Saturday, July 31, 2010

Karen's NAN pictures

Today's NAN photos come from Karen Meekma. This was her first NAN but you would never know that from the results. She won the Huntseat Pleasure--Other Type class with Leavum Zipped...and also took the Reserve with Snickers.
Here's Leavum Zipped again, this time winning a Top Ten in English Arena Trail. Leavum Zipped is a Kitty Cantrell Nocturno resin customized and painted by Liesl Dalpe. His doll was dressed by Sheri Wirtz and his tack was made by me.
Snickers also competed in English Arena Trail. Snickers is a Kitty Cantrell Caliope resin customized and painted by Lyn Norbury. Once again, the doll is by Sheri Wirtz and the tack is by me.
The performance classes at this year's NAN were tough. Karen's EJ II resin didn't win a ribbon, but he still looks pretty amazing in this show jumping setup. The horse was painted by Kathy McKenzie, Sheri Wirtz dressed the doll, I made the tack and Karen and her husband built the jump.
Karen was back on Original Finish day with her Stone Factory Custom Palouse called Fairly Rude. This model earned a Top Ten in OF Huntseat Pleasure...
and OF Other English.
Thanks for the pictures Karen and congratulations on all your good placings!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tiffany's NAN pictures

Yay! The NAN pictures have finally started to trickle in! Today's photos come from Tiffany Purdy. This is Docs Diana, a customized Breyer Make A Wish by Tiffany wearing a saddle by Kathy Wiggins and a bridle by me. She was the winner of the Western Non Speed Games class.Next up is Quiver winning a Top Ten in dressage. This tack set was my 2008 NAN Auction donation.
Tiffany also had a whole slew of winners that were not wearing my tack. Congratulations, Tiff!

Horse therapy

Huge thanks to everyone for the response to my last post. Your kind words were greatly appreciated and have been a comfort to me during this difficult time.

I wasn't ready to go home to an Abbie-less house Wednesday so I packed a bag and headed north to my friend Trisha's farm in Wellington, Colorado.
I met Trish more than twenty years ago while I was a student at Colorado State University. For three years, I spent nearly every weekend with Trish and her family. The farm became a second home, her family became a second family. Some twenty years have passed, but those feelings remain. I couldn't have asked for a better place to go and heal.
Even without the emotional ties, a horse farm is a great place to go when you're grieving. There is so much to do that it's hard to stay stuck in the self pity mode. I cleaned stalls and turned out horses and generally made myself useful. It helped.
Of course the people probably helped more. Many thanks to Trisha and Chase, Norm and Donna, Cara and Shelby for not just putting up with me but actually making me smile and laugh. It wasn't the best two days of my life, but all things considered, it could have been so much worse!
One of the highlights of my stay was watching Trish put her FEI dressage horse, Surprise, through his paces. I took several hundred pictures and am posting my favorites here.
Such a lovely setting with the lake and mountains in the background!
Piaffe. I love Surprise.
I rode a little bit, too. This is me on Trisha's so-ugly-he's-cute school horse Cyrano.
While in Wellington, I also squeezed in a visit with friend and fellow hobbyist, Sheila Anderson Bishop. What a treat it was to see all her lovely horses up close and personal! This is a Sundance resin that was both sculpted and painted by Sheila.
A few in-progress minis.
Sheila's pony sculpture, also in progress.
My own Starfire resin. I've wanted to own one of Sheila's Appaloosas for such a long time. I am so pleased to have this little beauty in my collection!
I'm home again now, and it is hard. I miss my dog. I expect I'll probably always miss that dog, but I think the worst of it is behind me. Thanks again to all the friends and horses who have helped me over the hump. I really, truly appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Abbie

February 1994-July 28, 2010 "Dogs' lives are too short, their only fault, really"-Turnbull

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Better late than never

Well, he's definitely not perfect...but at least he's finished!
P.S. It turns out there were five entries in the saddle division of the MEPSA Tackmaking Contest. The poll was cleared and restarted earlier today. Please go back and cast your vote again.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cast your vote!

The MEPSA Tackmaking Costume has gone live. Here's a quick look at all four of the wonderful entries in the saddle division.


Be sure to head on over to the new MEPSA Blog for more pictures, and don't forget to cast your vote while you're there!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Project Stormwatch

Isn't this just about the cutest set ever?Here's how artist Mindy Berg describes "Project Stormwatch":

I am proud to introduce “Zephyr”. This guy may not look like it, but Zephyr began life as a feral mustang. You may recognize him as Stormwatch, one of the most highly regarded resin sculptures of this time by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breumig. He was a wild and woolly bear when he came into the studio, and I decided I wanted to tame him. A beautiful sculpture to begin with, I wanted to make mine exceptional and present an unforgettable piece.

