Monday, November 30, 2020

November horses: Flynn, again

Between my finger injury, cold weather, the holiday and 2020 fatigue, I spent less time at the barn than usual at the this month.

Still, I enjoyed several good rides on Lucy, one fun ride on Thunder and a couple very spicy rides on Stealth.
I also rode Flynn multiple times.
He's a well trained, older horse, so the main purpose of our rides is to get him out and get him moving. We walk, trot and canter and do a little lateral work, nothing too exciting. Flynn's gaits are big and thrusty, and when I first started riding him, I couldn't sit his trot at all. That's getting better with each ride. Today, we did almost as much sitting trot as posting trot. 
Good boy, Flynn!
As much as I love going down the trail, it's nice having an arena horse in my life again. Flynn has been a wonderful addition to my real horse life. Despite everything, I feel so fortunate.

Sunday, November 29, 2020


One of my favorite - and most popular - photos from the May Shelter & Share Photo Challenge was Beep's Pony Parade scene.
I would have loved to have shown this one in the MIB Spooktacular Photo Show's LOL class or the Funny class at the Field of Dolls Online Show. Alas, neither was possible. Both shows prohibited photo shopping, and while the pony, doll and dog are untouched, Beep's giant base was carefully removed.
Today, I was sorting through a box of loose props and found Beep's Burger King bag. I decided that was a sign, so I reshot this photo. This time I used five pounds of kinetic sand to cover that base.
There isn't an LOL or Funny class at the Winter Fun Photoshow, but I assume there will be in another show at some point in the future. This time I will be ready. And if there's a halter class, well, I'll be ready for that, too.
I guess this is what not waiting until the last minute feels like. You know, I kind of like it!

It's a start

I haven't much felt like playing with my horses this weekend, but I did take one picture for the Winter Fun Photoshow today.

It's not much, but it's a start.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

We are thankful

Earlier this week, I asked the members of the Braymere Custom Saddlery Facebook page to tell me what they were thankful for in regards to the model horse hobby. This post is the happy result. Thank you to everyone who shared their words and pictures. I am thankful for all of you.

Erin Corbett: I am thankful for the hobby innovators this year. Kylee Parks and her consistent raising of the bar for online sales and overall customer service and artistic vision, Elizabeth LaRose and Lesli Kathman for launching PonyBytes - hopefully our solution to online photo shows that *isn't* smugmug, Anne Field and her live sales (that I haven't gotten to join!), Kat McDermott and the entire events team at Breyer who are doing their damnedest to bring us quality online events and content, Heather Malone and Jackie A Rossi for the MIB podcast and shows, always giving us something to look forward to. This has been a year of forced innovation, and these are the folks I see at the head of the ship. THANK YOU to each of them. Also, this Extrovert-Locked-Inside is SO grateful for the networks we've all built on social media. I'd have gone (farther) off the deep end without all my friends to find reasons to laugh with. ❤

Erin and Olive
Lynn Isenbarger: I am thankful to have enjoyed this hobby for decades and the friends I have made over the years of showing and collecting. Now as I get older, I am grateful to have at least one Pony Pal who loves horses and who has been known to pull a model off the shelf and ask me, "Grammy, can I have this when you're dead?"
Lynn's horse loving granddaughter
Heather Malone: I am thankful for Zoom so I can see and talk to my friends, and I am thankful we have all managed to stay close during this stress whirlwind. I would not make it with out them ❤
Heather's birthday party
Chris Wallbruch: The friendships, without question. Here’s a photo of Heather McCurdy and me doing a handoff amidst the pandemic.
Chris and Heather
Maddie Kelley Miller: Anyone can find dirt; it takes dedication to find gold! That being said, I'm thankful for my family's good health and the many "small" moments that turned out to be some of the highlights of this year! And of course the hobby: NaMoPaiMo, MEPSA championships, all the online photo shows have been amazing this year.
NaMoPainters 2020
Danielle Feldman: Grateful for the support of my mom when I was young to drive me to shows. Grateful to my husband for his support. Grateful for all my wonderful friends in the hobby. Grateful for the generosity of so many in the hobby to share their time and talents to bring us great events, great models, and to share their knowledge. Grateful for a creative outlet. Grateful for the competitive outlet, too!
One of Danielle's entries for the MIB Spooktacular Photo show
Lexie Lawrynovicz: Hobby-wise, I’ve been very grateful for the extra time I’ve had this year to be customizing/painting. My workbench is full of ponies in progress! This year has been so very stressful, but working on the model horses is a bit like riding the real ones for me.... in those moments, nothing else is on my mind. That has been a blessing in the midst of dealing with all of the very hard stuff.
Tamyzyn Revolta: Whilst I could absolutely rave about the friends I have made and fun experiences I have shared because of this hobby, I will share a slightly different story.
I am thankful for the poor decision I made that brought me to this hobby. I needed a temporary lodging after my rental contract expired, and I needed it to be short term. I moved in with a woman who was taking on a room mate in her own personal house (turned out to be a lie), to help pay off a (real) horse she bought. She ended up borrowing a lot of money from me that she couldn't pay back, but she did reignite my love for horses, and caused me to buy my first models since childhood! Since then I have been unstoppable, learning I could customise and repaint them, and I even took a few jabs at sculpting! I am eternally grateful for this hobby that has saved my sanity, and brought me friends the world over.
Tamzyn and friend
Angela Bonwitz: I am Thankful for the many friends that are FAMILY. Blessed that I wake up everyday to do the things I love. Grateful that I can share all that I have. Happy Thanksgiving.
Marci Smith Driscoll: I’m so grateful for our model horse hobby - it’s truly helped me stay sane in all of this. I’m thankful for the longtime friends I have in the hobby, and the new friends I’ve made in the past few months. While much of 2020 has been incredibly rough, it’s been an incredible year for me hobby-wise.
Marci's BreyerFest Diorama Contest entry
Nancy Timm: I am grateful for family and friends - and of course, horses!

