Friday, December 10, 2010

New Dressage Bridle

In my previous post I mentioned a new browband I had made that needed a bridle to go with it. Since it was black and had silver hardware, I went ahead with a dressage bridle. But I really went all out on this bridle - a total of 16 tongue buckles! I also am pleased with how the noseband turned out. This mold has a long face, which is perfect for a big, padded noseband.

A close up of the browband:

Now that I look at the photos, I think I need to add some small silver conchos to the browband for a more "finished" look. It looks a bit blunt on the ends.

Now I need to make a dressage saddle to go with this bridle. Perfect time to revamp some patterns. I have set a new standard with this bridle and now the saddle has to live up to that! I've been putting off revising patterns - it is such tedious work, sometimes I just want to MAKE something, not putz around with patterns and redoing pieces over and over again. But alas, I need to just do it and get it over with. In the end, it will be worth it (at least I hope!).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Good Intentions

A few days ago, I had decided I was going to make a stallion tack set for the Cleveland Bay mold. I wanted to try a new technique for a browband. But I only had so much brown leather, so I didn't want to practice with it. Then, I didn't have any gold hardware for the browband. SO, I decided my first attempt would be with black leather and silver hardware (Cleveland Bay tack needs to be brown with gold hardware). It ended up, though, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out and I couldn't just leave it there all alone. So I ended up making this instead:

It still needs some more keepers and some reins. Hopefully I'll get around to making that Cleveland Bay tack! Funny how making one little thing can lead to a completely different tack piece than originally intended!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diffusing Anger

Yesterday I experienced one of the very few times that I nearly lost my temper. The only other time I can think of was nearly three years ago. The details of the reason is not too important, other than I was at work and my tolerance level for a particular coworker not "pulling his weight" is nearly at its max.

But, I knew that I could not lose my temper at work and in front of other coworkers, so I walked away and started thinking of something that I could focus my attention on - otherwise I would have continued to "brew" over the situation, and that, my friends, is never good. The slightest mishap or annoyance could lead to an eruption of pent up anger.

I originally wanted to go over to the art museum that is across the street from the building I work in, but construction has closed down the main entrance, and I needed something to diffuse my anger FAST.

The next best thing that can focus my attention more than anything is... (drumroll, please) model horses! I grabbed a chai tea latte (my favorite indulgence) and my laptop and headed to a secluded place where I could peruse the pages of MH$P and model horse blab, mindlessly. A few minutes later, and I was back to normal.

It was amazing how model horses can really take my mind off stressful and even angering situations. I think that's why I love spending my evenings, after working in lab all day, involving myself in model horses in some way or another. Whether it be actually making tack (I have had no energy for such tedious and focused tasks until very recently), fixing and looking at photos of my collection, or browsing the web, I can just relax and unwind from the day.

I'm grateful to have this outlet in my life, right now. I haven't really been taking custom orders after the NAN and Breyer WEG project deadlines, so it is not nearly as stressful as it was. This is my hobby, so it shouldn't be stressful! Yet sometimes I find myself stressing about orders not being finished in time or looking the way they should, or even not being able to get that unannounced special run from Breyer. But I just need to treat it as my happy outlet, not something to get all worked up about!

On another note, I hope to have some actual photos of work put up soon! I've gotten back to the work table the last few nights and some interesting things have arisen, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lost mail...

Last week I found out that a package I sent nearly two weeks before never arrived to it's destination. I packaged it all up really well and sent it first class. I have never had a problem with lost packages before, but unfortunately I had not insured or tracked this one. Well I sure learned my lesson now! Maybe the post office does this every once in a while so you buy the added insurance/tracking. So now I am making another Saddlebred showmanship bridle this week for the original buyer. Hopefully it will turn out just like this one:

I also decided to start a presentation set for the Cleveland Bay mold. Hopefully I'll have some more pics up this weekend!

Monday, November 1, 2010

more WEG photos

Well I've started to go back through my photos from WEG and cropping/fixing them again. My mom has also sent me her 800+ photos on a disc as well, so I will have to take a look at those and put some good posts together!

Today I just have this one photo that I thought looked really familiar to me for some reason... :

Look familiar to anyone else? It hit me that the horse's pose is nearly exactly that of Morgen Kilbourn's Hazel resin (opposite legs)!

The info on this particular model can be found at this link.

Pretty cool, I thought! More to come soon!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Broken Links

Well in the midst of trying to organize all my photos and clear space on my hard-drive, I managed to confuse the hell out of Picasa and Picasa Web albums. It looks like I've broken lots of links to photos as well as made whole albums disappear, doh! So just bare with me here as I figure this stuff out. Hopefully I'll have it all sorted out by the weekend... In the meantime, here is another driving series that I managed not to delete. I had hoped to do a showjumping one, but those pictures are somewhere in la-la land....

This is a different obstacle that I had a great view of. The team is Jimmy Fairclough from the US. I tried to just keep clicking through the whole routine so you can get an idea of just how long and intricate these obstacles are. The person in the middle of the cart is the navigator. They have a tough job of knowing exactly where the team needs to turn and when. They also need to give the driver ample time to be able to guide his horses in time. We saw one US team miss lots of their turns in the water obstacle. Having to go around the entire thing to get through one opening after you've missed it adds a lot of time. Look at all the different gaits and poses these horses have - lots of performance ideas!

I made them into a slideshow - I think it is more fun to click through them then have to scroll down through them.

