Monday, August 3, 2020

Loot pix, round two: Dirhamri

This horse, plus her still-wrapped companion, constitutes Round Two of my loot pix.  There will be a third round, I hope, once I get together with my local dealer.  The companion was intended from the beginning to be trade goods, so I've left him safe in his cocoon.  Who knows, there might even be a round four.  This definitely is the year for long-drawn-out loot.

These shots were taken on a neighborhood stroll last week, when I was trying out my ideas about blue horses wearing blue tack.
It's been a long time since I've been smitten with a blue horse.  There was a time I collected them assiduously; I once won a Collector's Class with 8 blue horses.  But that was about 15 years ago.  Still, when I saw Boudicca I knew I wanted her.  She is unlike any Breyer I've seen; indeed, she is unlike any blue model horse I've ever known.  She's really grown on me.

The setting here is a neighborhood middle school (or, as I knew them when I was a kid, junior high).   We are now specialists in finding places to walk where and when nobody else is.

The inspiration for her name, Dirhamri, comes from Dihamri, a beach on the island of Socotra.  Where is Socotra?  It's in the Arabian Sea, off the Gulf of Aden.  How on earth did I find this one?  Because my husband found a tourist video of Socotra put out by the Yemeni government, and it happened to be really good:

Why am I naming an obviously Celtic horse with a Yemeni (Arabian) name?  But isn't this the same girl who named a thoroughly Russian horse a very British name...?
Brasenose, sculpted by M. Malova

Yeah, I'm that way.  They sounded good to me; the artist in me "just knew."  I've always loved naming horses.

This hackamore is the only blue piece in my collection of braided TSII tack.  It dates from 1995 and is called "April's Hackamore" after the horse it was first made for (an O. F. Indian Pony).  I find myself using it often.  It's midway in detail between the oldest ones like Duke's (1984) and the level represented by Fancy's Hackamore (2005).  It's ornamented enough to satisfy me yet is not so detailed as to make its loss or misuse a tragedy.  That would be the case with something like Rinker's Hackamore (2011).

It always amazes me how fast these ponies train:  one session and they're good to go.  :)  Still there is a wildness about her.  She's married to my most flamboyant and striking Akhal Teke, Talisman (Altynai) and she was given a foal from the start, barely finding out who she is.  Yet I love her and have a distinct sense of her personality.  I have confidence she'll be around for a while.

And I'm inspired to make hackamores in blue and white.

But first, finish a Mexican saddle and do two Akhal Teke sets... which happened to want blue stones.  Some things never change.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

VBreyerFest Loot pix, round one

I believe that praise is an effective management tool, much more so than scolding or emphasizing what went wrong.  It is in praise of Breyer, then, that I post this; not, (I hope) in the spirit of showing off my conspicuous consumption, which alas I am all too prone to.  My own husband has shown, time and again, that praise works much better than blaming.  Thank you, Breyer:  You take my breath away.

Look what they sent me!  And this is only the first round.  With what heart I can muster, I am amazed, astonished, surprised and pleased.  When the days of decontam finally counted down and when I finally felt able to open packages (believe it or not, these are separate things), I was exalted to find my very own race number bib for the 5K!!  It's not a model horse, but for very personal reasons, this meant as much to me as anything I've ever gotten from BreyerFest.
This is only Round One, of I don't know how many rounds.  Herewith my Ballynoe, still in his box (I have not decided whether to keep him; I have two others of this mold).  A second softsided package arrived within a day or two of him, which I deduced had to contain my race t-shirt.  For those who don't know, BreyerFest's 5K is normally a charity event.  When they couldn't hold it as usual and were suddenly saddled with unexpected costs, race entrants were given a chance to purchase their t-shirts separately.  I am so glad I did!  The t-shirt is thick and soft, not as thin as past 5K t-shirts, well made and certainly a beautiful color.  The finisher's neck sash, with its cute medal, was shipped automatically to all race entrants: an act of faith on Breyer's part.
The photo does not show it, but that red kilt in the center of the medal can rotate a little, twisting back and forth.  It's movable!  It's mounted on a pin in the center.  Way to go, kilter!!