Karen Lloyd: Starting last year and spilling over into most of this year too, I felt so overwhelmed from health issues and what has been a difficult absence of art mojo. The latter isn’t something I have experienced much in my life, and I’m so grateful to have the support of friends to help see me through the harder days - whether it’s being patient with how long a commission is taking, liking an art related Facebook post, or just being a kind ear when I need someone to drop the “everything is fine” front. The hobby has been a much needed happy distraction. With COVID limiting many activities - from concerts to physical therapy - one surprising plus to 2020 has been getting to enjoy more new models than I usually do in a year. One thing I’m especially thankful for is getting to participate in BreyerFest for the first time since my only time in 2008. I had so much fun chatting with friends throughout it and it ended up one of the highlights of the whole year for me. It was also a lesson in not to give up hope when I got a matte Benelli on the last round of the last day. He’s on my most favorite Breyer Traditional mold and it felt good to actually feel some joy again. 
Karen and Benelli
Elaine Lindelef: I am thankful for all the wonderful online tutorials and all the various digital ways we have been able to connect to each other this year. I have been able to significantly recommit to the hobby during this time and am returning to my roots as a maker. It is delightful to see what everyone else is doing and to share it back in return.
One of Elaine's entries for the MIB Spooktacular Photo Show
Danielle Dunn: I'm SUPER DUPER thankful for my dear friends and supportive family within this hobby. ❤ And I am beyond grateful for ~everyone~ who has supported me in my artistic journey in creating special model horses. And WAY too many people to name, but I am so thankful for the inspiration and kindness despite the craziness we're all experiencing. Another thing this year I'm thankful for not *quite hobby wise is my first horse, little colt named Chance. I created this *somewhat secret gift for the breeder of baby Chance. So here's the sum of why I love this hobby and why I can count my blessings! ❤
Danielle's custom baby Chance
Josie Burks: I’m thankful for Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig, Jennifer Scott and Kylee Parks and for each of them giving me the opportunity to work with them! I missed the hobby when I was on hiatus first due to college, then work, then kids. Working with the three of them has given me a way to stay involved without necessarily needing to find the time to paint. They also make the best friends!! ❤️❤️❤️
Stephanie Blaylock: I’m so grateful for my friends I’ve met through the hobby. The photo shows, social networking, and even the shopping from other hobbyists has been a life saver. Seriously... all of you guys are amazing. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without you guys.
One of Stephanie's entries for the Pandemic Performance Panorama
Lindsay Diamond: I am so eternally grateful for my hobby friends this year. They helped me through so much last year, and they’ve continued to be there for me this year, and I’ve been able to be there for those who needed it. The friendships I have formed are definitely the lifelong friendships that I cherish, ones that will last beyond any I have elsewhere. These people have become my family, and I could not be more grateful.
Lindsay and friends
Jody Hollenbeck: I am thankful for Ardith Carlton Nasa K-Muyo for creating the Vintage Custom census and for Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig for posting a vintage custom horse daily and sharing fascinating details about the horse and artists. This has made me appreciate my vintage customs so much! I am also thankful that I was able to retire this year instead of losing my job (which was the other option due to COVID). Now I will have more time to devote to my hobbies. I am also grateful for all my other model horse friends that have brought me joy this year.
Marilou Mol: I am thankful for my friends in the hobby who make even this year worthwhile!

