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!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mid Kansas Live All Performance - Mini Division

Last but not least, the Mid Kansas Live All Performance show Mini division!

Continuing on from part 3 of my show report...

The Mid Kansas Live All Performance show didn't leave mini fans disappointed.  There was a full performance division just for the tiny athletes, although OF, CM, and AR minis all showed together.  I don't show mini performance very often anymore, since I prefer to only show my minis in performance when they have their own division, and that doesn't happen very often at shows.  So I was excited that Mid Kansas did offer a separate division for the littler guys.  Since I don't show minis often, I only have one Stablemate ready to show who is tacked up and has documentation for his entries - my English horse, Naughty By Nature.

Naughty By Nature is an etchie of the SM G2 Warmblood that I etched myself (and added shoes!) sometime back around 2007 or so.  I know I started showing him in 2007 anyway.

The thing with mini performance horses is, once I tack them up, they stay tacked up forever.  I learned early on with mini tack that I didn't have the patience to tack and re-tack such tiny horses.  So unlike his larger barn mates who show in multiple divisions, Naughty By Nature only competes in English.

I toyed around with tacking up a Western mini performance horse as well and getting entries ready in time for the show, but sadly I ran out of time.  So Naughty By Nature was the only mini horse I showed at Mid Kansas, and therefore English was the only mini performance division I entered.

The Mini Performance Division ran in the same order as the OF Performance Division, so Other Performance was first, Western was next, and English was last - which meant I had nothing in the mini ring for most of the day.  By the time the Mini English Division started, it was crunch time!

Luckily, Naughty By Nature started off strong.
Naughty By Nature won first in the Jumper class.
Again, I asked the judge if we could swap the Hunter class with the Cross Country class, since I didn't want to have to tack his little boots off and then put them on again.  Luckily she agreed, and Naughty took first in both of those classes as well.

Naughty By Nature won first in the Cross Country class.

And another first in the Hunter class.

Naughty scored another blue ribbon in the Indoor Trail class, but only a third place in Outdoor Trail (which I didn't get a picture of unfortunately.)
Blue for Indoor Trail.

He came back with another first place win in the Dressage class though, even though the time crunch made me leave out his arena base.
Naughty with his first place in Dressage, and documentation that is WAY bigger than he is.
We finished up the division with a fourth place in Other English with a games entry and second place in English Pleasure - not too shabby!
Naughty was bested by some pretty cool Other English entries.

He finished out with second place in Pleasure.  He is probably in need of  an updated tack set one of these days.

All the hard work earned us the Mini English Division Championship!
Naughty By Nature - Mini English Performance Champion

It was a close call for overall...

Naughty By Nature was awarded Mini Performance Overall Reserve Grand Champion.
Naughty By Nature - Mini Performance Overall Reserve Grand Champ

And that finally concludes my show report!  It was a long drive to Kansas, but the show was a blast and the trip was well worth it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mid Kansas Live All Performance - OF Division

Sorry I've been dragging my feet on getting this show report finished.  Maybe the separate posts don't actually help me get them done in a timely manner.  But oh well, such is life.

Continuing on from Part 2 of my show report...

OF Performance ran concurrently with CM/AR Performance, however the class order was different so that if you were using the same tack for your OFs as for your CMs/ARs, there wouldn't be conflicts.  While CM/AR Performance order went English, Other, and lastly Western, OF Performance order went Other, Western, and then English last.

I was only showing one horse per division at this show, and my OF horse was Arrietty - a FCM Stone "English Pleasure" Palouse Design-A-Horse.

The Other Performance Division is one I'm only just starting to show in more.  I don't have much in the way of costumes and haven't been brave enough to give harness a try yet.  So, my first OF Other Performance class of the day was Native American Costume.  I was showing with a new costume I had purchased right before the show - it wasn't as historically accurate or elaborate as the competition, nor did I have a doll, but I documented it as a costume from a modern day show where costumes don't have to be 100% historically accurate.  My documentation earned Arrietty a blue ribbon even against some very gorgeous, intricately detailed costumes belonging to my competition.

