Tuesday, April 28, 2015

QVPO 2015 part 2

As promised, here are the results of my showing in the sporthorse, English and costume divisions at QVPO last Saturday. The competition was fierce in almost every class (I may have to edit these posts once the results are out with the class counts) and every ribbon received was exciting.
   My first class in the sporthorse division was Jumper. I have screwed up Jumper in the past. Many times. I have forgot boots, my jump flags, put the horse too close or too far from the jump, etc. Jumper is not really a hard class for me to mess up! For this class I just had one horse showing. This is McQueen wearing tack made by Jennifer Buxton. I made the doll and the jump. We managed 4th place in this competitive class.
The next class was Hunter/Handy Hunter. I move McQueen and his jump to the next ring, took off the boots (I remembered!) and used fewer flowers with the jump.I was incredibly happy with second place.
I also showed my custom Stone pony Halestorm in Hunter/Handy hunter. She is wearing tack by Pat Coulter, a doll by me and that amazing jump was made by Marci Dricoll.  For that entry we got 4th place.
The next class was dressage. Originally I had planned on showing both McQueen and Halestorm in dressage but I only have one set of dressage rails and while I could have borrowed some more I thought it would be easier to just show the one horse. So Halestorm went in the class and I agonized over it. Many years ago I never even considered showing dressage. It's extremely technical and I just didn't think I could handle it. My friend Marisa Evans taught me about dressage and helped me set up for the class with an OF Strapless. Before that day I really didn't know that lower level or training level were a thing and that I didn't need dressage tack etc. Well fast forward to QVPO 2015. I put Halestorm in dressage and I fiddled and moved things a tiny bit and then back and triple checked the documentation, put the bridle number on and remembered to take the back number off the doll...and then I left it alone.
When I saw the first place ribbon I grabbed my cell phone, texted a picture to Marisa (who was sick and couldn't come to the show). I asked her if she was proud and she said she was. I have done well in dressage before now but doing well with my pony is sort of a new thing. We had a rough start. We did finally start to do well but it took several shows and a lot of changes to get there.
   Next were the sporthorse division callbacks and I didn't get any rosettes but that's OK. I was at this point having a great time and was feeling pretty zen about showing. Not something that always happens at a performance show.
   Onto the English division! Here again was the start of showing 3 entries in a class. Stress! But only a bit of stress. I put Fabian's horse, King of Sarrow,  in my awesome side saddle tack made by Jennifer Buxton with a doll made by me and fudged my side saddle game documentation so I could use it with a cantering horse. This photos is included just to show off my beautiful Braymere side saddle tack some more since I did a whole post on Fabian's horse the other day.
I also showed Caramel Latte in tack made by Jennifer Buxton and we did musical stalls for the game. Very pleased with second place!
Halestorm also did a game. She was doing a Candy Race. I made all the tiny candy and the documentation with photos I took at a show last summer. It's a cute game but not always exciting depending on the competition. Still, I was not displeased with 4th place.
Next was Other English and everyone went in the class again. King of Sorrow did a side saddle riding lesson (check out the other blog post for a pic), Caramel Latte did a versatility challenge and Halestorm did a therapeutic riding set-up. Caramel Latte got 4th and Halestorm didn't place in that one. My dolls were sort of wonky though.
My written notes say that Caramel Latte was supposed to be in natural trail but I think I scratched her from that since I didn't want to change the doll. So next was arena trail, another 3 horse class but since I was stressing a bit I pulled King of Sarrow from that. I had the needed NAN card so I didn't feel awful about it. Caramel Latte did a rope gate and earned fourth plac. Halestorm didn't place in this one either.

I had no one to go in pleasure-sport type but all the horses went in pleasure-other type. Halestorm got first
Caramel Latte got second
and King of Sarrow got third! Holy cow! I don't think I have ever managed something like that before. It was pretty cool. Then it was time for the callback. Caramel Latte ended up with champion in the English division! I was very happy with that! 
Next was costumes. I put Hurricane Deck in Indian costume and he got second place.It was the largest Indian costume class I have seen in awhile. It's good that people are getting into some of the more specialized classes.
Next was Arabian costume and I had two entries. Time Lord went in with this showring style costume and doll I made and grabbed 4th place...
..while Jazira in her new teeny tiny Arab costume, complete with tiny rider (also both made by me) got third!This also was a pretty big class. It really is great to see them growing.
At the end of the show there were overall performance champs for anyone that got either champ or reserve in any division. I was super excited when Mocha Latte ended up with overall reserve champion!
So this is the end of my QVPO 2015 show report. But in grabbing links for this post I realized I never did the write up of the head-to-head CM Stone pony competition between Marisa and I. It did in fact happen last fall at NEPC. Maybe I will have to write about that tomorrow...

