Saturday, October 31, 2020

October horses: Flynn, Stealth and Sophia

A little more than two months ago, Flynn's owner had a beautiful baby girl. Mother and daughter are doing well, and Becca is back in the saddle.
Happily, this hasn't meant the end of my time with Flynn. I'm still riding him two mornings a week.
Monday is one of my Flynn days, so every week starts like this.
After I'm done with Flynn, I'm usually joined by my friend, Marie's ten year old daughter.
With Stealth's help, I've been introducing Sophia to riding.
We've been working on the basics, mostly at a walk.
It's been fun for both of us. 
While I've been teaching Sophia about riding, she's been teaching me about Star Stable!
Sophia is now ready to move on to a better teacher with a steadier school horse. I'm looking forward to watching her progress, but I will miss our Mondays together.

Friday, October 30, 2020

The great indoors, part two

 The next show on my calendar is the Field of Dolls Online Show.

Unlike the Pandemic Performance Panorama or the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show, this is a standard, three section (Other/English/Western) performance show with a handful of fun classes. Realistic backgrounds are not required, but I know that as much as I love the look of a whiteboard entry, most performance judges prefer an arena setting. Several years ago, I built an indoor arena backdrop. I used it for a while, but eventually, I got tired of setting it up and tearing down. It got packed away, and I went back to white board.
Earlier this year, I spent a week cleaning and rearranging my basement. This allowed to set up a dedicated photo table. Since I no longer have to set up or tear down after every shoot, I decided it was time to bring back the indoor arena.
The arena wall was in good shape, but the fence had warped badly. 
I made a new one, and Wren chased away the spiders.
Good as new.
Now I am ready to take photos for the Field of Dolls Online Show. Woo hoo!

MIB Spooktacular performance - consistency

I entered all four divisions of the Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show, but Performance - Consistency was the basket in which I put most of my eggs. Instead of relying on old pictures, I took ten brand new photos specifically tailored for each class

My strategy worked.
It's hard to beat an actual sliding scale in a class called "Sliding Scale."
Love N Stuff is one of my oldest and dearest resins. I am so glad her performance debut was a good one. Thank you to the Mares in Black for holding this show and to Erin Corbett for judging. From beginning to end, I had a great time!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Show me something new

In a guest post dated June 20, 2009, Teresa Buzzell wrote this in regards to the abundance of Egg and Spoon entries at that year's NAN.

This pretty much sums up my view of Egg and Spoon performance entries. I have seen so many of them over the years. So, so, so many of them. I'll place them if they're deserving, but I won't be excited about it. 
Not going to lie, I've done it, too. This is Dun Up Purdy's games class entry at Wild Wild West 2007.
I've also watched and photographed a lot of real horse Egg and Spoon classes, including one this past Saturday at the Halloween barn party.
We have all seen enough egg and spoon photos, so I wasn't planning to inflict these pictures on anyone outside the Kenlyn circle. That changed when I saw some of the entries. There was a lead line entry...
and a driving entry.
Both of these were pretty interesting.
But not as interesting as this.
Tessa competed with the spoon in her mouth rather than her hands. It was epic.
But it didn't last long. 
In the end, top honors went to Jane on Chief. It's hard to beat a good rider on a gaited horse in an Egg and Spoon class.
I would not cry if the model horse hobby retired its Egg and Spoon class entries forever, but if you're going to do it, please try to make it interesting. Show me something new!

MIB Spooktacular fun division

The Mares in Black Spooktacular Photo Show had four divisions, two of which (Halter and Performance - Specialist) were judged on Saturday. Results for the Performance - Consistency and Fun divisions were posted Sunday. Today, I'm once again following Anne Field's lead and focusing on the Fun division.

The first class was "Look Ma, Photoshop!" Since my photoshopping skills are rudimentary at best, I didn't enter this one. The next class was "House Pets." I do have those, so I entered several pictures. This almost five year old shot of my bad cat, Gary, was the winner.
My "Dog Days" photo from the Shelter & Share Photo Challenge placed second.
"Wildin' Out" was the third class in the Fun division. I assumed this was a class for wild animals, so I entered a picture of Jose and Precious. Other people interpreted it differently and entered horses returning to their wild roots. In retrospect, I think that was a better option. Still, this was good enough for sixth.
On to "Barn Love!" I entered four pictures in this class, two old and two new.
The old ones did better, placing third (Tucker) and sixth (Gizette).
"LOL" was another multi-entry class, all of which came from the Shelter & Share Photo Challenge. "Spring Scene" placed fourth... 
and "Hoarders, Buried Alive" was fifth.
The next class was "Colorific." Again, I entered a mix of old and new entries, and again, the old ones did better. "On Wednesday We Wear Pink" was third...
and Jose's Pride month set-up placed fifth.
I almost skipped "Conga Bo Bongo," but Bobbie talked me into entering Dagobert's pandemic conga photo. That was a good call. It placed second.
The Mares in Black class was next. I was so sure I was going to win this one, I wrote an entire post about my entry. Instead, I had to settle for second. Pride goes before a fall and all that. The winning entry was really excellent.
The ninth class, "Spooky Kooky," was - to my surprise - my single best class in the entire show. Bubbles won first place with my brand new Infinity Breyers Co spider costume and Laura Skillern tarantulas.
and Snickers' Halloween candy corn photo was third.
The next class - "Scary Larry" - was also the last. I own a... horse... with that name and he would have been perfect for this event. Unfortunately, I just ran out of time. Maybe next year!
Even though my old photos did better than my new photos, I was quite pleased with my placings in this division. The fun classes really were fun! Thank you, Cynthia Wyatt Briley for judging and congratulations to all the winners.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Almost wordless Wednesday

Here are some more pictures from the costume contest at Saturday's Halloween barn party. Enjoy!

Beamer and G
Beamer's heart
Beamer
Chino and Leni
Chino's sparkles
Chino's butt
Dango's butt
Ernie and Jo Anna
Jo Anna and Ernie's matching feet
Muscatella with the Fisher family
Gandalf and Pam
Gypsy and Maeve
Lucy
Mikey as Harry Potter
Mikey's glasses
Mikey
Olaf
Olaf
Samson the lion and Joanie the lion tamer
Samson's ears
Samson's "paws"
Stone
Stone
Mary Jo and Scarlett
Scarlett's tail extensions