Thursday, June 25, 2015

The BYO 2015 - Other Performance

When I left off, I was explaining just what The BYO is, and sharing my longhorn photography story.  So without further ado, let's jump right back into the show report, shall we?

The BYO starts off the day with Other Performance.  This is good for me, since I rarely have a lot of horses showing in the Other Performance Division, so it gives me plenty of time to get set up at my table and finish tacking and adjusting horses for the later divisions.  It also gave me time to socialize, and take pictures of everyone else's Other Performance entries.

Native American Costume entry owned by Val Tudor.

Parade entry owned by Chloe Hinton.

Other Costume entry owned by Christie Partee.

This year, I had one horse showing in the Other Performance Division - Goodness Gracious, or Grace for short, my Artist Choice "Hickory" resin sculpted and painted by my friend Sheila Bishop.

My goal for this year's BYO was not to do any tack changes.  So, Grace would be showing in the Halter Showmanship class, and then I decided that with the same halter and handler, she could also show in Other Competition with an In-Hand Trail set up.  Sue disagreed however, and as I was setting up my entry for Other Competition, she told me she'd rather it go in the Western Trail class, since despite being a tackless entry, the halter was a stock-style halter and the handler was outfitted in Western style attire.

So, Grace only got to show in one class at the BYO this year, Halter Showmanship, but at least she came away with first place and a NAN card.  :)
Goodness Gracious, first place in the Halter Showmanship class.

Two of Christie's horses wound up winning the Other Performance Division Champ and Reserve, and then we were on to English!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Trip to Texas - The BYO 2015

Once again, I've failed to update this blog on a regular basis as planned.  But, it's better to jump back in than ignore it forever.

So, I just returned from the BYO All Performance show in Sanger, Texas.  I had a wonderful time - it's always great getting to spend the day hanging out with some of my favorite people from the region, especially my fellow performance junkies!

The BYO is a show like no other - first of all, the full name of the show (this year) was The Oh-My-Gosh SEVENTEENTH (Believe It or Not) Absolutely Positively Gonna Happen Every Year (Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise) Annual North Texas Equine Miniaturists Association Bring-Your-Own Many Rosettes and Almost Certainly Some Trophies (There's a New Box on my Porch) No Tag/No 3x5 Card, No Database (Yet), North American Nationals Tune-Up, Pre-BreyerFest Strategy Soiree, Swap Meet, Schmooze-Fest,All-Performance Qualifying Show with Pink Performance NAN Cards (But Only Two Per Class), Pot Luck Lunch, All-Day Grazing, Still No NAN Tag Preparation Required, Celebration of the Sesquicentennial (aka One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary) of the End of the Civil War , but No One Will Be Forced to Sing "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" (Unless They Really Want To), Shopping Opportunity with Linda Roberts, General Chaos, and No Longer on the Parking Lot Weiner Roast XVII In A Building with Working Air-Conditioning, a Full Kitchen, and Lots of Parking With The Traditional Additions to the Ever-Growing Title (I'm Blaming This Years' Silly Ideas On My Anesthesia Hangover Because I Don't Know Where They Came From Except that Smithsonian Magazine Featured the Civil War Thing This Month).

So, you can see why most of us just call it The BYO.  ;)  It's also called the BYO because entrants have to Bring Your Own - tables that is!  The show is held in the foyer of Sue Stewart's church, and while they have plenty of chairs for us to borrow, the tables have to be brought in.  It's also what you would probably consider a "no frills" show - all of the ribbons, rosettes, and trophies are recycled from other shows.  The class list is streamlined, with OFs and CMs/ARs all showing together in three performance divisions: Other, English, and Western.  It's a fun, laid back atmosphere, and plenty of local model horse friends stop by and hang out even if they're not showing.  But like all of the other shows in Texas - the competition is fierce!  The BYO is specifically supposed to be a practice/tune-up show for NAN and BreyerFest, so often, the entrants at BYO are some of the region's best and most dedicated performance showers.  Despite that, it's still a fun and friendly show, with everyone helping each other and Sue giving critique at the end of the classes.

Oh, and did I mention there's a potluck?  While the entry fee for showers and spectators alike is only $5, all guests are also expected to bring a side dish or dessert to go with the main dish of grilled hot dogs made by Chef and Results Secretary Extraordinaire Brad.

This was my second time showing at the BYO, and I was really looking forward to it since first of all, I feel like my performance showing has improved since I was there last year, and second, I had a string of performance horses, old and new, that I was really looking forward to competing with.
All of the horses I would be showing at the BYO after tacking up Thursday night.

After leaving Little Rock in the early afternoon, I arrived in Sanger, Texas Friday evening.  My friend Carmen graciously invited me to stay in her guest room so I didn't have to book a hotel.  My GPS sent me driving on a route that was a bit of a round-about way to my destination, but driving through some of the ranch lands made for gorgeous scenery.  I even got to see some authentic Texas Longhorns!

