Sunday, May 31, 2009

More extreme baby cuteness

Remember Austin?Cara and I went out to visit him today. He is now two and a half weeks old and is filling out nicely. He is also no longer an only child. His half sister Iris was born eight days ago and she is just as cute as can be. I'm partial to fillies and chestnut is my favorite color, so it's no surprise that I am now completely in love with this new little girl.
And it's not just me--I'm pretty sure I heard Cara say that she would happily trade her younger brother for a filly like this. Sorry Nate!We helped Fran turn Iris and her mother Pixie out in the indoor arena.
This was Iris' first time out in the big wide world and she thoroughly enjoyed the freedom.
I think her mama enjoyed it too!
Both Austin and Iris are purebred Arabians by the well known stallion Baske Afire (http://www.strawberrybanksfarm.com/baskeafire.htm). Austin's biological mama is a Muscat granddaughter named Musk Be Darling. Iris' maternal grand dam is Miss Allison, a reserve national Champion. She's the little red mare that Cara usually rides.
There are still two more expectant mama mares left to foal. Both are due in the next two weeks, so prepare yourself for even more baby cuteness in the days to come!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Seth's funny colored horse

My husband and I have a lot in common but that does not include our hobbies. I like to make tack, take my dogs to the dog park and go riding. He likes to golf in the summer, ski in the winter and work on his car all year round. We both like to talk, though, so over the course of the last fourteen years we've learned a lot about each other's passions. He's certainly not an expert on all things equine, but he knows a fair bit more than the average man on the street.

One of Seth's best friends lives in Elizabeth, Colorado which is about forty miles south and east of here. Seth visits Andrew several times a month to work on cars and hang out. Most of the drive is rural, and lately Seth has been telling me about this "funny colored horse" that lives along the way. He has alternately described the horse as both "light colored" and "sort of like a Weimeraner." That's not a lot to go on, but I've been guessing that it's maybe some sort of champagne.

He saw the horse again yesterday and this time he took a picture. I'm sorry to say this, but I'm a little disappointed. It looks like a palomino! I know Seth has seen palominos before. I'm not sure why this one got classified as funny colored.

Of course, it's hard to tell from one small, camera phone picture. Maybe the color looks different in person... Ah well, the mystery lives on! I suppose I'll have to ride along one day and see it with my own eyes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Billy and Blaze

My kids' school is about five or six blocks from my house. It's close enough to walk and we often do. Sometimes, however, I am busy or lazy and I end up taking the car instead. Yesterday I was completely immersed in building that English saddle so it became a driving day. I arrived at the school a little bit before the final bell, which gave me time to notice that the outdoor picnic tables were covered in kids' books. I didn't really look at the titles, though, until the principal came over and announced that the books were free for the taking. Apparently the Boy Scouts had donated a LOT of books to the school. Each student had been allowed to pick two or three books. The books on the table were the unwanted leftovers.

My kids have LOTS of books so I didn't really plan on taking any. Still, I had to look. Here is what I saw: And I ask you--how could these classics possibly be leftovers? Where are all the little horse crazy girls? Surely there's at least one child in that school who wants a shelf full of horse books... Of course I wasn't about to leave these good, old C.W. Anderson books behind. Now they're on my shelf, and tonight my kids will be forced to listen to them. It would have been better if they had gone to a horse loving child, but at least someone is going to appreciate them even if that someone is me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What a relief!

