Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hits and misses, part three

Jennibray may have been my most successful performance "horse" at Springamathing, but she wasn't my most versatile.  That distinction went to the lovely Lady Liberty, who showed in all three performance divisions.  

Her first class was Harness, which is not my strong suit.
I did a reasonably good job of tacking her up, but the traces of this borrowed harness were a bit too short for my cart.  That would have kept her out of the ribbons at NAN, but it was good enough for Springamathing.  
Other Performance was next.  I cobbled together a showmanship entry that almost but didn't quite work.  It's back to the drawing board for this one!
Saddleseat was better.  She won this one...
and should have won the English Trail class, too.  Unfortunately the bit fell out of her mouth, causing her to finish out of the ribbons.  Darn!
She placed second in the Other English class with a simple but nice bareback entry.  Then, it was on to the Western division, and the live show debut of my long planned Donut Race entry (complete with Donut Eating Dog).  I'm not going to lie--this was my most satisfying blue ribbon of the day.
I was still mad at myself for not blowing the English Trail class, so I recycled that entry in Western Trail.  This time I triple checked the bit, and my diligence was rewarded with another blue ribbon.  Yay!
Lady Liberty's last class was Western Pleasure/Standing, and she, once again, she claimed the top spot.
With three blue ribbons to her credit, Lady Liberty was named Reserve Champion of the Western Performance division.  Hurray!
Although she didn't do enough to earn an Overall title, Lady Liberty's performance debut was a rousing success.

Like Jennibray, she's a big, pretty model with personality galore.  She looks great on the table, and I really enjoyed showing her.  If I go to NAN in 2015, I'll definitely bring Lady Liberty with me!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hits and misses, part two

Yesterday's post focused on my less successful Springamathing performance entries.  Now I'm going to talk about one of my models whose entries actually worked: my big jumping mule, Jennibray.  
Jenni's Other Performance entry was this coon jumping set-up.  This would have been better with simpler jump standards, but I think I did a really good job positioning the mule and doll.  He's watching her, she's watching him and there's no doubt in anyone's mind that she's going to clear that jump.
Good enough for second place! 
The Scene class was next.  I'd originally planned to have her crash a family picnic, but then Sandy offered to lend me the Brokeback Boys...
One thing led to another... 
And Jenni had claimed her first blue ribbon of the day.  Although I am pleased with this entry as is, I look forward to fleshing it out further with more Re-ments (yay!) and maybe another dog or two. 
Those two ribbons were enough to earn Jenni the Other Performance Reserve Champion title.  
The English Performance division was next, and it opened with three consecutive over fences classes:  Cross Country, 
Jumper, 
and Hunter.
Although I swapped out jumps and dolls, for all intents and purposes, these entries were virtually identical.  Happily for me, they were also uniformly successful.  This is no surprise: a good jumping model will always have the edge in over fences classes.  
Still, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.  This one, in particular, needs a lot more polish!
Jenni's last class was Dressage.  Naturally, I went with a Prix Caprilli entry.  Ideally, I would have switched her into dressage tack and used smaller jump standards.  On this day, however, this was good enough.
Jenni was named English Performance Champion...
and narrowly nosed out Karen's Roundabout for the Overall Performance Championship.  What a good mule! 

This was a good first outing for Jennibray and me.  Winning is always fun, of course, but more importantly, I discovered that I really like showing her.  She's both impressive and expressive, and even though they weren't perfect, her entries really stood out on the table.  I look forward to showing her again and again. Who knows, maybe I'll even show her at NAN...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hits and misses, part one

When I first started showing performance, my primary goal was to enter as many classes as possible and not make a fool out of myself.  I also wanted to win, of course, but I was realistic about my chances.  My horses, my tack, my props and my set-ups were decidedly average.  I didn't have a chance when the serious showers brought their A-games.  I just wasn't that good.

After the birth of my children, I took a six year break from live showing.  When I returned, I was no longer content to be average.  I'd upgraded my horses, tack and props, but most importantly, I upgraded my thinking.  

Instead of waiting until the week before the show, I started planning my entries months in advance.  I researched real life events and analyzed photos of winning model scale entries.  I worked really hard, and my efforts were rewarded.  I started winning and have continued to win ever since.