Arrietty in the OF Native American Costume class

Our next class was Sidesaddle, another new class for me with a new piece of tack.  I used Arrietty's regular English bridle despite it being brown rather than black like the saddle, and we still managed a first place.
Admittedly not my most polished entry, but it was good enough to beat the competition.

Next up was Showmanship.  My entry was the only one with documentation, and Arrietty trotted away with another blue ribbon.
Arrietty with a "Hunter In Hand" entry - we've done well with this set up before, and this time was no different.

Our last Other Performance Division entry was for "Other Other Performance".  I tried another freestyle agility entry but was bested by some more elaborate set ups.  My agility entries can really be hit-or-miss depending on what else is in the class and the judge's preference for tackless entries.
I really wasn't too upset with a third place - the first and second place entries in this class were awesome!

Arrietty won enough ribbons to earn the Other Performance Championship!
Arrietty - OF Other Performance Champion

Next up was the OF Western Division.  So far, the day was going at a pretty good pace for me.  Arrietty wasn't competing in every single class in her first two divisions, and in the CM/AR division, All Glory was doing Other Performance and only had a few classes.

Western started off with Indoor Trail.  This was a pretty large class for this show, with eleven entries on the table.  Arrietty won first place though!
Arrietty won first place in Western Trail - Indoor

As much as I love showing Arrietty in as many classes as I can, she's not quite the perfect do-it-all Western horse, and my Western tack that she competes with isn't either.  Arrietty managed to bounce back and forth from first and second places in her classes, mostly with our main rival competitor (Ruth and her Stone ISH "Night Fury"), and sat out a few (such as Roping and Reining).

Arrietty won second place despite not being the best stockwork horse.

Another second place with this Team Penning entry.

Arrietty sat out the Games - Barrels class but won first place in Games - Other.

Arrietty won first place in Other Western with our Western Dressage set up.
Ruth's Night Fury and my Arrietty were neck and neck.  Western Pleasure was split up Stock Type and Other Type.  Arrietty won first place in the Other Type class, while Ruth won the blue in the Stock Type class with a different horse.
Another blue for Arrietty in Western Pleasure.

At the end of the Western division, the results were close but Arrietty took the champ honors.
Three blues and three reds earned Arrietty the OF Western Performance Champion.

Ruth's Night Fury was close behind with three blues and two reds, and earned the OF Western Performance Reserve Champ.

This is when things started to get tricky!  Mini English Performance had just started, and now I had horses running in all three rings.  All Glory had to get tacked up for the CM/AR Western division, and Arrietty had to get tacked up for the OF English division.  I decided to go ahead and show Arrietty without a doll since I didn't need the extra hassle at the moment.

Arrietty didn't need a doll though, and powered through the English division.

While she is best suited as a Hunter, there were three separate Over Fences classes for Jumper, Hunter, and Cross Country, so with some carefully researched documentation, Arrietty competed in all three.
First place in the Jumper class.

First place in the Hunter class.

Arrietty proves that a good low level cross country entry can win!

Arrietty continued her winning streak in the rest of the English classes...
In retrospect, I think I would place that leading hoof inside the box next time, but Arrietty still won first in Indoor Trail.

Another first place with a competitive trail riding entry for Outdoor Trail.

First place in Dressage - more proof that a correct low level entry can be competitive against higher level entries.

First place in Other English with a games entry.

And First place in English Pleasure.

At the end of the division, Arrietty was the clear champion.
Arrietty - OF English Performance Champion

Having won all three OF division champs, Arrietty was awarded the OF Overall Performance Grand Championship.  The prize was this NIB Topsails Reinmaker.
Arrietty - OF Overall Performance Grand Champion

Last but not least, I'll post about the Mini Performance division in my next post!