Monday, April 27, 2015

QVPO 2015 part 1

 Yesterday I posted about The Plan and my adventure with proxy showing performance. Today I will talk about my horses and how they did at the show. My day got off to a bit of a rough start. I showed Bootlegger in a working cowhorse entry and the judge pointed out my bridle was illegal. Crap, it had done well with that bridle before but I am pretty sure she's correct. I also think I KNEW that and forgot. So no placing at all. My second class with Bootlegger was a team penning entry and my breast collar hook had come undone. No placing again. At this point I was getting nervous. Was this how the day was going to go? I needed to up my game and do well with Fabian's horse at the very least.
   My third class was also with Bootlegger and I switched his tack to this saddle by an unknown (to me) tack maker, a bridle by Danielle Hart and a doll by me. I paid super careful attention to every detail because I needed to have a better day. My attention paid off and Bootlegger got his first placing and it was a great one!

The fourth class of the day was Extreme Cowboy. I have done an extreme cowboy event before, usually with my Matriarch Flash in the Sky, but she didn't come to the show this time so I showed Hurricane Deck in the same event. His tack is by Pam Perkins and his crazy bendy doll (made specifically for this event) and the props were made by me. This entry usually does pretty well and I was not disappointed with our third place.
Bootlegger also showed in this class. I needed an event that would be interesting and good for a loping horse. I decided to make a cowboy curtain. Apparently you get more points for loping through that obstacle without hesitation on a loose rein. Perfect!The judge liked it as well and since I didn't screw anything up on the tack we got first place! I have no idea who made the awesome saddle. The bridle was made by Sara Kucharski and the doll was made by me.
 Bootlegger went back (or stayed up) for the callbacks and ended up with champion in the stockhorse division! The day was certainly looking up!
Next was the Western division and my first class was natural trail. Phazes of Godiva was the only horse I showed in this one. Her tack is by Pam Perkins, the saddle pad and saddle bags (which are super awesome and I want more) are by Desktop Stables and the doll and diorama are by me. I was very pleased with second place.
The next class was arena trail and the first truly terrifying class of the day. I had 2 entries for myself plus Fabian's entry. At that moment I was VERY glad that the usual showing limit is 2 entries per class. But I wasn't rushed and started setting things up as soon as I got the go ahead and didn't feel too frazzled. A little frazzled, but not too much. I didn't get a photo of Phazed of Godiva and her gate entry but there is one taken by Brenda Bednar on Jennifer Buxton's blog. Maybe the reason for not placing was the doll really WAS reading the bulletin board. Not sure on that one. Fabian's entry didn't pin either. To my shock Mocha Latte got 1st! Holy cow, how did I manage that? The saddle on Mocha is by Pam Perkins, the bridle is by Danielle Hart, the doll, some of the poles and the flowers are by me. The other (nicer) poles are done by Joan Fauteux. I did actually fiddle with this entry for several minutes to make sure everything seemed to be in the right place. I am enjoying the results of careful attention to detail.
The next class was western games. Phazes of Godiva (still wearing her Perkins tack and pad by Desktop Stables) with a new doll by me (which I made to go with the saddle pad. I have never done that before on purpose) did very well doing the 2 barrels and a pole game. I really think the reference, both photos and description, from Jennifer's blog are what helps this entry do so well. You can't be disappointed with first place.
 Mocah Latte did a flag race entry and got 3rd place. I was pleased with that. This entry was a last minute idea. Originally I had planned a mounted shooting entry. The night before the show I even made the gun holsters I didn't have, Elecktra and I lost one of the guns and did a very frantic search for it. We did find it but then on show day I realized the doll was dressed much too fancy to do mounted shooting. I didn't want to switch to different tack for one class so I did this instead. It worked out pretty well.
 Fabian's entry got an honors ribbon. QVPO only places to 6th, the classes were huge so I took that as an accomplishment. I was starting to get nervous though since I was running out of western classes.
   Next was an easier class; other western. It was easier because I had only two entries and neither one was fiddly to set up. For Fabian I did a western riding set-up and it received 4th place. Mocha Latte did a versatility challenge. That only needs the already dressed horse and an extra doll holding English tack (or western tack if the horse is wearing English tack) and the documentation. I like this entry because the photos I used for reference were taken by me at a show a few years back. Sometimes this entry does really really well. This time it was worth 5th place.
The next class was western pleasure stock type.I put Bootlegger in though he doesn't seem to do well in pleasure and he got 4th place. Just the fact that he placed makes me pretty happy.
Mocha Latte also showed and she managed 2nd place!What a good horse!
The next class was western pleasure- other type and was a bit scary since it was my last chance to get a western NAN card for Fabian. I showed Phazes of Godiva and she didn't place at all but Fabian's horse got second and the needed NAN card! I was so happy!
   Phazes of Godiva, King of Sarrow (Fabian's horse) and Mocha Latte all went to the callbacks. Mocha Latte ended up with reserve champion! 
The next division was the Other Performance division. I showed Hurricane Deck in showmanship with a halter I made and the dolls are also by me. He got third place. I think I am slipping, I am usually really good at showmanship. Still, I was happy to see how many entries were in the class.
The next class was the Scene class. Hurricane Deck was in my fun picnic at the horse show scene. I wish I had taken more photos. I added a whole bunch of recycling to the bin and there is a new Iphone and Ipod on the table. Before the class the judge teased that she was bothered by the electronics on the table while everyone was eating. I pointed out that no one was using any of them. This entry was good for second place.
Hurricane Deck ended up with champion in the other performance division. 
So the day started out rough and I had a few crazy moments but mostly I didn't freak out at all and managed to do really well. 

