Tuesday, November 24, 2020

NaMoPaiMo benefit medallions

Speaking of medallions, I've been holding out on you. I have in my possession two drop dead gorgeous painted Michelangelos.
The sooty palomino was finished by Tiffany Purdy.
The dapple grey comes from Tracy (Eilers) Calamar.
As much as I would love to keep them, both of these will be offered for sale in the next week or two with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to NaMoPaiMo. We have a lot of great things planned for NaMoPaiMo 2021. Thank you, Tiffany and Tracy, for your continued support of NaMoPaiMo.

Monday, November 23, 2020


I have a complicated relationship with medallions. 

Between the Jennifer Shows, NaMoPaiMo and the Pandemic Performance Panorama, I've had literally thousands of medallions pass through my hands in the last five years. I loved so many of them. I love the artistry and variety and how they've expanded the market for our hobby's sculptors and painters. I love seeing them on show tables, both as entries and as prizes. Basically, I just love them.

That said, I don't usually feel the need to own them. 

Of course, there are exceptions.

This is the Bones version of Melanie Miller's new Uldrik 457 medallion. Inside the translucent, glittery resin there are 3D printed bones. I don't know how she did this. It is amazing and gorgeous.
Although it's flat, the backside is just as cool. 
Maybe cooler.
I don't buy a lot of medallions, but I am so glad I bought this one. Congratulations, Mel. You have absolutely outdone yourself. I love my bone horse.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Riding a Breyer horse

Have you ever dreamed of riding a Breyer horse? I think most of us probably have, but this year, professional rider and longtime hobbyist, Christine Jordan made that dream come true. Here's the story of how that came to be. Thank you, Christine, for taking us along for the ride!

Riding Avatar's Jazzman

by Christine Jordan

So, we all know about Breyer Model Horses' Avatar's Jazzman, the versatile Morgan. 
Here's a  fun little fact; back in 2016, I got a text from Lauren Chumley about coming to break a baby dressage horse to saddle. I knew next to nothing about her, aside from that she lived near another job of mine. The young warmblood was an easy one, but I learned a lot about Lauren and her program in the following weeks. Namely, she took in all kinds of horses. Her barn had your standard warmbloods and Thoroughbreds, but it also had Fjords, ponies, and a little Morgan gelding. In the tack room, there were multiple articles up on the walls and the fridge about him, Avatar's Jazzman, the Morgan who competed in Grand Prix dressage and eventing!

Heather was still fairly new to Breyer then, but I remember talking with her about what kinds of horses Breyer was looking to make into portraits. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, so I mentioned Jazzman. Unfortunately, I was certain he needed to be on the Flash mold, and that had just been used for Cobra. I brought him up a lot in the next few years, just in case. Then, lo and behold, last December, I saw he was in the lineup! I was starting some two year olds for Lauren so we were finally able to celebrate. 

Fast forward to this spring. I was restarting the now three year olds, and made a joking comment about possibly riding Jazzman, so I could say I had ridden a Breyer. Lauren said yes. Fast forward some more, to me finally remembering to make a time. She was done showing until Florida, and we were both available the next day  (Thursday, November 5th), so we made an appointment. I showed up in my gear, and he was all ready to go. Keep in mind, he is a whole 14.2 hh and I'm 5'10” when you see how silly I look on him. I went to get on and he was off before I sat in the tack. Jazz is apparently always on a mission. I warmed up a bit, trotting around, doing some figures. I didn't get a lot of direction at that point, so I just did what I would do with any other horse. Lauren finished her lesson and we went outside. I cantered a bit and she told me to jump the little cavaletti. I was ready for some big effort...and he quietly cantered over it. I am so used to jumping green horses, I forgot how normal ones jump. Hahaha. She set up another jump. We went over it, raised it, repeat. It wasn't a long ride, by any means, but it was a lot of fun to ride the bold little guy. 
After the ride, we went back in the barn and talked. I asked if she was planning to have Meg Kepferle do a clinic at her place, and she said she was doing one that Saturday at Bucks County Horse Park. I do not have a horse that could go cross country and said so, and she pointed at Jazz and said, “You can take him.” Well. Let's just say I gave her an enthusiastic yes. 

I got there early on Saturday and excitedly helped tack up my mount. We went out to the field and warmed up. Jazzman was a different horse than I had ridden in the farm. He was READY,  but in a good way. We popped over a small course to start, and I started to figure him out. 
We did another course and in the video, I hear Lauren say he was going Prelim speed. I only heard Meg tell me to steady the pace at the time. We jumped a ramp, then arced around to another one, to two rolltops and a stair. 
In the video, I heard the conversation that happened after I took a flyer at the second ramp. Let's just say, I thought it was a nice distance, Jazz took it in stride, and I scared Meg a little. Lauren laughed. It was fine.
We jumped some more logs, rails, a ditch. We led a green horse over the ditch and she jumped it great! We did a sort of coffin without a ditch, we usually refer to the set as the Rollercoaster jumps. 
Then we did the water. We started by just cantering through, something I have not done in ages. And if you had any doubts about the suitability of Flash as a Morgan, look at this photo.
We jumped a jump, went through the water, and I got to do the down bank. 
I had such a great time. Avatar's Jazzman is such an honest horse, and I think he enjoyed himself as well. I am so thankful that Lauren gave me the opportunity to ride him. And I would do it again if I could. He's a sweetheart and so bold, you hardly have to do anything. Well, I had to hold him back a little, haha. He definitely loves cross country! That pretty much wraps up my experiences riding Avatar's Jazzman; pony, dressage star, jumping machine and Breyer horse. It's an experience I will always remember!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hired hands

