Monday, October 31, 2011

No treats

It's been a long time since I've had a piece of tack fight me like this browband.  I've spent two long weeks on it, and I'm still not happy with the results.
Honestly, my frustration level is such that I am ready to pack everything up and take a long, long, long break from tackmaking.  Unfortunately for me, I still have a couple paid orders to finish.  Once those are done, though, I'm done too.

(Unless of course I change my mind.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

So darn busy!

I don't usually ride on weekends but I did today.
The rest of the day was spent spackling, priming and painting a bedroom plus pulling up the old carpet.  I am beyond tired so three sentences is all you get!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two seaters

One of the fun benefits of writing a tack blog is that I get a lot of emails entitled "Interesting saddle" or "Have you ever seen a saddle like this?"  Today's post was inspired by RiderWriter who sent a link to this Double Seated Teaching Saddle.  

Here's the official product description:  Specially designed and tested by Jo Cornell, this saddle is the answer in demonstrating young students how to quickly and effectively ride. This double seat teaching saddle is based on a cavalry-style seat that allows the student to sit comfortably and securely in front of the instructor. The pommel is higher keeping the child in position. It is a true double tree; the cantle touches the instructors pommel, forming two distinct, separate units. Two sets of stirrup bars allow each rider to have their own stirrups for stability. 
That is, in fact, the first double seated English saddle I've ever seen.  However, it was just a few months back that this similarly designed Western saddle came across my Facebook feed. It was on consignment at Brighton Feed & Saddlery, but they weren't calling it a "Teaching" saddle...       
Instead, it's a "Date" saddle!
Verna and Roger Allgeier
co-owners of Brighton Feed & Saddlery
I think it would be really fun to build a traditional scale two seater saddle.  It's totally impractical, of course, but wouldn't it be perfect for Anne Field's lovey-dovey cowpokes?
Keep sending the interesting saddle pictures, everyone!  They never fail to brighten my day, and who knows?  Maybe someday I'll actually get caught up on orders and make something "interesting" for myself.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Kim's BreyerWest report

BreyerWest 2011 was held October 21st and 22nd in conjunction with the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco, California.  I did not attend, but prop-maker and mini performance shower extraordinaire Kim Haymond was kind enough to send along this report.
I showed one of the harnesses in a marathon driving entry, with harness by you, horse customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy, cart by Bill Duncan, and diorama and driver/groom by me and was awarded first place! 
I showed one of the harnesses in a marathon driving entry, with harness by you, horse customized and painted by Tiffany Purdy, cart by Bill Duncan, and diorama and driver/groom by me and was awarded first place! 
The classic scale pony and harness came back a few classes later (after a tack change for a different class and re-harnessing) to do a street parade entry, where it won a first place and went on to Reserve Champ of the Other Performance division!  I know I've said it before, but I continue to be amazed at these harnesses, they are so detailed and realistic but also easy to use and adjust, they are just perfect.
Thanks so much, Kim.  I always love your show reports but I have to disagree with you about those little harnesses.  They are not easy to put on, at least not for those of us accustomed to the "big" scales!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween horse costumes circa 1985

On this date in 1985, I spent my day working at a Halloween themed schooling show at Eaton Canyon Riding Club in Pasadena, California.  I was sixteen years old and "employed" as a working student for Roxanne Tallman Training Stables which was based at ECRC.  On most days my duties included feeding, blanketing, lunging and teaching beginner lessons.  At the  show, I held horses, set jumps and helped the younger students get ready for the ring.  In this  picture I'm adjusting Breanna's stirrups.  It's hard to be certain from this angle, but I think the horse is Brandy.
The two riders in this photo were twin sisters and some of Roxanne's most accomplished students.
Amy's horse was named Coming Home, but around the barn he was known simply as Red.  This pair had a lot of success in the 12-14 Junior Hunter classes on the Los Angeles Horse Show Association's B Circuit.
Beth's horse Splash was just as fancy.  You can't tell from this picture, but he was a minimally marked Appaloosa.
This is Simone on Night Cap, who was better known as Scotty.  It's not obvious from the photo, but this was another one of the stable's top show horses. 
Like the children of most trainers, Roxanne's daughters started riding early.  This is Amanda on Jet, who was one of the school horses.  
This picture shows two more of the regulars--Nicole (princess) on Patrick and Amy (Indian) on Fancy.
Last but not least, it's Allison on Benson.  They are dressed as a salad, with Benson going as the lettuce and Allison as the tomato!  This was my favorite costume of the day.
Isn't it funny how horse people always remember horses?  Even after twenty six years, the names and biographies of these horses remain crystal clear in my memory.  If only I was as good at remembering people!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost wordless Wednesday