Oh, I meant to add sculptor/painter credits:
Bootlegger- Rose Reiner sculpted by Sarah Rose and painted by Meghann Lorei
Hurricane Deck- Bold Endeavor resin (can't remember who sculpted him) painted by Mindy Berg
Phazes of Godiva- Godiva resin sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn and painted by Liesl Dalpe
Mocha Latte- Loping Leggs resin sculpted and painted by Liesl Dalpe

Tomorrow I will have the results from my showing in the sporthorse, English and costume divisions!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Proxy showing performance

 I had a plan. It was a good plan, both color coded and detailed. When I said I would proxy show my friend Fabian's new Knightly Cadence resin at Quabbin Valley Performance Open in the hopes of getting him some NAN cards so he could show there this year I was confident I could snag him some cards. I am a pretty good performance shower most of the time so I figured I could do it. Then after I said I could probably do it (no guarantees though, I live in the real world where you can't always win even if you work hard at it) I started to get nervous. Not only was I going to show a horse I don't own IN PERFORMANCE but this was the difference between NAN and no NAN for a good friend. Holy crap, what did I get myself into! So I made a plan. As I mentioned it was color coded; my horses and what they were doing in each class were listed in blue. Fabian's horse was in green. Details (tack, doll, etc) that needed to be changed was listed after each in red so I couldn't miss it if I spaced out a bit. Did I mention it was detailed?
   QVPO is a very cool performance show with a Stockhorse, Western, Other Performance, Sporthorse, English and Costume division in both OF and CM. Really, if you have never gone and get the chance to be in Region X at the end of April (it is always held the last weekend before the NAN cutoff) it is absolutely worth attending. So since I was still showing my own horses, though I did keep my entries down to make it easier on myself, I decided to show Fabian's horse in Western, English and a class in Other performance. There was a reason for this but I will get to that later. So the first class was western arena trail. I think I did a carry the bucket from on barrel to another but I forgot to pay attention to the doll (I had to borrow one because I didn't have enough. Yes, I am ashamed) and she wasn't looking at anything in particular. The class was huge so that detail really mattered. Crap, time to start paying more attention. The next class was western games and I decided to do a rescue race because that is often my lazy go-to set-up for a fast moving horse. Well he got honors (the show places to 6th) in a very large class but still no NAN card.
The good news on this is Fabian had never seen the set-up before and was interested. It IS a good one for a faster moving horse...just not overly interesting.
   The next class was other western performance and I decided to do western riding because while it's a fairly simple class it often does really well. We managed 4th place on that one. Still no NAN card and I am almost out of western classes!
My last chance for the western card was in western pleasure-other type. I was a bit nervous because I was really hoping to do well for Fabian. The classes were HUGE and as anyone that has shown in Region X knows, the competition is fierce (friendly, but fierce). But the good news is...
...I managed to snag second in western pleasure-other type! I was so excited! I grabbed my camera and my cell phone so I could text Fabian the good news about the western card. I almost didn't make it but I was VERY happy to have gotten it in the end.
   After the western division was the other performance division. I put Fabian's horse in a Liberty set-up because again, it was what I could think of that was sort of easy. And this wasn't about a NAN card so the placing didn't matter overly much.
I did at least make up some Morgan horse specific liberty documentation but that was also my downfall! The judge pointed out that in the second line of my documentation it says the exhibitor will wear the show number. I didn't put a show number on my guy or the set-up would probably have placed higher according to the judge. It really does come down to teeny tiny details at times. But we got 5th which is placing and that was cool.
   After that I had to wait through the sporthorse division (not really "wait" I showed my horses in all the divisions) for the English division. That started off with English games. I decided ahead of time that I would show Fabian's horse in side saddle because side saddle is his thing and I have learned A TON from him about side saddle. Plus it gave me a chance to show my awesome side saddle tack made by Jennifer Buxton on another horse. That was a bit of a challenge because the stuff I am used to is with a standing horse! So For Fabian's horse I did a simple looking tennis ball carry game. You ride to the first cone (which has a tall extension for the tennis ball) and pick up the ball. Then you ride to the second cone and put the ball on it. My beautiful side-saddle specific (with a photo) documentation says walk to the second cone. Crap! So last minute I covered that up with a hand written piece that says generically to move it to the next cone. Well it was worth it.
The set-up got 1st and I got to text Fabian a picture of his English NAN card! Boy was I excited about that! My two biggest goals for the show were complete! 
   Next was other English performance and I did a side saddle riding lesson. I had only a card saying side saddle riding lesson, I had to do a doll change and play with all those reins but I thought it was kind of cool.
and placing at all in the classes was fantastic because they were very large and full of awesomeness. 
   I was getting a little bit stressed then and since I had the English card now and I didn't have a cool set-up for arena trail I skipped it and just got the horse ready for English pleasure-other type. I got third in that one but that class as well was very large.
So my last goal of the day was to try for one of the special awards. For the Versatility Challenge you needed to have 2 western classes, 2 English classes and an other performance class. You pick the classes that you want to count towards the award at the beginning of the show and write them on an index card with the owner and horse info. At the end of the day the hostess tallied the points from the people that entered the special performance challenges and awarded rosettes for champ and reserve. And this is what Fabian's horse got
Reserve Champion in the CM Versatility Challenge. I wanted to be able to send one of the beautiful rosettes to him with his (still really new) horse. I was very happy to have gotten both the Western and the English card and then a really pretty rosette to send back to Colorado. Proxy showing performance is a bit scary since it's not my horse and I want to do well for a friend. But it was fun and not too crazy. I might even be willing to do it again sometime.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