Anne Field's Little Elecktra doll is touring the United States, one hobbyist at a time. She's currently here with me, so I put her to work in my photos for the Field of Dolls Online Show. She handled Theodore in a Draft Horse Showmanship class,

guided him around barrels in Draft Horse Barrel Racing...
Speaking of George, he's not mine either.
He was dressed by Anne, and belongs to Teresa Buzzell.
Earlier this year, I asked Teresa to borrow her blue saddleseat doll. She leant me that one, plus all her others.
Even though I have plenty of Western dolls, it's fun having some new options. I like how George looks on Theodore, so he rode him in all but one of his Western classes.
He also donned the ugly Christmas sweater for the Regalia class.
I used my own dolls for English, except Navah Joe's male handler. That's another one of Teresa's!
Even a performance shower with a stash as deep as mine can benefit from generous friends. Thank you, Anne and Teresa. It was really fun working with your crew for this show!


This was mostly a vehicle for sharing photos from the Halloween barn party, but it's possible that I got a little bit ranty about my lack of love for this kind of boring, low effort set-up.
Those words came back to haunt me as I was working my way through the class list for the Field of Dolls Online Show. As per usual, I waited much too long to start taking pictures. By the time I got to Western Games, I was really tired. I thought, "I'll just set up Egg and Spoon and call it good." Then I remembered.

So instead of a quick, easy Egg and Spoon entry, I went through my files and found something a little more interesting.
I do like this better, but wow, it took a long time to set up.
The same thing happened again when I go to the English Games class. By this point, I was really, really tired, and I had some long, wistful thoughts about Egg and Spoon - so simple, so easy, so hypocritical! It was so tempting, but I just could not bring myself to do it. Instead, I sighed and tacked up a second horse. Here's Theodore and Navah Joe competing in a Three Legged Race.
I now feel like I have done my penance for that snotty post. Next time, if I want to and I'm really tired, I'm going to use that Egg and Spoon!

Burning the midnight oil

It took me literally all night, but I managed to squeeze Theodore into seventeen of the Field of Dolls Online Show's eighteen performance classes. There a few pictures I'd like to reshoot, but on the whole, I'm pleased with my efforts.

Now excuse me while I go pass out!

Friday, November 20, 2020


Today is Mary Jo's seventieth birthday. She'd hoped to celebrate in style, but 2020 has made that impossible. Instead, she went riding with Karen and I.

It was just a normal ride. It was bright but chilly, with gusting winds.
We didn't see the eagles.
We didn't see the hawks.
We didn't even see Big Daddy Buck.
Still, it was a good ride.
Happy birthday, Mary Jo. I hope I am half as bad ass as you when I'm your age!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Photo showing is hard

The formula for performance success is pretty simple: Enter all the classes and make sure all your entries are good. This was my plan for the Field of Dolls Online Show, but things have gone awry. There have been worries, injuries and distractions. Now I'm down to less than thirty six hours, and I do not have a single horse entered in half the classes, let alone all of them. I don't like doing things halfway, so I was tempted to throw in the towel.

Anne's show has so many prizes, and not just for the champions. This is very motivating to me, so I have spent the last many hours slowly staging and shooting performance photos.
Strangely, most of my efforts have been concentrated on the Original Finish division. My new Yuletide Greetings draft - now named Theodore - has almost a full set of Western pictures.
On the other end of the size spectrum, my North Light pony, Peanut Gallery, is earning his keep in the Other Performance classes.
Little Elecktra has taken over his handler duties.
I'm not sure this is what she had in mind when she decided to come to Colorado!
Progress is very slow right now, and I am fighting for every picture. There's no way I will enter all the classes, but I do think all my entries will be good. For this show, that's as good as I can do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Collection creep

It started with model horses. Of course, the horses needed tack and riders and barns and jumps and other show ring type obstacles. Other animals started making appearances. And food. I tried to limit myself to things you'd find in a barn or at a horse show, but that only worked for so long. At this point my model horse collection has turned into a 1:9 scale collection. Here are some of the newest arrivals.

The chair and pet bed were made by Terri Wright of Priam Costumes.
I've admired Terri's chairs for years, so I jumped on a recent commission spot. This is the happy result.
Once it was done, I asked if she could make a matching pet bed. She could!
This group of items came from Carol. 
The soccer ball and clothes pins are self explanatory, but the cookie cutter and tiny cloth bag left me with questions.
Do I use this for its intended purpose or should I prime and paint it and put it in my tiny hobby room?
These are (apparently) Guatemalan worry puppets, but I think they look like tiny voodoo dolls. Do my dolls need voodoo dolls? 
Finally, there's Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Guy. Facebook marketed this to me last summer. I resisted then, but changed my mind after seeing Dani Youdris' Tube Guy in the Pandemic Performance Panorama and MIB Spooktacular Photo Show.
I'm glad I did. He's a lot of fun and will be perfect for the desensitization clinic photo I have in mind.
So many new things, and only one is horse shaped.
Thank you, Terri and Carol, plus Anne for being an enabler. Now I'm going to excuse myself and go play with my toys.