Oh by the way::  My race results were officially accepted, and I placed third in my age group!!!
This is the first time I've placed, (or should I say, 'shown' :), in any race.
Thank you, Breyer.

I am including two other horses in this round because they were my earliest purchases for this year's BreyerFest.  The Stablemate came first.  He was discovered in the early weeks of the Not Going To BreyerFest Clarion FaceBook group, April and May.  (I collect palomino SMs.)  I already had a palomino QH Stallion, but that was a much later release; this one was an original issue of the Maureen Love SMs (1975-1988).  He was expensive (says I who thinks anything over $10 for a SM is expensive).  After I committed to buying him, thus trying out a virtual version of what had always taken place in the rooms before, I felt stung a little, and retreated.  I think now I retreated too far.  I was low on funds for various reasons, but I should have had faith.
The foal, Chico from Mamacita, was one I'd wanted for years.  I didn't have the mold.  I struggled to choose between this golden dun/baby bay and his darker red-bay issue.  I thought he'd make a perfect foal for my racing Akhal Tekes (he will be Altynai's/Talisman's son).  Glory be, I found him in the Clarion too.  The slow process of bargaining and buying him introduced me, as it should, to a younger generation and a new way of communicating.  Info and learning went both ways.  I learned tracking numbers could be scanned & sent on FB Messenger and she learned what p + h stood for.   Thank you Zoey:  I love him!

I'll say here that scrounging through those Albums under Photos, deep in the FB group, was my closest approach to hall-crawling and room sales.  When I finally figured out how to search effectively (the secret was to search twice, once to bring up "No Results Found" and once to choose between Sales Posts and All Posts [CHOOSE ALL POSTS!!], which could not be reached otherwise!), I had a blast.  Much of my BreyerFest time went to this.
It has been a very slow-motion BreyerFest for me.  It has been much reduced in scale.  I find myself returning to profound gratefulness and deepened meaning for the few items I have been able to bring home.  This concept, possibly quarantine-enhanced, was the norm during my hobby mail-order years (1976-1997).  It is a familiar place for me, and that familiarity is wonderful in a world changing all too swiftly.

There are more horses coming.  I was successful in my VBreyerFest shopping, largely because I didn't want anything from their Store!  I experienced the unfortunately-classic Deny-Refresh trial with my Tent Ticket on Friday afternoon; but the situation resolved within 3 hours and I bought my Boudicca.  She will be, incidentally, the mother of this foal. 

There are other horses coming besides her.  Trading is alive and well.  I have a dealer for a local friend, surely a bonus and yet another thing to be grateful for.  BFest may have been slow this year but it concluded with a rush!  Last and best, I'm back to making tack again.  But you'll have to wait for Sneak Peeks of that.  Rome wasn't built in a day, etc...  :)

One last sunlit shot (that's my shadow), and a pun from the punner in my house.  I showed him the 5K neck sash.  He hefted the medal, surprised at its weight, and said,
"Heavy metal band!!"

Sunday, July 12, 2020

My BreyerFest 5k: Remote, Asynchronous, Fun!

I have run in every BreyerFest 5k.  Why stop now?   I had a willing partner to document my times and perform as shag wagon (he literally sat on the tailgate).  I had a course:  four times around the neighborhood loop is exactly 5.1 kilometers.  To be sure, the course has a lot of uphill and some downhill compared to the Kentucky one, but I've been running/jogging every other day (except for canoeing) all this year.
The manhole cover is in a perfect place, right at our driveway.
Testing camera before start

I had the costume.  Some of my friends have elaborate fantasy play costumes.  Mine is real:  it's what I actually run in, day in day out.  My running goal for the past several years has been between 3 and 5k every other day, except when canoeing (a canoeing day counts as a running day).  This goal had a serious setback when I hurt my foot on April 21.  But it healed enough so I could run.

