It was surely one of my best paragraphs. Brasenose, incidentally, means bronze nose: rather appropriate for a metallic-copper-tinted horse, don't you think? It's the name of a college in Oxford England, a building actually, and I got it reading Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (one of my favorite Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries) at the time I was buying this horse. I found out that the bronze doorknocker of the building, in the shape of a dog's head, gives it its name. It's a very English name for a very Russian horse. This contrast, like the mane/no mane, perfectly represents my ambivalence towards the project.
My story begins with an MH$P ad, but the roots go back to becoming interested in jogging and race-running for health reasons. Of the many breeds I've identified with in my life, the current one is clearly solidifying: the Akhal Teke and its ancestor the Turkmene (E.H.Edwards' Horse Type 3). Who'd'a thunk it!! since I was raised on Quarter Horses and went through Belgians and Paso Finos... whose favorite color was black bay tobiano and favorite breed, if you'd asked, was the Moroccan Pinto... (all right, let's go off the rails for a moment and confess my real favorite breed, the Zalar: a carousel horse carved by John Zalar!!) Anyway I'd been focusing on Akhal Tekes for a couple years, such as Breyer's Lonesome Glory and the CollectAs. Then I started noticing resincasts.
|Photo by Margarita Malova|
(I don't think he's really limited to 10 copies, by the way.)
|Notice the Cyrillic characters on the box.|
|Arrow shows white band. TSII #456 'Star Wars'|
|Starting to sculpt the mane|
Of course the next thing that happened was NaMoTackMo. You'd think that would be a natural for me. It was. My habits of reticence proved too strong for me to take a hostess position (plus I honestly didn't have the time), yet I enjoyed it very much. Many good pieces were born and many good posts written. Tackmaking is different than horse-painting, and there was a far higher rate of 'failures' or non-completions; still, I used the energies of NaMoTackMo to help finish my monster silver parade saddle, TSII #456, 'Star Wars.'
What a fantastic idea my hobby had come up with! This was worth joining FaceBook after all. For all its time-wasting, it had merit. But paint a horse?? I hadn't painted a horse since 1983...!!!
Silver Acorn) in 1996. I had painted any number of figures on my saddles. I had etched something like 6 horses. Painting was, if not directly used, at least in my toolbox of skills. Brasenose had been perfectly right.
Other hobbyists, particularly Lisa and Bobbie, encouraged me. It will be these few, I am sure, who will see me through. I haven't got a crowd personality; perversely, I interpret heaps of people leaping on something as a sure sign I should run. I suppose it is related to my husband's hatred of traffic jams and big cities. I'm not just afraid of a crowd; when people do something just because others are doing it, I lose my respect for them. It's a narrow path to tread: sovereign independence versus the connectivity FaceBook gives in spades, and which I find I need after all. If I can keep my courage (and of course manage the time!), I just might succeed.
Today I finally set aside time to make a mane for him. I wanted it to be sparse and thin, yet long enough to show a flaxen color shading to bright at the tips. One hard part was creating it so as to allow for future tack wearing: "tack friendly." I'd seen enough Akhal Tekes to know where the necklaces go. For all my grumping that I wasn't interested in Akhal Teke tack making (truth: I've never made a set, never bought one and never been tempted), that mane speaks more truly of my intentions.
|Grenendere, PAS in the background, is for the carousel saddle restoration.|
|Customizing the ears: a bit smaller, with curved tips|
|The offside ear is now done too.|
As of now, the barn is not cleaned out. Finding the time has been my main sticking point; unlike some young participants, I have a house and a husband and a career to take care of. Plus, what is not obvious: documenting a project just adds to the time it takes. I don't have a percentage but it must be considerable: say about 30%.
But the vision is clear: I know what color I want. In a purely personal fashion, my goal is not so much a real horse (though I do have photos) as another model. I want the copper-enhanced liver chestnut of Stone's Ragtime and Jazz. I started out wanting a copper Wedgewood -- how simple that would've been! There's nothing in the rules saying it has to be realistic -- then switched to silver bay. Then, realizing (thanks Lesli) that Akhal Tekes don't come in silver bay, I made up a color. Brasenose started talking, and he's been talking ever since.