Friday, October 25, 2019

Degree of difficulty, part one

The first time I met Hanna Bear was at A Midwinter Night's Ball in January 2018.
I was judging performance and couldn't help but notice this kid with nice horses, 
really great tack... 
and not much of anything else. 
Her entries were very clean and attractive, but also very spare. She didn't use a single doll, and except for a few dioramas, her set-ups were extremely minimalist.
She earned few good ribbons, and her Brona was Reserve Champion of the English division. Still, it had to have been a long day for her. It was clear she had the talent, but she wasn't quite ready for that level of competition.

Before the weekend was over, I made a point of seeking her out so I could give her a pep talk. 

"I don't want you to be discouraged," I told her, "Your tack is amazing and it's clear that you understand how to set up a performance entry. If you want to be really competitive, you're going to need to raise the degree of difficulty. You're so close, but you really need to give me a little bit more."

A year and a half later, Hanna came to the Jennifer Show, and it was clear she had taken my advice to heart. Every single one of her entries was robust, interesting and amazing.
photo by Elaine Lindelef
photo by Elaine Lindelef
photo by Elaine Lindelef
photo by Elaine Lindelef
There were dolls.
photo by Elaine Lindelef
There were dioramas.
photo by Elaine Lindelef
There were extras galore.
There are many who feel that the top levels of performance showing have become unattainable to newcomers, but clearly that does not apply to Hanna Bear. Look how far she's come in less than two years!
Yesterday evening, I reached out to Hanna and asked if she could give me a few quotes for this post. She agreed, but in true overachieving Hanna fashion, those few quotes turned into an entire guest post. It's coming up next, and I know you're going to want to read it.


  1. Dare I say it: As if I could be more pleased that I have a Hanna (Arnold) Bear saddle.

  2. I am agog at the fantastic setups Hanna presented... ESPECIALLY the dolls! Such fabulous posing! Does she make her own tack because it's awesome, too?

  3. I just noticed she switched out hands on dolls for closed, open, and gloved versions. Incredible attention to detail!