Kim Brandner: I am thankful to have a wonderful family, health, a home with my horses in my backyard (or in the kitchen when my kids think that the pony need an apple or a carrot) and for the technology that makes it possible to FaceTime with my parents, family and friends. I‘m very grateful for our hobby community and we had this awesome hobby meeting this January. 💝
this really was an awesome hobby meeting
Diana Ruth Dubbeld: I am thankful for the support network of hobby friends who help each other out when we can. I can't wait till we can get back together again in person and the ensuing shenanigans that will bring.
Diana and friend
Heather Halewood: Despite the cancellations and huge disappointments this year has brought, there are several things that have happened to me and members of my family this year that outshine even the darkest of times. But model-wise, I’m thankful that I was able to buy a longtime grail of mine, Leonardo by Emilia Kurila. And I’m thankful that God has blessed my husband with a good job that allowed me to be a stay at home mom and work on my art and enjoy this hobby for so long. It’s the only way I would have been able to get to where I am today! I am thankful for the opportunity to own pieces by the fantastic artists in this hobby, I’m thankful to everyone who has purchased and loved my work, and I’m thankful for the ability to create artwork that brings joy to others. And I am thankful that Breyer, Peter Stone, and Copperfox are still going strong during all this mess!
Heather's gorgeous Lucius
Lauren Hoeffer: I'm thankful for all of my hobby friends (you know who you are!), as they are constant sources of inspiration. They keep me going when I might otherwise stop and give up. And even though we've been kept from attending physically, I'm thankful for each and every virtual event that has been offered. It's been a stiff learning curve and adjustment... but I think the hobby will ultimately be stronger for the effort show holders and event planners have put forth this year! 💖
Anita Poole: I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in Breyerfest this year, and the virtual Breyerfest Open Show, for the first time ever. I am also thankful to the judges who placed my models in Breyerfest Open and Equilocity, including a third place ribbon at Breyerfest for the oldest custom model in my collection in an open (non-vintage) customs class. Meet Ricatez, Araloosa filly customized by Kathy Wells in 1974!!
Anita's beautiful baby
Melissa Riley: I’m thankful for NaMoPaiMo. It may be the single most important thing keeping me from leaving the hobby. Every year I try a new color and always come away learning something new and gain confidence. I’m also glad to have discovered photo shows are apparently still a thing. I used to photo show ten or fifteen years ago. And now with a lack of live shows near me even without the pandemic I have found an outlet to show. Now I just need to research the real horse world that I also haven’t been invested in for the last ten-ish years.

Karen Malcor-Chapman: I’m thankful for my “Wall of Wonder”... 55+ years of collecting, and this is my first purpose-built display to show my collection! I am loving being able to really SEE my models!
Karen's Wall of Wonder
Robin E. Smith: I am so thankful for the many friends I have made in this hobby. Even though we only see each other once a year at BreyerFest, we are always there for each other - for support, venting, congratulations, enabling, etc.

Judy Ulmer: All the great friends and all the new attempts to further my hobby.
Judy's regalia entry
Leila Mohseni: I’m grateful for the wonderful friends I have met through this hobby 💜
Leila and friends
Danielle Hart: All the wonderful artists with talent so far off the charts and wonderful people in the hobby. I’ve spent more money on so many pretty things this year being quarantined. I love supporting our hobby. Jennifer Bray Buxton I get to at least hop on Facebook daily to link to your blog and know all of the current awesomeness in the hobby. I am thankful for your talents, kindness and sincere dedication to blogging.

I am thankful

 Well, it's Thanksgiving. In 2020.

It's been a long, hard year dominated by the ongoing corona virus pandemic. 
Since the first stay-at-home orders were issued in March, the whole world has turned upside down. More than twelve million Americans have contracted COVID-19. Two hundred sixty thousand of them have died. Countless others have lost their jobs, their homes and their health care. The summer was filled with protests, and the fall brought us a deeply divisive election. It's been a year filled with disease, death, anger, chaos and so many cancellations.

Still, I am thankful.

I am thankful for my family, both near and far. I am thankful for our health and for Seth's good job, which he can do safely from home. I am thankful for my kids, who - despite everything - are doing so well in college and life.
I am thankful for these two good dogs. They bring so much love and laughter to our home.
I am thankful for all the horses that have taken me down the trail or around a ring, but especially Lucy, Stealth and Flynn. Together they have done wonders for my physical health and emotional well being.
I thankful for my barn friends, who make the best part of my day that much better. Truly, I don't know how I'd have made it through this year without our rides together.
Of course, I am thankful for all my other friends, most of whom I haven't seen lately.
When this is over, we're going to have the biggest party. It's going to be so amazing. I can not wait.
Finally, I am thankful for the model horse hobby, which provides me with so much. Truly, I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful community of horse lovers, artists and friends. 
Thank you to everyone who's been a part of my life in 2020. It's been a tough year. I wouldn't want to live through it again, but I am still thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The continuing adventures of Little Elecktra

I've found another great photo show to enter, but before I start taking pictures for that, I have a few more Little Elecktra photos to attend to.

Elecktra's had a busy stay in Colorado. Last weekend, she attended a show with the Theodore, Peanut Gallery and the rest of the Braymere crew. She showed three horses in showmanship. Two of them did well. 
Then there was Beethoven.
This week, Elecktra has spent a lot of time working with the babies. 
Squee's halter training is coming along nicely. 
Poor little orphan, Uno, has really been missing his mama, so sometimes Elecktra naps with him after their training sessions.
Earlier today, the Chronicle of the Horse ran an article about camel riding. Of course, that meant it was time to break out Iamafam.
After that, things got a little crazy. Someone saddled up Emerald, and Elecktra made it a three species riding day.
That went well...
so Elecktra put on a helmet (which she should have been wearing anyway) and popped Emerald over a few small jumps.
Thank you, Anne (and Lynn!), for sending Elecktra to Braymere. It's been really great having her here!