Unlike the Kentucky version, I could start earlier than 9:00.  No parking troubles, no changing clothes in a public restroom stall.  Alas, one large omission was my failure to print out a bib number.  I believe Breyer sent me the opportunity, but I was just too busy to track this down.

First lap:  11 minutes

I'm sure it never occurred to Breyer that, having sent me my Ballynoe and race medallion and t-shirt, I wouldn't even open their package.  I am so honored and pleased they would get these trophies to us before BreyerFest even started.  But the truth is my horse business shipping address is 4 miles away, and with the pandemic, my trips there have shrunk to less than once a week.  Even when I do make that drive and bring stuff home, it has to go through house decontam procedures, which take several days.

Second lap:  12 minutes
I have t-shirts, bibs and medallions from all the BreyerFest 5ks, except the first (2016) when there was no medallion.  Worse, through an act of monumental stupidity, I somehow lost my bib from that year (I stuck it in a book somewhere to keep it flat, and now I can't find it).  My only real evidence for that year is the t-shirt I am wearing here.
Third lap from behind.

I'm sure BreyerFest never thought an entrant would not use their smartphone to clock in their race times.  What an elaborate app they put out for this race!!!  Believe me I would have used it if I could.  But I don't use a smartphone.  At least not yet.  To do them justice, Breyer and 3WayRacing allows submissions without it.   Maybe this year's BreyerFest (maybe this pandemic) will finally convince a dinosaur like me to invest in yet another electronic device (as if several computers and a Chromebook were not enough).
Third lap:  12 minutes

My first race, in 2016, I was wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a broad brim hat, and carrying binoculars and a backpack!!!  I sure have learned a lot since then.  That first BreyerFest 5k turned in a time of around an hour.  It is a wonder I kept running.

In 2017 I turned in a 45 minute run (45:01) and we still have the phone answering-machine message I left, total squeal excitement.  :)  In 2018 I did it in 42:31.  In 2019 I made 44:11.  Again alas, this year I don't have the tech (or didn't bother) to time the seconds.  I'm basing those 20 seonds on what I glimpsed of my watch.
Finish!  46 minutes total.

I ran past a few dog walkers and one old man walking.  No hat, no sunglasses, no sun lotion, no water (!) and no gloves.   I don't do that much thinking while running, although I do identify with the great running breeds:  Thoroughbreds, Akhal Tekes.  Wolves.

In the end it isn't how fast you are.  It's that you finished, sound (without injury).  I miss the crowds, my friends, the authentic timing, the roar of the audience, even the snacks.  I don't know when I'll run in a full-scale real-life race again.  But I'll try to keep in shape.

Earlier times:
Photo by 3Way, 2019

Kim Wandry, Donna Chaney, SBY in 2018

She comes with me every race.  She's the CollectA Akhal Teke mare in buckskin.  I asked my husband for a name that meant "very fast."  Without even scratching his head he pops out "Tachyon."
Gotta love being married to a professor!!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

And the Winner is...

And the winner of our 42nd-Anniversary and Virtual BreyerFest Tack Giveaway is:
number 34  Carrie Sloan Meyer!!

We had 49 entrants.  I am blown away.  This beats any of the TSII tack Lotteries I used to hold.  Thank you all so, so much for bearing with me.  I am well and truly impressed.
Thanks to my husband who did the random draw on his computer.
It has been a crazy and fun BreyeFest, and it's only just begun.

I have been pleased, overall, with this method of choosing a tack customer.  It has the element of random drawing but is much less fuss than the old Lotteries.

Forgive me using just one horse here.  He seems appropriate.
If I ever do this again, there will be a change in the rules:  People must provide a name, or at least a handle (a stage nickname).  We had a number of Anonymouses and Unknowns.
I plan to contact the winner privately and we'll work out colors and times.

