Saturday, September 14, 2013

The best prize ever

 I don't usually win awesome prizes. I am the one that wins the prize at live shows (when I win at all) that I put in one ticket for and didn't care if I got or not. So I was completely shocked and excited to find that I won Jennifer Buxton's blog contest back in February. All I had to do to enter was comment on her blog posts. I regularly do that anyway so it was easy to enter. When I won I really was very surprised and very very grateful. The fine print on the contest was simple, I couldn't pick what saddle I would get. Totally fair.

 Jenn and I have done several tack for doll trades so I do have a small collection of Braymere tack. Jennifer knows what I "need" and I was very much hoping I would get an English side saddle. It's not polite to ask though so I just kept hoping. When I saw the finished photos I was thrilled! How could I not be? The contest was for a free saddle but Jennifer traded me the bridle for something I made for her. I think I got the WAY better end of that trade (and yes, I feel very guilty about it and will hopefully remedy that soon).
 I was happy to have a side saddle to properly photograph side saddle dolls for sales pieces and orders. But when you get an awesome gift like this it doesn't seem right to use it once in awhile for 5 minutes and put it away.
 Well my excitement grew and so did my plans for this great set. I was going to bring it to a live show of course and show it in Other English. That would be fun. So I needed a side saddle doll of my own and I whipped one up. She may get a new coat one day, this was my first attempt at a cutback coat and I think it needs some work.
 Yvonne is a great doll for side saddle. She comes with several hand options which make it possible to hold the reins correctly (once you customize a pair of hands...)
 I did run into the problem of not having a clue how to even put on side saddle tack. This past week I have done so much research on side saddle riding. I ordered a book as well but that hasn't arrived yet.

 So my original plan was to make a doll and show this lovely set-up in Other English. But what fun is that? ONE class to show off this super awesome gift? It hardly seemed fair. So Enchanted Eve and her new rider are going to show in five classes in the English division at NEPC next weekend. After all once I get that bridle on I might as well show the horse as much as possible.

 I've printed out multiple reference photos showing me how to put the bridle on, adjust the reins and so one. The doll has been slightly customized to ride nicely but honestly, the Yvonne doll rides just as well side saddle as astride and with very little customizing.
 So side saddle riders/showers, how did I do? Did I get the tack on correctly? How are the reins? Do I have to shorten that apron a tiny bit more? I have photo reference of side saddle riders in regular English classes so I think I am covered there. But if I was to do an actual side saddle class what sort of documentation would I need? You can learn a lot in a week if you are obsessed focused but any tips would be appreciated. And Jennifer, thank you again for my truly awesome prize!


Barb DiAnnibella said...

Wow what a lovely setup! My only suggestion with the rider would be to try to straighten her - she should be facing forward with her whole body as much as possible, as if she were riding astride.

Creations By Mit said...

Congrats!!! NEPC, here you come!!!!