BCS Winter Photo Challenge

So recently Jennifer Buxton posted a winter photo challenge on her blog. Awesome. If you'd like to compete here is a link to the post. I knew that I had to get in on this so I started thinking about my entries. Some of them were easier than others. Plus I wanted to come up with some ideas that were at least a bit original or not what you'd necessarily automatically think of from the prompts. So here we go:

1. Vintage
 My mother had this china horse for a lot of years before I was born. I'd say this is one of the most vintage horses I own. I still have no idea what it is.

2. Nekkid
This photo was from the Breyer vs Yvonne comparison post I did when the Yvonne doll first came out. Yvonne was showing off in this one. Brenda just can't move like that.

3. Scale issues
 I wasn't overly clever with this one.

4. I see spots
As far as I know my "I see spots" entry is (so far) unique. What I see is an OPEN SPOT on my shelf!
5. Unbridled passion
 Come on, who can top a little girl for unbridled passion about her model horses?

6. Rare breed
This is my ultra rare black and pink winged horse (created for me as a Secret Santa gift by Lindy Pinkham). I have never seen another one like it.
7. Portrait
This is my Elecktra doll next to a photo of my real Elecktra.
8. Conga 
Doll conga!
9. The great outdoors
 One of my all time favorite outdoor photos. Enchanted Eve out on the trail.

10. Best in show
Not too clever on this one...

So there are my entries. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope you enter the contest. I have been having a lot of fun seeing what everyone else has come up with.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! 2014 doll year in review

I have had a busy dolling year this year! I went through my books to see just how many of each type of doll I made and here is what I came up with:

  36 western pleasure
20 hunt seat ladies
 17 specialty 
 14 cowboys
 10 casual western
10 youth dolls that aren't hunt seat
9 saddle seat
7 western side saddle
8 youth hunt seat
5 upper level dressage
4 cross country
3 casual English
2 male hunt seat
1 side saddle
1 showmanship

for a total of 145 dolls finished this year
This year I hit 2 dolling milestones with my 700th doll in April

and my 800th doll just a couple of weeks ago.

Which leads me to believe if I work extra hard this year I might be able to hit 1000 dolls! But I don't know if that is likely to happen. One of my new goals for this year is to work on more miniature food items and keep up with my etsy store. I really have been having a great time sculpting the miniature food.

I guess we will see what this year brings. I know for sure there will be lots of dolls and tiny food. Happy New Year!