Thursday, December 31, 2015

Parting shots

I must be getting really old because it seems like each year passes more quickly than the one before it. 2015 was a year filled with laughter, tears and lots and lots of pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Adult supervision

I went to the hobby shop planning to replenish my tack making supply stash. That happened...
but I also came home with a bunch of little hats... 
and scarves. 
This is why I need adult supervision!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 model year in review

In keeping with tradition, it's time for my yearly hobby recap. As usual, I'll begin with acquisitions.

2015 got off to a great start with the arrival of Snickers' foal, Speckles.
A few months later, I received a portrait model of one of my all time favorite horses, Regal Revenue. The real Rev died in November, making this model even more cherished.
Of course, no year is complete without a Purdy horse. Llwynog Copr was my only new Purdy this year, but boy, is he a good one.
Dexter arrived in October. My first Mel Miller horse, I still can't believe he's mine.
On one memorable day in November I received three separate hobby related boxes. One contained Champaign Toast...
another held the amazing Diestro
Technically speaking, Vigilante Justice had two separate arrival dates--one in August and another in December. A million thanks to Tiffany Purdy for making this beautiful boy whole!
Onto Original Finish models!
Although I don't actively collect these...
a few managed to find their way onto my shelves...
including a couple I haven't blogged about yet. Whoops!
I also added some new tack to my collection this year, most notably an Erin Corbett Western Pleasure saddle...
A smattering of dollsmini food and cats round out the year's acquisitions.  
That's a lot of really good stuff, and I am grateful for all of it. However, for me, 2015 was not a year about hobby stuff. Instead, it was a year about hobby people.
I was incredibly fortunate to spend a lot of time with my hobby friends this year.
New friends,
old friends,
near friends,
far friends,
and never forgotten friends.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my 2015. I still love you guys!

Monday, December 28, 2015

George Morris, the action figure

A couple months ago, Breyer, in conjunction with the Chronicle of the Horse, released a limited edition action figure of the iconic hunter/jumper rider and trainer, George Morris.
In accordance with his rather hefty price tag, little George comes beautifully packaged and is accompanied by an elegant display stand. 
Although not quite up to the standard of our best hobby doll dressers, his clothing very nice, especially for a mass produced product.
Mine will eventually need custom tall boots, because the plastic field boots prevent him from putting his heels down... and we all know George Morris rides with his heels down!
Of course, the most notable part of this doll is the talking. With the touch of a button, little George intones some of big George's trademark phrases. Here are a couple videos by Erin Corbett demonstrating these words of wisdom.
"Your shirt isn't tucked in and your horse looks feral. Get out. Just get out of the ring."
"The best exercise you can do for riding and your horse is push away from the table. Put down your fork."
The George Morris limited edition talking action figure can be purchased through the Chronicle of the Horse's website. It's pricey and may not pass Leah's I Want It test for most collectors, but I am absolutely delighted my purchase. I have no regrets.

George Morris

When I was ten and a half, I started taking riding lessons at a neighborhood barn. I loved everything about Eaton Canyon Riding Club, including my trainer, but honestly, the quality of instruction wasn't very high. After three years, I knew my leads and diagonals and could steer around a basic hunter course. Beyond that, I had no clue. There wasn't any subtlety or sophistication to my riding. 
I spent the next few years riding problem horses, mostly without adult supervision. What I lacked in technique, I made up for with bravery and persistence. This worked for a while, but eventually I got frustrated with my own limitations.
Looking for help, I headed back to Eaton Canyon Riding Club, where a new trainer was in residence. When she offered me a position as a working student, I couldn't accept fast enough.
After my first lesson, Roxanne told me that I needed to buy George Morris' book, Hunter Seat Equitation, and read it in its entirety. 
I knew who George Morris was, mainly because I liked reading his column in Practical Horseman
Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that Hunter Seat Equitation was not an expanded version of Jumping Clinic. The book was almost entirely text, with only a few line drawings...
and black and white photos to break up the monotony.
It wasn't the sort of book I usually gravitated to, but I was serious about wanting to be a better rider. I read the entire thing cover to cover, and with Roxanne's help, I was able to start putting some of George's theories into practice. 

Years later, I took a job on the A show hunter/jumper circuit.
I met a lot of the people whose photos I'd studied in Hunter Seat Equitation...
but I never met George Morris himself. 

This is probably just as well, since I'm sure I would have been much too intimidated to actually talk to him. Also, I strongly suspect he would not have been very impressed with my un-tucked, un-hairnetted self. Still, I owe the man a debt of gratitude for the part he played in my riding education. 

Now, thanks to Breyer and the Chronicle of the Horse, I can finally pay tribute in the way I do best: 1:9 scale.
Oh, I'm going to have so much fun with this!