Friday, July 31, 2009

That grey Percheron...

By popular demand--here are some more pictures of that speedy grey Percheron from yesterday's barrel racing post.He was half of a dappled grey pair that competed in all the farm team classes at the Arapahoe County Fair last weekend.I took a lot of pictures of these two...
Here they are resting between classes.Close up shot of both the dapples and the harness breeching!You know how much I love performance pictures, so here's a quick rundown of his competition schedule. In addition to barrel racing, he was also entered in the single log skid,team log skid,
feed team race,farm implement class,
and obstacle course.Everyone was tired after the long show day. Wouldn't it be nice to have a big, comfy Percheron couch to nap on?
He's probably a bit too big for my living room, but a girl can dream, right?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Performance Spotlight--Draft Horse Barrel Racing

I didn't actually spend all of last week with my family. I took a break over the weekend while the guys went camping. I would have gone with them, but they went primitive camping... You know, I'm not a girly girl, but there are some things I just can't embrace. Thirty six hours with seven boys and no bathroom falls squarely into that category!

So, I ended up with an entire day to myself which I spent at the Arapahoe County Fair in Aurora, Colorado. I arrived early and wandered around for a bit, taking in the sights. It wasn't long, however, before I found myself settled in at the horse show ring, camera in hand, happily watching a Colorado Draft Horse Association member show.

Since no one was waiting for me at home, I stayed for the entire show. All the classes were interesting, but it was the very last class--Draft Horse Barrel Race--that most tickled my fancy. Here are a few of the many (!) pictures I took of the ongoings.
Draft horse barrel racing has just two rules regarding tack. The first is that only driving bridles are to be used. Because the regular lines would be much too long, most of the riders used their their side checks as reins.
The second rule is that saddles of any sort are strictly forbidden!
Most of the racers followed the slow and steady rule.This lovely Clydesdale marched around the entire pattern at a walk.Here he is rounding the last barrel...and racing for home.The Belgian went a bit faster.
Looking good at the last barrel!Her time was fast enough for second place. According to the announcer, this Clydesdale had never been ridden prior to this class.There were a few rough moments, but mostly he acquitted himself nicely.Not everyone was so lucky. This mare got overly excited and bucked her rider off.Here she is again in a more cooperative moment. The eventual class winner was this grey Percheron.
Compared to the other horses in the class, this one was Scamper.He actually cantered between barrels...and still managed some nice, tight turns.Around the last barrel and racing for home!It wasn't even close--he won by a mile!Ok, performance showers, this is the perfect event for all your in motion draft horses. All you need is a driving bridle, a barrel and maybe a cowboy doll. It just doesn't get easier than that! In fact, I think I'm going to go unpack my customized Wixom right now so that he can get a start on his barrel racing career.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Busy, busy

My brother in law and his two sons plus one extra arrived right on schedule last week, and it's been busy, busy ever since. Jason is not a rest and relaxation type of vacationer, and it's been a full week of road trips, hikes and outdoor adventures. Here are a few pictures from the last few days. The first two were taken at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.This is an absolutely amazing park and it's free. If you find yourself anywhere near Colorado Springs, be sure to fit it into your schedule--you will not be disappointed!We also rode the cog railroad up to the top of Pikes Peak.
It was thirty three degrees at the summit and the normally spectacular view was completely obscured by the clouds!Yesterday we went to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and saw the giant petrified redwood stumpsand learned how to find fossils in shale.
We walked lots of miles,took lots of photos,and were continually reminded that Colorado is truly one of most beautiful places on earth.
The Missouri Buxtons go home again tomorrow, and it will be back to business as usual. I'm afraid I've lost whatever momentum I'd gained on the back log, but it was totally worth it. What a fun week!

(P.S. Lots more pictures on my other blog for anyone who might be interested.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Working on the backlog

Progress is slow, but there is progress. I made this saddle in mid-July,and I will mail this Pebbles scale set to its very patient new owner tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hunter braids, part two

Yesterday I covered manes, so today it's on to tails!

While pretty much all the hunters at a USEF rated show will compete with a braided mane, braided tails are a bit more optional. You tend to see them most in the rated divisions, but even there, it's not universal. Still, it's a really nice touch and completes the classic hunter look. There are several different ways to finish a braided tail. Probably the most popular option is the "pinwheel" in which the long pigtail is rolled up onto itself.I love all the colors in this bay silver pony's tail. You usually can't see the yarn because braiders do try to match it as closely to the hair color as possible. However, with an odd color like this, that may be impossible.
Close up of the braided tail and pinwheel. Notice how tightly braided this is. Model braids are often much too loose, resulting in a "fat tail" look. The top part should be quite narrow.
Here's another way to finish a tail. The long braided section has been folded up and tucked under the French braid.
And yet another finishing option. In this case the braid has been turned so it circles the tail horizontally.
While I had not seen this particular style of braiding until fairly recently, it's been everywhere at the last several shows I've attended. I'm not sure if this is due to a newfound popularity or simply the work of one very prolific, professional braider.
Either way, it's pretty neat!
I really hope these pictures will be helpful to hobby sculptors and customizers. I would love to see some new, beautifully braided models in the live show ring!