Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The trailer of terror

After months of searching for just the right horse, Andrew's brand new grand prix jumper is finally here.  All the students at Braymere Riding Academy have gathered around to watch him come off the trailer.
"Hmmmm," says Andrew, "I don't remember him having such a pronounced Roman nose."
Without warning, a second beast emerges from the darkness...
The riders gasp, "Those aren't horses!  They're Rodents of Unusual Size!!"
"Run for your lives!"
Alas, no human can outrun an R.O.U.S.
And that was the end of Braymere Riding Academy.
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two down

I finished another saddle today.  
Color aside, this one is almost identical to Jane's saddle.  I made a couple small alterations to the skirts and left off the wear leather on the bottom of the flap.  
In my opinion, these are two of the nicest English saddles I've ever made.  I'm a lot slower than I used to be, but I think I'm getting better!
On a less positive note, I made an unpleasant discovery when I unpacked my Lorenz for this photo shoot... 
Sigh.  I'm not surprised really.  This guy sustained so much damage when he fell off my work desk.  I suspect this particular crack was just waiting to make its way to the surface.  In any event, I know what I'll be fixing as soon as I'm ready to take a break from saddles!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Poodle horses

Halloween horse costumes are always a popular topic in October, so it's no surprise that this picture of a "poodle horse" has been forwarded to my email inbox and featured on my Facebook feed at least a dozen times this month.
It's a cute costume, but it's hardly the first of its kind.  I've featured poodle horses on this blog as early as 2008...  
and as recently as this past March
A quick Google search turned up a whole host of other poodle horses... 
Photo by Michael Killingback/Anderson Valley Post
and ponies. 
Photo by Christina Wilsdon
They're all cute, but I think this one is my favorite.  SO cute! 
Photo by Christina Wilsdon
Of course, an idea this good works both ways.  Here's a pictures of a poodle posing as a horse! 
Photo by Ron Netherland/Barcroft Media
I have yet to see a model sized poodle horse, but it's only a matter of time.  This would be such an easy costume to make--someone needs to do it!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wizard's Vale Arts collection tour

In addition to being a talented sculpture and finishwork artist, Karen Gerhardt is a long time model horse collector.  Those of us who were lucky enough to attend her recent housewarming party spent a lot of time ogling her most impressive collection.
This china cabinet is filled with clinky versions of some of Karen's most popular sculptures.
Oooh!  I recognize that lovely Optime
 More gorgeous clinkies...
including this amazing Hagen Renaker Two Bits.  The mold detail on this piece is spectacular.
Mixed in between the horses are parts and pieces of resin master molds.  If I'm not mistaken, this one belongs to Boreas. 
This cute Thelwell pony lives on a window sill in the basement. 
His saddle was made by a hobbyist in the 1970's.  It's built on a hand cut aluminum tree.  Hmmm... The more things change, the more they stay the same! 
Not surprisingly, Karen's studio is perhaps the most interesting room in the house.
James was immediately drawn to the translucent Breyers,
but my eye went to the the works in progress both on the sculpting table... 
and fresh from the kiln.
Another book case holds original finish plastics and resins,
including Karen's Cleveland Bay conga line... 
and her painted Roundabouts. 
With so many gorgeous pieces to choose from, what did my child identify as his favorite? Sigh.  There's no accounting for taste!   
Thanks again to Karen for hosting this event.  We all had a wonderful time!

Karen's housewarming party

Yesterday was the first day of Fall Break, and what better way to celebrate than to get in the car and drive up into the mountains to attend a model horse party?
We knew we were at the right place when we saw the Western Pony hanging from the side of the house! 
Once inside, we were greeted by our hostess, Karen Gerhardt, and her beautiful Boyz, Kit Kat and Kanab. 
Karen and her husband, Paul, moved from Boulder to the Colorado high country about a year ago.  Their new home is absolutely lovely.  This is part of the amazing view from their deck! 
Including myself and Karen, there were eight hobbyists in attendance.  Some came alone, others brought their families.  This is Regan's son, Russell.  
Russell and James had a great time playing with the barn Karen's father built. 
After lunch, we all gathered in the living room to glaze some china pumpkins.  
Karen showed us how to do it...
and then we were on our own.
In no time, everyone was painting, talking and laughing.  Who knew china pumpkins could be so much fun?
This is me with the "duplex" pumpkin... 
and this is how all the party pumpkins looked before they entered the kiln.  I can't wait to see the "after" picture!
While the grown-ups talked, the kids found their way to the hot tub.
I believe James' exact words were, "This is living." 
Karen told the kids that if they got too hot, they could get out and roll in the snow.  I think she was kidding, but of course someone had to try it out. 
Whew!  Partying with a bunch of model horse people is exhausting!
As the party began to wind down, we  gathered together for one last picture...
and headed back down the mountain. 
Thanks so much for having us, Karen!  That was a most excellent way to start a vacation.