Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Rolex

I think I'm through the worst of it now.  
The crying jags have lessened, and I'm gradually coming to terms with the fact that Maggie is gone.  
I really want to thank everyone for their kind words here and on Facebook.   
Also, special thanks to whoever helped "Maggie" send flowers today.  It's a beautiful arrangement, and my whole family was touched by the kind gesture. 
More than anything, though, I want to thank my good friend Teresa for once again being my shoulder to cry on.
My original plans for Saturday included a trip to the Colorado Horse Park Eventing Derby. 
One of Teresa's friends was competing on his young horse.  We'd planned to cheer him on and take lots of pictures. 
When Maggie's condition took a turn for the worse, I texted Teresa and told her I couldn't make it.  She called to offer sympathy and distraction.
Even though we missed Michael's trip, we still made it to the Eventing Derby.   
I suspect I wasn't good company, but Teresa didn't hold that against me.  We walked and talked and watched horses.  It was a good way to spend a day, even if it was a really sad day. 
Thank you, Teresa and everyone.  Your support is appreciated more than you will ever know.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Maggie

1998-April 28, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

Without a doubt, this is the most amazing saddle I've ever seen.  
Not surprisingly, it's a Hermès.

Although fashionistas may equate Hermès with silk scarves and leather bags, the company was originally founded as a saddlery with the horse as "its first client."  The winged saddles were made for a rock album cover and are among the items featured at the upcoming Hermès Leather Forever exhibition.
Leather Forever runs from May 8-27 at 6 Burlington Gardens in London. Entry is free.  Sadly, I won't be in attendance.  However, it's not unreasonable to suspect that there may be a traditional scale winged saddle in my future.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

High Plains Live performance postscripts

I wasn't the only photographer at last Saturday's High Plains Live Model Horse Show.  Nancy Dement was there, too, and unlike me, she didn't spend the day running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  As a result, she managed to get a lot of the shots I missed, including close-ups of some of the amazing tack that was present on the show tables.  Here's a little peek at what's lurking in some Colorado showers' tackboxes.

First up is this lovely Western set owned by Karen Gerhardt.
photo by Nancy Dement
Erin Corbett made this saddle and its matching bridle and breastcollar in 2011.  The saddle blanket was made by Robyn Jalbert. 
photo by Nancy Dement
Sandy Lyles has a lot of lovelies, too, including several near vintage pieces by Terry Newberry.   
photo by Nancy Dement
Despite their age, these items are as competitive today as they were ten years ago.
Good tack never goes out of style!
photo by Nancy Dement
 Sandy's tack box also includes some pieces made by her...
photo by Nancy Dement
and this neat braided bridle by Australia's Rebecca Dunne.
photo by Nancy Dement
Although she's best known for her dolls, Joan Yount is also an accomplished tackmaker.  This  pretty sidesaddle is owned by Fabian Rodriguez. 
photo by Nancy Dement
In addition to being a great photographer, Nancy is also doing her part to ensure the future of performance showing in Colorado.  I really do get ADHD when I'm showing performance, so I was only vaguely aware that there were a couple of kids setting up entries on the table beside me.
I didn't realize what was really going on until I got home and read the following on Nancy's Facebook page:  Some young gals wanted to show performance so I let them use some of my older tack. I put it on and had them make all the little adjustments. I think they enjoyed themselves.
What a great way to introduce the next generation of hobbyists to performance showing!  I really love this idea and am already brainstorming new ways to expand on Nancy's generosity.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

High Plains Live Western Performance

It's fair to say that I was feeling a little discouraged by the time the Western Performance division rolled around.  Tiffany accused me of whining, and perhaps I was.  After all, it's hard not to whine when you're watching your Brio Sambra dreams go down the drain!

Still, I wasn't going to give up without a fight.  I stripped the dressage tack off Emma and prepared her for the Western Games class.
By Colorado standards, this class was huge.  It was also tough.
Emma's pole bending entry was good enough for fourth.  
Sandy's ambitious Camp Race set-up placed third.
The top two ribbons went to models shown by Teresa Buzzell.  Teresa has mad proxy showing skillz and was showing models for several different people.  This model actually belongs to Darla Curtis and the tack is owned by Sheila Bishop.  
The winner was Teresa's own Some Kinda Flirt.  Flirt is a Kristina Lucas Francis Phoenix resin painted by Kirsten Wellman. 
I skipped the next three classes.  These were the cattle classes--Roping, Cutting and Other Stock/Ranch Work.  Probably this was just another example of my "whininess", but honestly, I didn't see the point. 
I did get my act together to show in Reining.  There were three entries on the table and mine placed first.  This was kind of weird to me.  If I had been judging, Emma would have been third.
The unexpected--and undeserved--win boosted my spirits. 
(Well, that and the fact that Validator was busy winning the Brio Sambra on the Resin table...)
The Western Trail class was next, and like the Games class it was big and deep.  
Photo by Nancy Dement
This photo shows both Sandy's Lonesome Dove and Fabian Rodgriguez's Zippo.  
Photo by Nancy Dement
Emma's revamped ground pole entry placed fourth.
Some Kinda Flirt was second.
The blue went to Karen Gerhardt's one of a kind Cleveland Bay.
Western Pleasure was next.
Honestly, I can't remember how Emma did, but I think Karen's big gray won the blue.
Photo by Nancy Dement
Lonesome Dove won the Western Performance Division Championship with Teresa/Darla's Charity in Reserve.
Photo by Nancy Dement
At this point the horses (and mules) that had won a certificate in any of the three performance divisions were invited back for the Overall Championship.  There wasn't much drama in the judge's decision.  With two reserve championships to her credit, Emma was awarded the lovely silver Chevy medallion.
Lonesome Dove owned by Sandy Lyles was the clear and undisputed winner. 
Congratulations, Sandy!  That was a masterful performance, but consider yourself warned--I'm coming for you next time!

High Plains Live English Performance

Without a doubt, English is my strongest performance division.  If I was to have any chance of winning the Overall Performance Championship at the High Plains Live Model Horse Show, it would rest mainly on the strength of my English entries.

Unfortunately, the division got off to a less than successful start in the Cross Country class.  Emma looked stylish as always, but it's hard to compete against the over the top awesomeness of not one...
but two water jump dioramas by Sandy Lyles.  Poor Emma had to settle for third. 
On to the jumpers! 
Emma did a little better here... 
but once again it was Sandy's Lonesome Dove who claimed the blue. 
Hunters were next. 
 This time Emma was victorious.  Yay!
Emma didn't win the English Trail class...
but she did place in front of Lonesome Dove.  Our hopes were still alive!
First place honors went to Karen Gerhardt's Cleveland Bay, who was making it very clear this wasn't just a two horse competition.
Emma and Lonesome Dove were first and second in the English Pleasure class...  Or perhaps I should say second and first.  Sandy and her darn Paint horse was proving to be just a little too tough for Emma and I!
The division wrapped with Other English.  Karen's big boy was third, 
Emma was second, 
 and Lonesome Dove was the winner.  
That's pretty much the story of this division.  Lonesome Dove was the Champion and Emma was Reserve.
With only the Western division left to go, my chances of winning the Brio Sambra resin suddenly seemed very remote.