Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fun with tack

I am trying to work up some enthusiasm for showing Princess Trillium in the performance classes at next month's Springamathing live show.
It's kind of working.
Princess Trillium does look pretty awesome in this parade set.  
I wonder how she'd look in harness?

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Today is Ryan's thirteenth birthday.
It's been a long time since I turned thirteen, but I still have very specific memories of that day.  One of my gifts was an additional riding lesson on my birthday.  Riding twice in one week was a rare treat, and I was very excited about the prospect of spending the afternoon at the barn.  

Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan.  I had a bad day at school and came home to discover that my sister, who'd had tonsil surgery earlier that week,  had developed complications and needed to be taken to the hospital.  I was left home alone and had to find my own way to the barn.  It wasn't a long walk, but I resented every minute of it.  Intellectually, I knew Erin hadn't planned to ruin my birthday, but still...  It was my birthday!  I was supposed to be the center of attention!

I arrived at the barn late, fully expecting to be stuck with my least to favorite school horse, Fred.  Instead, a miracle happened--for the first time ever, I was allowed to ride the Filly.
Filly, who's registered name was Native Cher, was a privately owned Thoroughbred ex-race horse who was temporarily filling in as a school horse in lieu of her board bill.  I had been obsessed with her since her arrival at Eaton Canyon Riding Club mostly because she was related to my all time favorite race horse,  Affirmed.  
Exclusive Native, sire of Affirmed, Genuine Risk and Native Cher.
I wish I could tell you that we had a great lesson, but that would be overstating things.  I was riding at an advanced beginner/low intermediate level, and Filly was hot, green and very track-y.  She was way too much horse for me, but I just didn't care.  All I could think was, "I'm riding Affirmed's little sister!  I'm riding Affirmed's little sister!"
I rode Filly on an off for the next several months.  Most of our lessons were fairly disastrous, but that did nothing to diminish my love for her.
Eventually, I was allowed to ride Filly in a schooling show.  It was not an impressive outing.  Filly ran away with me while cantering on the wrong lead in the flat class, and we were disqualified for having three refusals at the first jump in Hunter Hack.  Looking back, I don't know why my instructor allowed me to ride her.  It's a miracle no one got hurt.
Filly left ECRC shortly after our schooling show misadventure.  I don't know what became of her, but I hope she had a good life.  She may not have been the Exclusive Native's most impressive offspring, but she meant the world to me when I was thirteen.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday favorites

I do not collect unicorns, Pegasus's or any other fantasy horse-like creatures.  I prefer my horses to be, well, horsey.  As far as I'm concerned, the basic form is perfect as is.  No alterations are necessary, and the addition of horns or wings seems both unnecessary and mildly ridiculous.  I have never seen a fantasy model that I wanted to own...  at least not until today!

This is Prowler.  He was created by Cindy Evans of Knight's Tale Studios.
Although Prowler was just finished this week, he's been in the works for more than seven years.  He started life as a sketch...
but it wasn't long before Cindy decided he needed to have a three dimensional body.  She selected her parts models--a Breyer Susecion body and a Silver head and left fore leg--and roughed in the basic form.  After that initial burst of inspiration, progress slowed to a near standstill.  Cindy worked on him on and off (mostly off!) for several years, but it wasn't until early 2013 that she decided her skills had progressed to the point where she could truly do him justice.
Here's how Cindy describes Prowler: I repositioned the body to a sulking walk and lowered the head and neck into a near "snaking" position. This is not a happy Unicorn! There's wrinkles around his nose, tail swishing and low (like a big cat's), curvy, Marwari-inspired ears laid back. Why is he angry? Did someone invade his privacy? Or has he finally been caught by a wandering virgin with a golden bridle?
The detail continued to his hair: wavy, messy mane, elegant tuft on the end of his smooth leonine tail, a ventral (chest) mane, quirky feathers on his fetlocks, and a gently swaying goatee. I'm actually very proud of the movement I was able to convey throughout the entire piece.
Finally, his color. I struggled with it, unsure of what exactly to do: how do you make the traditional white unicorn unique? He's always reminded me of a big cat, so his stripes have a slight tiger-like quality to them. My inspiration came mostly from Zoe the "Golden Zebra" (who has something called amelanoism, same thing the "white" lions have) as well as perlino dun horses with their green-tinged eyes (although his are more jade with hints of gold). The stripes were layers in pure rich gold acyrlic, with other shading provided by Earth Pigments.
I'm proud to have finally finished him and would dearly love to keep him.... but unfortunately, I can't afford to. So he's up for offers, a completely unique piece that will never be replicated. And just in time: NAMHSA is currently considering giving Unicorns and Pegasus NAN qualifying status in Workmanship and Collectibility, so there's a chance that this guy can go to shows and NAN in the future and NOT just sit around in a cabinet, shelf, or curio!
Even though I do not collect unicorns, I would happily make an exception for Prowler. Unfortunately, like Cindy, I can't afford him.  If your pockets are deeper, please check out his ad on Model Horse $ales Pages.  
Congratulations, Cindy, for seeing your vision to completion and creating the first--and probably last--unicorn to be featured on this blog!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Like a bull in a china shop...

That describes a coned up Darcy in my crowded studio.
Here's (most of) the damage. 
Sigh.  I guess that's a sign.  
It's time to put the camera away...
and get back to work!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Almost wordless Wednesday

More photos of my collection--both here and on the My Collection page.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My collection

Over the past ten years, I've managed to assemble a pretty impressive collection of custom and resin model horses.  Some of these have been featured on my blog numerous times.
Others have turned up occasionally, usually in show reports. 
Still others have managed to avoid the spotlight altogether.  
No more!  I've begun the process of photo documenting my entire custom...
and resin collection...  
even the hard to photograph pieces!
It's a slow process, but I'm determined to see it through.  Be sure to check my progress on the blog's new My Collection page!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Out of sorts

There's no shortage of things to talk about...
but I just haven't felt like writing.
Perhaps this will change in the next day or two.
Perhaps not.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Three in a row

It's good to be me.  

For the third day in a row, I've been the lucky recipient of a model horse related package.
This lovely Kristina Lucas-Francis Sia resin was painted by the talented Caroline Boydston. 
I've long wanted a Boydston piece for my collection, so I couldn't be happier with the new arrival. 
She's a joyful little thing--all sassy and flirty with her funny ears and flipped up tail. 
She's also extremely petite.  This surprised me.  Because she is an older foal, I thought she'd be bigger in size, kind of like the Stone yearling.
She's much smaller than that, however.  In fact, she's smaller than most of the foals in my collection. 
I'm not complaining.  Good things come in small packages, and as far as I'm concerned, my new Sia is a very good thing.  

P.S.  Sia was painted in 2002 and I am at least her third owner.  I know one of her previous names, but I don't particularly like it.  Naming suggestions are welcome!