Readers of Jennifer Buxton's blog will know that in a recent post she discussed performance showing. She also talked about how scary a lot of people think performance showing is. I was reading through the comments and saw some really great questions from people on how to show successfully in performance on a budget. So I thought I would snag that idea and do a post on getting the most bang for your buck in the western performance division.
This first entry can be seen in a couple of ways. If we take it on exact face value it was a bit expensive. Here is a breakdown:
cows:$60-$80 each X3 cows
ultra suede footing (on sale): $5 a yard
Breyer pipe fencing: $20
Breyer Seabiscuit: $20 OF bargain!
Saddle: set was $300
bridle: homemade...$10 or less of material with cast bit
boots: $20 on MH$P
cowboy: I made him and Liesl Dalpe sculpted the head. IF he was purchased today would be about a $200 doll.
So if we take this one entry, exactly as is it cost about $785 to put together (holy cow!) However I have also done this same entry with borrowed cows, a saddle I made myself from a $25 Rio Rondo kit and you could use a Breyer cowboy ($13 out of the box) as they aren't too disgusting. They are but not too bad. So you could do this set-up for about $113 if you made a saddle from a kit, borrowed some cows and used an out of the box Breyer. I should totally do that to prove it's true.
But let's take the set-up on face value again. What I actually paid (or would have paid if I had to purchase) for the items. Here are most of them again in this natural trail set-up. I left off the cow numbers (which were hand written on card stock with a sharpie marker) and instead of the pipe fencing I have a diorama I made. The total cost of the diorama supplies (which would make more than one piece) was about $30 or less. I have now done team penning (other stock work) and natural trail with the same items.
This next entry is a game. The now semi-famous two barrels and a pole game using Jennifer Buxton's blog photos as reference. I now am only using the horse, tack and doll and have added two painted soup cans and a painted pole. VERY cheap props. This game nearly always gets first.
Next I used the same horse, same tack and same doll and added a bridge from the Breyer trail set ($30 for the set?) a couple of painted poles, and potted flowers. The flowers were made from $1 bouquets I got at Michael's in tiny Terra cotta pots (also about $1 for 2)
So depending on if you get the fancy fancy stuff or make your own tack and doll items (or use out of box dolls) you can do the entire western division for a little over $100 on a budget or go up and up from there. And maybe if you just want to give performance a try you might ask a performance showing friend if you can borrow some items and try it out. It never hurts to ask and you might just find that you love it.