While I was stopped to take pictures of the longhorns, two country boys pulled over to ask if I was ok.  Our conversation went something like this:
Country Boy [in thick southern accent] : Ma'am, are you alright?
Country Boy #2 [also in thick southern accent] : Are ya having car troubles?
Me : Oh, I'm fine, thank you.  I'm just taking some pictures.
Country Boy #1 [confused] : Of the cows?
Me [bashfully] : Yes.. of the cows...
Country Boys [stare at each other, then back to me]
Country Boy #1 : Alright, well you take care then...

Well, I still thought seeing longhorns was pretty special!

Anyway, I figure this is a good enough teaser for now.  I'll post again soon with an actual show report, with pictures!  :)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

BCS Winter Photo Challenge

My friend Jennifer decided to host a fun photo challenge, and I couldn't resist the urge to enter with all Performance-themed entries!  

So, here's my take on the BCS Winter Photo Challenge:

1. Vintage
A little vintage performance with a vintage custom!
This is Joker's Double Dice in a Western Arena Trail set up back in the late 90's.

2. Nekkid
Sometimes even Performance entries can be nekkid!
Tackless performance entries are sometimes a gamble on how well they will place compared to what else is on the table, but I still have fun showing tackless entries (such as this agility set up) and have even earned a few NAN cards with them.

3. Scale issues
You haven't had real scale ISSUES until you've given Mini Performance showing a try!

4. I see spots
A number of my Performance horses over the years have been pinto-spotted!
Top row L-R: Jumanji, Naughty By Nature, and Epiphany
Bottom row L-R: Kiss Me Kate, Rumor Has It, and Ruby Slippers

5. Unbridled passion
Performance is my passion, and sometimes it's even an unbridled passion!
When I first got back into showing in mid-2013, I wanted to enter my new Hazel resin, Ruby Slippers, into as many classes as possible, but didn't have a bridle that fit her that was appropriate for traditional Reining.  My solution?  A Freestyle Bridleless Reining entry - Ruby managed to earn a NAN card at our first show with the set up!

6. Rare breed
I think it can be argued that Performance Junkies are a rare breed.  I mean, even among other hobbyists, we're sometimes considered a little crazy for all the money we pour into tack and props, the hours we spend researching and creating documentation, and the insanity we put ourselves through with all those teeny tiny itty bitty little buckles!

7. Portrait
A little known fact about my rider dolls... all of the dolls I have had commissioned are meant to be portraits of me.  I always ask Ann to make them with brown hair and brown eyes just like I have.  I've never had much of a successful show career riding real horses, but my mini me dolls have ridden plenty of champions!

8. Conga 
My largest conga is my Stone Palouse Conga which has nearly fifty members now.
Part of what I love about Palouse so much is what a great model she is for Performance.  Despite how many Palouses make up my conga, only three have ever seen the inside of a Performance ring.

9. The great outdoors
Sometimes the goal with a Performance set up is to bring the great outdoors inside and in miniature!
I don't think I've quite mastered making realistic dioramas yet, but I had a lot of fun creating this one, which features a land area leading up to a shallow waterbed and has served me well for cross country, natural trail, drag hunting (as seen there), and hunter pace entries.

10. Best in show
Arrietty has been my best shower in the last year since I've really gotten back into showing.
Here she is winning Overall OF Performance Champ at our last show, A MidWinter's Night Ball.

I hope you enjoyed my entries as much as I've enjoyed seeing everyone else's!  Thanks so much, Jennifer, for hosting this contest and sharing so many wonderful photos from hobbyists all around the world!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Hobby Goals

Happy New Year!  

I've been thinking lately about my hobby goals are for this year, so this is what I've come up with so far that I'd like to accomplish in 2015:

  • Get my collection cataloged, photographed, and organized
I spend a lot of 2013 and 2014 getting my collection out of storage boxes and set up on display in my office/pony room/craft space.  But this year I'd like to get things better organized and documented.
one organization project in the works...

  • Name a bunch of unnamed horses
I'm terrible at naming horses!  Probably because I always want to find the "BEST" name for them, so it's not something I take lightly.  But I think I need to just bite the bullet and name all of the horses that have been sitting around nameless for way too long.
This is more common that I'd like to admit.

  • Get more of my unpainted resins painted
This is always a tricky thing, because like naming, I'm very indecisive about picking colors.  I also have a problem of putting off spending money for painting commissions in favor of paying for new unpainted resins.  Oops.
My unpainted collection of Seunta horses alone is a little daunting...

  • Continue to improve and expand my performance showing/entries
I still see room for improvement in my performance set ups, and I hope to continue to strive to be a better shower in the future.
There was definite improvement over the year, but there's still room for more.