Today's pictures depict some of the many wonderful performance entries at last weekend's Cajun Country Live Show in Vinton, Louisiana.  Thanks again to Kellye Bussey for allowing me to share them here!

Kellye's saddleseat entry
Eberl resin painted by Sheryl Liesure, tack by Jennifer Buxton, doll by Sheri Wirtz

Kellye's Sport Horse in Hand entry
Custom Stage Mom and Child Star by Angela Giddings

Spanish leadline entry owned by Kellye Bussey
Eberl resin painted by Tom Bainbridge, tack by Kathy Wiggins, dolls by Joan Yount

Kellye's Working Equitation entry
tack by Vicky Norris, doll by Amy Showalter

Kellye's OF Parade Entry
tack by Susan Bensema Young

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Post weekend show report

It seems like it's been forever since I attended a model horse show, so I was extra delighted to find these pictures in my inbox this morning.  Thank you so much to Kellye Bussey for allowing me to enjoy the Cajun Country Live Show vicariously!
This first horse Kellye's Magnifica Obsession.  He is a Sarah Rose Brioso resin customized and painted by Melanie Miller who also made the mosquero.  Joan Yount dressed the doll, Jana Skybova made the saddlepad and I built the bridle and surcingle.
This was Kellye's Custom/Artist Resin Scene Class entry.   
It ended up winning the red second place ribbon.
No complaints, though--just look at the entry that beat it!
This amazing Cinco de Mayo set-up included two tacked horses, dancers, a band and real music! 
No clue as to the owner of this remarkable entry, but I do think I recognize that saddle... 
Of course, this saddle is familiar to me, too.  This is Kellye's Fantasma showing in the CM/AR Other Costume class.  He is a customized Breyer Alborozo by Mindy Berg and the doll is by Joan Yount.
Arsenio is another member of Kellye's enviable custom showstring.  He is shown winning the CM/AR dressage class with a BCS saddle and Corinne Ensor bridle and pad.  
Rounding out the CM/AR Performance division, this is Wildwood Primrose.  She is a Breyer Stage Mom customized and painted by Angela Giddings.  She was Reserve Champion of the English Performance Division with her BCS saddle and Corinne Ensor bridle. 
Halters aren't actually judged in the Halter division, but it's also worth noting that Primrose's baby won the Overall Reserve Championship in the Breed Halter division with a BCS halter adorning his cute little head.
Last photo--this is from the Original Finish Performance division and it shows Kellye's Amistad winning the OF Other Costume class.
Thanks and congratulations to Kellye!  I never get tired of looking at your beautiful horses!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I love tackmaking and I love writing about tackmaking so most of the time I enjoy updating my blog daily.

Every now and then, however, I get stuck.

In case it's not obvious--this is one of those times.  I still haven't finished Tiffany's saddleseat set.  It's so close, but I just can't seem to get the browband to look the way I want it to.  It's frustrating making the same thing over and over again and right now my studio feels more like a prison than a sanctuary.

Similarly, blogging has become a chore.

Saturday I fought through the writer's block by posting some pictures from my "ideas" file.  It wasn't a great post, but I was still disappointed when it didn't get any comments.  I know I shouldn't care about stuff like that, but I do.

Yesterday, I decided to avoid the problem by going for a long drive in the mountains with my family.  That was a lot of fun, but unfortunately it did nothing to awaken my creative muse. 

So today I had to try something different.  I decided to make something really easy that was not related to Tiffany's set.  This is what I came up with:
It's no masterpiece--and neither is this whiny post!--but at least I'm trying...

Maybe tomorrow will be better!