It seems like it has been forever since I made a nice, uncomplicated, easy saddle. I started this one yesterday morning and just finished it a few minutes ago. This was one of those wonderful occasions when the saddle almost seemed to make itself. I love it when that happens and I also love the way this one turned out.
I have three more huntseat saddles to make before NAN. Hopefully the others will be just as cooperative!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our NAN Auction Donation

At long last, here are pictures of Jennifer Buxton and Jane Schneider's 2009 NAN Auction set. We're calling this set "On the Oregon Trail" to reflect both the location of this year's show and the contents of the set itself.
Although this set will fit a wide variety of traditional sized models, it looks especially nice on Lisa Sharpe's new XTara endurance Arabian resin. Thank you so much to Lisa for letting us use XTara in this photo shoot!
The saddle was designed to fit both models and dolls. The stirrups are adjustable.The auction set includes two dolls (a rider and a veterinarian), a saddle, bridle, girth, crupper, breastplate and water bottle with holder. The only thing in this picture that is not included is the saddle stand.
Here's a better look at the saddle.
The other side.This picture of the saddle's seat best reflects its true color.Here's a look at the underside of the saddle. It's always important to me that the bottom of my saddles looks just as good as the top.
The combination halter/bridle is made of dark brown kangaroo lace with gold toned hardware. All the buckles have tongues and rollers. The cast eggbutt snaffle bit is from The World of Model Horse Collecting, and the reins are a four strand round braid in the NAN colors of black and purple.The girth just might be my favorite part of the entire set. It features an elastic center section, black "neoprene" lining and gold tongue buckles with rollers.The fully adjustable breastplate should fit a wide variety of traditional sized models.This set also includes a removable water bottle holder that can be attached to either the front or back of the saddle.Sorry the pictures aren't better. It's grey and rainy again and I had to use a lot of artificial lighting. I think you will find that this set looks much better in person.
Happy trails and good luck to everyone bidding on any of the amazing lots in this year's NAN auction!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Horses are everywhere

Ask any model horse shower--live shows are often an all day affair. I left my house at seven am Saturday morning, and because I attended the after-show dinner, it was a good fourteen hours before I returned home. It's not often that my husband and kids spend an entire day without me. I know they are capable of taking care of themselves, but I can't help but feel a little guilty about being away for so long. I promised my children that good behavior on Saturday would be rewarded with a fun day on Sunday. Seth's post show behavior report was mostly glowing, so it was decided that we'd spend the afternoon at the Denver Aquarium.

We all really like the Aquarium but because of the cost, we don't go there very often. Ryan asked if he could bring his camera to take pictures to show his friend. I told him that was a good idea and decided to bring my camera, too. I have been neglecting my other blog and it was high time I took some new pictures to post over there. It never occurred to me that I'd find anything to photograph for this blog...

But you know, horses are everywhere!
Here's a look at some of the horses I found during our day out yesterday. Aren't they cute?
And a little more information for anyone that's interested...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Devilish Kokopelli Live

Colorado has a lot of great shows, but year after year Devilish Kokopelli Live is one of the very best. Held Memorial Day weekend at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, Colorado, this show has something for everyone--tons of divisions, lots of classes, great raffle items, and really good judges. Showholders Heather Roell and Teresa Fedak do an absolutely super job of making this show special and this year's edition was perhaps the best so far.

I showed in three divisions--Resin Halter, Custom Halter and Performance. The resin halter and performance divisions were both judged by Christie Partee of Texas. I do not know how she did it, but despite large classlists, both divisions were done before four o'clock. It was awesome. There was no hurry up and wait. Everything just flowed from one class to another pretty much without any interruptions. The only downside was that I was so busy, I simply didn't have time to take many pictures. Here are the few I did take. Hope you enjoy them!

