hauling.
Another of my favorites (despite that it's pulled by Roys), this is labeled "Salomander" "Granite Hauler." It's a rugged wagon with heavy duty wheels designed to carry serious weight, and has a winch in the back that would be used to lift granite blocks into the body. (Granite usually weighs around 100 pounds per cubic foot, so both wagon and team had to be rugged.)
Although the museum is filled with draft horses...
other breeds are represented.
This Quarter Horse is hitched to a hay rake...
 and these mules are pulling a cultivator.
Yep, even Friesians were invited to work. These guys pull a small road roller.
Clair's son Philip said, "There are only two horses that I don't like the looks of in here. This is one." (Rough And Ready was the other.) "Why'd they make him that color?" I just shook my head and said, "We'll never know."
Is this all a bit overwhelming? Here, sit and rest a minute.
There's still plenty more to see!