  • Hopefully knock a few wanted models off my to-buy list
Such is the nature of being a collector, right?  ;)
A "Vincenzo" resin owned by my friend Debbie Nickrent - I wouldn't mind adding one of this sculpt to my collection.

  • Be better about blogging regularly
I think even if I write shorter posts, more frequently - that would be better than longer posts, less frequently.
It'd be nice to get those "pageviews" and "followers" numbers up a little higher.

  • Make more of my own props
I take pride in putting myself into my performance set ups, so I would like to make more of my own props and improve on some designs I tried this past year.
This base served me well in 2014, but I'd like to try to make more things and better things.

  • Try some new creative endeavors
I would like to give a few things a try, especially making some tack items.  And maybe even customizing horses again.
I have some kits from Rio Rondo that I'd like to give a try at least.

  • Organize some hobby-related activities in my area
Going to the Mid Kansas Live All Performance show really inspired me to try to have some local get-togethers for my fellow Arkansan collectors.  The Sunflower Model Horse Club in Kansas has other activities besides several NAN qualifying shows every year including craft days, a holiday party, and fun shows.  I think something similar would be a lot of fun to have locally. 

I don't know if I'll be able to attend as many shows in 2015 as I did in 2014, so my goals are more about work behind the scenes than in the show ring this year.  But, we'll see what 2015 has in store for me.  :)

What are your hobby goals for 2015?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Year In Review

2014 is coming to a close, so it's time to look back at the year in review!

At the end of 2013, I did a year in review post.  2013 was a pretty good year for me as it was my first year back in the hobby after a long break.  But, I predicted that 2014 would be an even better year - and I think I was right!

While I only managed to go to two shows in 2013, I went to seven (or eight, since one was a double show) in 2014:
A MidWinter's Night Ball in Georgetown, TX on January 18-19th
Tornado Alley/Hog Wild (double show) in Tulsa, OK on April 26th
Big Orange Bash in Knoxville, TN on June 7th
The BYO All Performance Show in Sanger, TX on June 14th
Hooftoberfest (All CM/AR/CMG Halter) in Irving, TX on September 20th
Mid Ark Model Horse Expo in Greenbrier, AR on November 1st
and Mid Kansas Live All Performance Show in Rose Hill, KS on November 22nd.

I had six Performance Reserve Champions, thirteen Performance Champions, four Overall Performance Reserve Grand Champions, and four Overall Performance Grand Champions!

Some highlights:

Arrietty - OF Overall Performance Reserve Grand Champion - A MidWinter's Night Ball (1/19)
Pennyroyal - Other Performance Reserve Champion - Tornado Alley & Hog Wild (4/26)
Rumor Has It - CM/AR Western Performance Reserve Champion - Big Orange Bash (6/7)
Naughty By Nature - CM/AR Overall Performance Grand Champion - Big Orange Bash (6/7)
Castiel - English Performance Champion and Overall Reserve Grand Champion - The BYO (6/14)
Arrietty - OF Overall Performance Reserve Grand Champion - Mid Ark (11/1) 
All Glory - CM/AR Overall Performance Grand Champion - Mid Ark (11/1)

Naughty By Nature - Mini Performance Overall Reserve Grand Champion - Mid Kansas Live (11/22)
Arrietty - OF Performance Overall Grand Champion - Mid Kansas Live (11/22)

All Glory - CM/AR Performance Overall Grand Champion - Mid Kansas Live (11/22)

In 2014, I also added a few horses to my collection that I was very excited about.

Ella Mae - "Elsie" resin sculpted by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig and painted by Katie Langford
Romanesque - "Valentino" resin sculpted by  Brigitte Eberl and painted by Thomas Bainbridge (photo by Melanie Miller)
Goodness Gracious - "Hickory" resin sculpted and painted by Sheila Bishop (photo by Sheila Bishop)
Adventure Time - "Murdock" resin sculpted by Rayvin Brewer and painted by Amanda Brock (photo by Amanda Brock)
Blank "Hazel" resin sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn - to be painted as a portrait of my real horse, Bunny

On the personal life front, 2014 was a pretty good year as well.

Robert and I got engaged, and then married!
October 18, 2014
And I moved my horse, Bunny, to a new barn that is much closer to home - and we're very happy there!
In the trailer on our way to Applewood Farm!

This also was a great year for hobby friendships.  I think I've finally found my niche in the hobby, and have made some friends who are not just HOBBY friends, but are FRIEND friends.  :)

Hanging out with Jennifer during her drive through Arkansas.  (Sorry I don't have more pictures with other friends - maybe that should be a resolution for 2015?)

So, in review - 2014 has been a GREAT year for so many reasons.  But I'm looking forward to 2015 because I feel like things can only get even better.

Thank you for reading and HAPPY NEW YEAR!