This is the chaos that was my table.I ran out of room on my table, so my NAN auction donation hung out on Jane Schneider's table. Doesn't it look great with Jane's doll and Lisa Sharpe's XTara resin?I always intend to take pictures of people as well as models. Somehow, though, it just doesn't seem to happen. Here are all three of my "people pictures" from yesterday. This is Teresa Buzzell, better known as "Flicksmom", getting ready for a performance class.I was surprised and happy to see my friend Regan. She is nine months pregant but still managed to show a few horses. We joked about her going into labor in the showhall. Do you think that would be a first for the hobby?
Karen Gerhardt came to help out and say goodbye. She will be leaving Colorado next week to spend two years in England with her husband. We're all going to miss her! I was so busy with my resins and performance horses that I only managed to make one little trip to the other side of the show hall. Probably it's just as well. I think if I spent too much time looking at shiny things like this, I would probably have to own one (or two or three...).Part of the Custom Glaze China callback table. Such pretty shiny horses!Here are my pictures from the resin division. The draft horses were first. I don't really collect drafts, but I would be able to find room for a Eberl Babette. This is Sherre Tulley's new Octopussy resin. This horse was sculpted By Brigitte Eberl and painted by Sheila Bishop Anderson. It's a really nice sculpture. I wish I had managed to get one before it sold out.Sheila's lovely Ravenhill Revisited resin was fifth in the Paint class. If you liked the original Ravenhill, you will absolutely love this updated version. He is so much more correct, particularly though the legs. I would trade a whole pile of tack for one of these guys...A very nice Appaloosa Lone Star.Three of my horses on the Stock Breed callback table.Jane's beautiful new Indy painted by Sheila was the Spanish/Gaited division champion.
Jane's showstring is small but mighty. Her AA Trotting Pony was Resin Pony Champion.
Here's a look at some of the winners from the resin foal division. Four of these lovely babies belong to me! My own little Rajun Cajun (sculpted by Carol Williams, painted by Chris Nandell) was named Champion Foal and moved on to the final resin callbacks.
Here's a look at my other three division champions/reserves. The little Bubba pony resin is Jolly Roger. He is sculpted and painted by Ann Harris. The donkey is MN Bonnie, a Cricket resin sculpted and painted by Michelle Belisle-Locke. Last but certainly not least is Validator, a Valor resin sculpted and painted by Carol Williams. None of my "kids" were chosen for the overall resin division honors, but I'm not complaining. This was an absolutely super show. I can't wait for the 2010 edition!

DKL Performance pictures

Here are the few performance pictures I took yesterday. I had planned to take more, but I was so busy setting up and taking down performance entries that I really did not have the time.

First up is Sheila Bishop Anderson's winning draft harness entry.
You know I'm all about details, and I love that this harness has a little poop bag for the horse--too funny!
A nice Indian costume of an OF LadyPhase.
My mule Balthazar won the Other Performance class with this Endurance set up. My vet doll has the incorrect white lab coat--sorry Jackie!
Valerie McEntee's Extreme Justice competed in the jumper class. My own Getaway was the English performance champion. That one red ribbon would have been blue had I actually bothered to read my own dressage documentation... Oh well!
This is the only picture I took during the entire Western performance division. This is Sheila's Nahar being naughty in the Other Western class. He was also naughty in Western Trail but since he won his halter class I think Sheila will forgive him!Sheila's Ima Sharpe Cutter Resin was the Reserve Champion in the Western division.
Here are the three performance division champions posing with their ribbons on the championship call back table. All three of these models belong to me so I can give you the particulars. Getaway, the English horse, is a Windfall resin sculpted and painted by Sommer Prosser. He was shown in tack by BCS with dolls by Karon Grieve and props by Alaina Richardson and Carmen Robertson. Balthazar is a Linda Lima mule resin painted by Suzanne Feld. He was Other Performance champion and also won good ribbons in the Western division. He was shown in tack by Vicky Norris, Margaret Teller and BCS and used dolls by Sheri Wirtz, Jane Schneider, and Traci Durrell-Khalife. His props were made by Carol Herden, Alaina Richardson and myself. The third horse is Dun Up Purdy, a Breyer Zippo customized by Tiffany Purdy. He was the Western Performance champion with his Margaret Teller, Susan Bensema Young and Bcs tack. His doll was dressed by Darla Curtis and I made all his props except for the Carol Herden cows that helped him win the cutting class.
Balthazar ended up winning the Overall Performance Champion with Getaway in the Reserve position.
Thanks again to Heather and Teresa for holding this show and Christie for doing such a good job judging. I had a blast!