Unfortunately, all this winning has made me pretty complacent.  I've figured out what it takes to do well on the local level, and I haven't progressed much past that point.   

Tiffany and Erin are trying to talk me into going to NAN next year.  I can't guarantee that will happen, but it might.  If I do go, I want to be competitive and that means I'm going to have to upgrade my thinking again.

With that in mind, I'm taking a good hard look at my performance entries from last weekend's Springamathing live show.  First up is Rune's Egyptian Dancing Horse set-up.  Despite that yellow ribbon, I'm generally pleased with this entry.  The horse is beautiful, the costume is well made and well fitted and the doll is dressed correctly for the event.  This entry could be improved with good documentation and some minor adjustments to the rider's position.  Mostly though, it's fine.
Rat Bait is next.  I hadn't planned to show him in performance, but Tiffany and Erin (performance harpies!) bullied me into it.   
Not surprisingly, his entries were pretty slapdash.  Some of them placed well, but that was largely a product of small class sizes.
I would have to do a lot more work before I'd consider taking Rat Bait to NAN.  Right now, he's not even close to being ready.
Princess Trillium also suffered from my lack of preparation.
She showed in both the English... 
and Western divisions...
and most of her entries were of the "close but no cigar" variety.
Ugh!  So many yellow ribbons!
The good news is that it's pretty easy to turn a near miss into a hit.  Trilli would have benefited from better fitting bridles, but mostly her entries lacked polish.
 The few set-ups I'd planned in advance...
(this is the prop that goes with the lance)... 
did just fine.  If I go to NAN--and that's still a big if, Tiffany!--I'll almost certainly bring her.  She's a much better performance horse than she looked on Saturday.  I just need to slow down and not make so many little mistakes.
Tomorrow's post will discuss Lady Liberty and Jennibray!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Almost wordless Wednesday

I was so busy showing performance at last Saturday's Springamathing live show, I didn't find the time to take many pictures of the Custom and Resin Halter divisions.  That could have been a serious oversight, but fortunately, some of the most interesting and impressive horses showing in those divisions belonged to my friend and then house guest, Erin Corbett.  Here's a look at some of Erin's most loved treasures.  Enjoy!

P.S. None of these models are for sale, but if that ever changes, I get first dibs on Hay-Z!
Rein or Shine, Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Melanie Miller
Rein or Shine, Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Melanie Miller
Rein or Shine, Sarah Rose Reiner resin painted by Melanie Miller
Granite, Carol Williams Knightly Cadence resin painted by Carol Williams
Granite, Carol Williams Knightly Cadence resin painted by Carol Williams
Mamacita, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Vixen resin, face and hair customized by Mel Miller and painted by Tracy Eilers
Mamacita, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Vixen resin, face and hair customized by Mel Miller and painted by Tracy Eilers
Mamacita, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Vixen resin, face and hair customized by Mel Miller and painted by Tracy Eilers
Khaligraphy, Breyer Weather Girl customized and painted by Mel Miller
Khaligraphy, Breyer Weather Girl customized and painted by Mel Miller
Khaligraphy, Breyer Weather Girl customized and painted by Mel Miller
Kheepsake, Sarah Rose Khemosabi resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig
Kheepsake, Sarah Rose Khemosabi resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig
Kheepsake, Sarah Rose Khemosabi resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig
Kheepsake, Sarah Rose Khemosabi resin painted by Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig
Sir Kix-A-Lot, Breyer Classic Mustang stallion customized and painted by Emilia Kurila
Sir Kix-A-Lot, Breyer Classic Mustang stallion customized and painted by Emilia Kurila
Sir Kix-A-Lot, Breyer Classic Mustang stallion customized and painted by Emilia Kurila
Sir Kix-A-Lot, Breyer Classic Mustang stallion customized and painted by Emilia Kurila
Up All Nite, Sarah Rose Jezebel hair customized by Mel Miller and painted by Tracy Eilers
Up All Nite, Sarah Rose Jezebel hair customized by Mel Miller and painted by Tracy Eilers
Hay-Z, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Oliver resin painted by Carol Huddleston
Hay-Z, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Oliver resin painted by Carol Huddleston
Hay-Z, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Oliver resin painted by Carol Huddleston
Hay-Z, Sarah Minkiewicz Breunig Oliver resin painted by Carol Huddleston