Monday, February 28, 2011

Tack at the Buffalo Bill Museum

As promised, here are the pictures of the Buffalo Bill Museum's tack collection.  First up is probably the most iconic piece--thes cowrie shell bridle.  This bridle was presented to Buffalo Bill by King Edward VII.  The bit is inscribed with the words "Prince of Wales Own Hussars."
In 2004, Susan Bensema Young made a traditional sized version of this bridle.  You can view it on her website--Just like its full size counterpart, it's truly an amazing piece! 
Although Buffalo Bill owned several saddles, this was one of his favorites.  It was made in 1897 by Collins and Morrison of Omaha, Nebraska.
Another one of Bill's saddles.
Close-up of the tooling. 
This saddle was used by an unnamed performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West.  It was made by R.T. Frazier of Pueblo, Colorado in 1910. 
Unfortunately some of the museum items don't have much in the way of documentation.  This frame saddle was described simply as "Native American Rawhide Saddle." 
Another view.
And again. 
A beautiful hitched horsehair bridle.
Detail of the browband decoration.
A pistol bit...
and some very neat stirrups round out today's tack tour.
One last picture--this isn't tack but it was on display in the museum not the gift shop.
I really enjoyed my day at the Museum and hope to return at a later date when it's a bit less crowded.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Buffalo Bill's Birthday Bash

My family is not remotely horsey so I'm always pleased when I can find a somewhat horse related event that everyone can enjoy.  Today that event was Buffalo Bill's 165th Birthday Party at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Golden, Colorado.
There were lots of Buffalo Bills in attendance...
 plus all the free cupcakes and ice cream a boy could eat.
My kids competed in the Buffalo Chip Toss and also enjoyed the other amenities.  This is Ryan posing as Buffalo Bill.
James took a walk on the wild side and opted to masquerade as Annie Oakley...  Actually, I think he just liked the gun!
Horse shaped objects abound at the museum gift shop. 
I think this bench would look really good in my studio!
Of course we also visited the museum.
Although small, this is a very well thought out museum with several interactive kid features.
James and I had way too much fun in the Dress-Up Like a Cowboy section.
 Check out those gloves!
Every cowboy needs a... cow?
This is better (I told you--they're not horsey!). 
The only known picture of Seth in a cowboy hat.
Ryan wouldn't dress up, but he did work on his roping skills.
Oh yeah, there's also some really nifty tack in that museum.
I haven't finished editing photos, however, so you will have to wait for the rest.  In the meantime, here's a look at one of the views from the museum parking lot.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love living in Colorado?

Saturday, February 26, 2011


My goal for February was to make four saddles.   I got off to a good start...
 but ran into a few problems along the way.
Things always seem to get worse...
before they get better.
Maybe next month I'll make four saddles...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

(not so) Random collection picture

This little guy snuck into one of my photos yesterday.  Several readers commented on him, so here's a better look at Oliver.
As I mentioned in the comments section, Oliver is a Border Fine Arts Thoroughbred Stallion resin painted by Lisa Rivera.  I show him as a British Spotted Pony.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help me decide

Is Basil a dressage rat?
 Or a saddleseat rat?
Or perhaps just the most tolerant rat in the world?

Not much

It doesn't happen very often, but I seem to have run out of things to say.

Well, that's not exactly true.  I'm not out of ideas as much as I'm lacking the energy and enthusiasm required to turn those ideas into blog posts.

Rest assured, this won't be a permanent state.  In the meantime, however, it might be a bit quiet around here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Regaining momentum

No exaggeration--I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday working on Dagmar's Portuguese saddle.  Even when I wasn't actually sitting in my studio, my mind was consumed with thoughts about the saddle's construction.  I was so obsessed that I actually dreamed about making the cantle!

And then...  Life happened.  The saddle got put aside for a day, then two days, then three.  I had completely lost my momentum.

Today I decided it was time to reverse the trend.  Even though I really wasn't feeling inspired, I forced myself to work on the little side panels.  That went pretty well so I pushed on to the stirrups and stirrup leathers.  After that, there was no stopping me.  I wasn't going to stop until the saddle and all the attached pieces were finished.
Top view. 
Bottom view.
I still need to make a girth and breastplate, but that shouldn't be a problem.  I've regained my momentum and nothing's going to stop me now!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Strange days

For the second time in just over a week, I spent a large part of my day in a hospital emergency room.  Last Thursday, I was there with a sick friend.  Today, the patient was my concussed child.   Thankfully, Ryan is going to be ok, but it's been a long, tiring day for both of us.
That said, it should come as no surprise that I did not work on the Portuguese saddle today.  No work equals no progress report, so the rest of the post will be pictures only.  These were taken at the 2008 Rocky Mountain Iberian Horse Club Show which was held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Castle Rock, Colorado.  I think the grey horse is Nobel II of Breyerfest fame.  If not, I'm sure Regan will let me know!