The vision in my mind was very clear, and so he was transformed from a feral gelding to a domestic equine. First I had to remove his mane and tail, which was no small task for such a fellow so well endowed with hair! In doing so, I had to completely rebuilt his neck, hindquarters, hind legs, fetlocks, pasterns, hooves, and ears. He told me he wanted a child to love him, and true to the nature of a patient child's mount, he wears ribbons in his braided mane and forelock. Each braid was carefully done with a painstakingly hand sculpted ribbon holding the ends. Although tame, he still displays just a tad bit of attitude one would expect from a horse of his beginnings, illustrated perfectly with a little swish in his tail and a notorious red ribbon.

To complete the picture of a slightly cranky, older horse, I knew his color had to be just right. An appaloosa would be the only color to totally suit him. I spent hours blending, pastelling, and hand painting his coat to be soft, multi-lateral and in growth patterns suitable of true horse coat patterning. I used many techniques to get his coat color right, and I believe he turned out beautifully. Even his ribbons have many layers and colors to get just the right look of silk.

This horse is the only one of it's kind, and it is sure to take the ring by storm. There are so many details on this piece not shown in pictures. Offers are for the horse, rider and tack, and champion ribbon. I have to say, each accessory that goes with this ultimate performance package has been chosen carefully to reflect the high standards of workmanship to be displayed with this piece. Together it is a force to be reckoned with!
The doll was customized and dressed by Joan Yount. The tack was made by me earlier this year and includes one of my personal all-time favorite saddles.
This set is for sale. Be sure to check out the "In the Studio" page of Mindy's website or her MH$P ad for more information.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Letting go

For the past sixteen years, I've had the great privilege of owning the best and most beautiful dog in the entire world. I first met Abbie when I was single, living in Tennessee and working full time on the A show hunter/jumper circuit. Together we've travelled thousands of miles and shared countless adventures. She's seen me through marriage, a cross country move and the birth of my children. It's impossible for me to imagine my life without Abbie in it.

Unfortunately, even the best dogs don't live forever. This summer has been hard on Abbie, and I've made the painful decision to let her go. Not today, not tomorrow but very, very soon.

If anyone has any NAN or Breyerfest pictures to share, now would be a great time to send them. Otherwise it's going to be a bit quiet here for the next week or so.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Random collection pictures

Perhaps not so random this time!

Here's the long lanky Hunter Under Saddle type Quarter Horse in my own collection. This is Zips Cocco Chip. He is a Carol Williams Valor resin body with a Kristina Lucas-Francis Phoenix head. The customizing and paintwork were done by Tiffany Purdy.
Chip is another one of my resins that doesn't get out much. One of these days I'm going to have to do something about that!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quarter Horse hunters revisited

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my recent post about Quarter Horse Hunter Under Saddle classes. As promised, here are the pictures showing how one horse made the transition from the Under Saddle ring to the Over Fences competition.
It was impossible not to notice this big bay gelding at the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association Youth and Amateur Show held last month at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado. With his elegant looks, long sweeping strides and imposing height, he literally towered over the competition in the Hunter Under Saddle ring.
Because of this, I was really pleased to see that he was one of the few horses that moved over to the Hunter ring after the completion of the Hunter Under Saddle division.
Here he is showing Under Saddle...
and Over Fences. If you look closely, you may notice several differences including a new rider, a breastplate and a fitted saddle pad.
Of course, the most obvious difference is the headset. In the Under Saddle classes this horse's headset varied from level to way below level.
Over fences the range was significantly higher. Around the ends of the ring, he was level...
but as he approached the fences, that head came right up. He's also much more engaged behind. Look at the right hind leg. It's stepping way up under his body.
Over fences, I found his form to be somewhat disappointing. Like many naturally low-headed horses, he was a bit slow with his front end. Ideally, you'd like to see both knees up and even but that's hard to get with a horse that's used to travelling on its forehand. He's not round either, but I wouldn't expect him to be over a fence this small.
I'm not sure any of this has any relevance to model horses, but I hope it was interesting anyway! As always, comments are welcome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today at the Horse Park

Don't be fooled. This post has nothing to do with NAN or Breyerfest or that other Horse Park...

Today the boys and I attended the Colorado Summer Classic hunter/jumper show at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado.
It may not be Lexington, but it's still a pretty nice place to hang out!
In a nod to my former profession, we started our day by visiting the mobile tack shops.
Both boys took a turn on the little Devoucoux. I don't usually let my kids sit on other people's really expensive saddles, but this particular mobile shop is owned by my old boss, so I let them have at it!
Ryan really liked the magnetic paddock boots.
"Look, they stick to the stirrups! Mama, we need these!"
I probably could have spent the whole day catching up with Dave, but the boys got a little bored so we had to move on.
James' favorite part of any horse show is the dogs. This little Jack Russell Terrier was only thirteen weeks old.
Ryan made friends with a horse.
After we'd window shopped, gossipped and petted the animals, it was time to settle in and watch a few classes. This is a Baby Green Hunter Under Saddle Class.
No low headsets here!
Second Year Green Working Hunters.
Children/Adult Jumpers.
The boys did a really good job of behaving and staying interested...
but as we watched round...
after round...
they got a little bit bored.
Oh well, nobody's perfect! It was still a good way to spend a day.
Hope all of you who spent today at that other Horse Park are having just as much fun!