(If you click on the slideshow, it will take you to the web album where you can see the photos bigger)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WEG - Marathon Driving

I couldn't believe how much fun the marathon driving was too watch! It was so intense and incredible to watch four horses navigate a cart through such tiny pathways. I took this series of photos of one entrant doing the obstacle. They have to go a certain way through each of the openings and as fast as they can.

Here they are coming in:

and heading to their first obstacle:

up through the middle of it:

and back around.

Here you can see the entrant name and his current time:

Coming around the other side

and getting ready..

for the plunge!

they are even still in unison!


The guy on the back is there to steady the cart and keep it from flipping over.

and on their way out!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

World Equestrian Games

Edit 10/15/10: this is a post where I have accidentally broken the picture links, hold tight, I'll get them back soon!

So much fun! I got to watch para-dressage, vaulting, showjumping, and marathon driving. I had never seen any of the events except jumping, so it was really interesting. I have nearly 1000 photos to go through - large SD cards make it much too easy to be trigger happy. It'll take me awhile to go through all these and post the good ones. Lots of interesting stuff to post - I'll get there! For now, here are a few shots of Hickstead from Friday night, which qualified him for the final 4. Look at that bit-age! That did not look like an easy horse to ride - it was really fun to watch the other riders take a shot at riding him!

Monday, October 4, 2010

WEG worries

Whenever a big trip is coming up, I feel more stressed out about it trying to wrap everything up before leaving. It has been insane in lab - I worked all weekend to get this project nearly finished before leaving. I know if I leave it hanging I'll have a hard time relaxing in Kentucky. I really haven't gotten too much done with tack these last few months. I haven't taken any orders since the Breyer Diorama project, I've just been playing around, making stuff I've been wanting to make for the last few months! These pieces have actually been finished for awhile, I just finally got the 'ole photo tent out to get some decent shots of it - such a pain!

These are available for sale on MH$P (click for link to sales page):

I'm hoping the Breyer store won't be sold out of all the SR's by the time I get there. Thanks to some fellow hobbyists, I got the re-issue of Big Ben picked up just before he was sold out - definitely have to add him to the conga!

I also got Wimpy's Little Chic from someone who said they had an extra, just had to pay a "pick-up" fee. The others I'm hoping to still get are the Autograph Cleveland Bay, Gold Raven, and Woodburn. Maybe Cedric... Unfortunately I am an avid OF collector, so the WEG Diorama model will most likely be staying with me for awhile. So while I won't recoup the cost of supplies and time for that tack set for Breyer, I do get an amazing model to add to my collection. I might have to rethink my decision to not do the Breyerfest Open Show next year... I know it's been awhile since blogging, so the set for Breyer I'm talking about is this one:

I'll blog about this set at a later date. I don't think the general public can see this diorama, I believe it is in the "media room" which is quite unfortunate! I really wanted to see this in person! Maybe if I'm really nice to the security there.. and the model I'm talking about is this one:

This model hasn't arrived yet, though, these is just a "promo" pic. So I'm growing quite impatient, LOL! Well that's all for now, I gotta catch this bus to school so I can slave away in lab for the day!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NAN 2010 Donation Complete!

I have completed my donation item for NAMHSA's 15th Anniversary Party! I have created a huntseat set to fit Palouse. It includes a bridle, saddle, girth, and saddlepad finished in a dark brown (cordovan) dye. The bridle features a full cheek snaffle bit with bit keepers, tongue buckles, leather raised browband and noseband, leather laced reins and is fully adjustable. The saddle is built like a real saddle with adjustable stirrup leathers, cast stirrups with stirrup pads and has a very correct shape over the withers. The girth has elastic on both ends for a snug and even fit. This set is sure to bring in the ribbons! It is extremely realistic and performance friendly. In order to reach a larger audience for this item, I decided that I will allow the winner of this set the option to swap out the bridle and girth for one that fits another mold of their choice if they wish to do so.

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

From NAN 2010 Raffle Donation

Check out NAMHSA's website for more information on how to get tickets for this item:

Also visit their group on Facebook for the most up to date info: NAMHSA on Facebook

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Project Tandem Harness: Completed!

Well, 100+ hrs of work, 52 buckles, 2 Palouse models, and over $200 in hardware alone, I am finally finished with this tandem harness!
Luckily, Squidly arrived just in time for the photo shoot!
Unfortunately, I didn't notice until I went to put the crupper on him that he has an attached tail! Normally, with attached tails, I would split the crupper and then "sticky wax" it to the sides of the tail at the base to give the illusion that it went underneath. But, for this order, the horse it really will go on does not have an attached tail - so just ignore that the crupper is sitting on top of the tail in all of these photos!!
Here they are together - this is a tandem harness, where one horse is front of the other, as opposed to side by side in a pairs hitch.
Here is the leader bridle.

This order is meant for a specific time period, so the bridle has an overcheck, or more commonly called a bearing rein. When used correctly, they are not a cruel device as depicted in Black Beauty. Today, they are set up just a little differently.
The wheeler bridle needs "Roger rings" on the sides of his bridle so the reins from the leader can pass through. I'm also super happy about the way these face drops turned out.
This is how it looked in a previous harness I made. You can see that it is more rounded, flat, and has no stitch markings! A massive improvement if I do say so myself!

Overall, this harness is much more detailed and really forced me to research what I was creating so it would be as accurate as possible. Each harness I make has had major improvements. Although this harness took me MUCH longer than I was anticipating, I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and I hope my customer will as well! You can see the full album here: Blue Diamond Tack - 2010 Orders Posted by Picasa