To anyone who was watching closely enough, you may have detected another winner.  She read the fine print and then went through with it (in a way I hadn't thought anybody would).  I felt the only way to deal with this was to make a second set.
I am now committed to making two sets when I anticipated only one, and that is why these collars cannot be just 'ordered.'  If and when I feel like making more of them after these two sets (which I anticipate taking well into the fall), you will hear about them here.  Until then, dear tack collectors, go forth and support your artist of choice--- !
Remember there are more than 450 TSII saddles in existence, over a hundred harnesses, and uncounted pieces of headgear.

We are still in a golden age of model tack production in the hobby.  Enjoy your collection!

Monday, June 22, 2020

A Tack Giveaway

I'm holding an Anniversary Tack Giveaway for this year's BreyerFest!  My intent is to give away 2 Akhal Teke model neckpieces.  The point is to spread awareness of my blog:  Enter this Giveaway by commenting on ANY post.  My reason to hold a Giveaway is that this June marks the Timaru Star II's 42nd year making model horse tack... !!!   That's a lotta years...
          And my excuse is I'm lining up my next tack customer.  The winner of the 2 neckpieces shall have the option to order the matching bridle and breastcollar.  Read all about it!!
Come and enjoy BreyerFest from Room 610 with me!!   This Giveaway is what I'd do if we were all there in person.
 The winner shall be chosen by random draw  on July 9, Wednesday at 8pm Eastern Time.  Two free Akhal Teke neck pieces is the prize, in any stone color you want and for any Trad model you desire.  I am limited to stones I have on hand:  emeralds, sapphires, rubies, citrines (golden yellow), cubic zirconias (diamond color) and aquamarines (light purplish-blue).  Unless, of course, you want glass jewels (cabs and facets), many colors of which are also in stock...  :)  The style would be as shown, with an option of silver or gold plates.  The rest of this post shows various colors of stones on two horses (oh, the power of PhotoShop!).
PhotoShopped to blue stones.

Anyone can enter this Giveaway by making a comment on any post on my blog, Timaru Star II.
You can enter more than once:  In fact, you could enter 193 times!!  That's how many posts there are.  Limit yourself to one comment per post, por favor. 
Taken in the AllTech Arena, KHP, 2019.
I know blogging might be considered old fashioned, but it's a place I'm very comfortable with.  I love the room to spread out.  The new blogspot format, while different, is aimed at smartphone users, and that's the future, like it or not!  I'll get a phone eventually...

Long ago I thought I might be writing a book on this beloved hobby; nowadays, I realize I already am.  You might be surprised at the breadth and variety here!  I have covered subjects as diverse as making necklaces, canoeing, etching, engraving, blanket making (and collecting!) and braiding.  Although the main emphasis is on model tack, there are some considerably more personal posts.  Hobbywise there's a whole series here about painting horses (19 posts on NaMoPaiMo--!!), making saddles (12 posts on the first Goehring saddle), making a bosal Hackamore (Fancy's Hackamore in 2015, 4 posts) and on restoring tack (just finished 4 posts on that).  There is history (How the Timaru Star II got its name), family trips (Capulin and the Flint Hills for two), philosophy and more; there are animals (buffalo, a camel!); there are shows (NAN and Intersport), people (Jim West), puzzles (twice) and other tack artists (Peery, Gillespie, Abounader and Nelson for starters).  There is a little natural history (Shield Rock) and there is a pair of miniature snowshoes.  There is even a satellite loop of the 2017 eclipse.  If you don't find something interesting, I hope you're not dead.
PhotoShopped to blue stones.
The appearance of Altynai is inspiring to me.  I do identify with the long lean racing ones.

The winner of the Giveaway shall have the option to order a matching snaffle bridle and breastcollar with drops in the style as shown.  The price of the bridle & breastcollar shall be $325.00 plus postage.  No time deadline can be set as to when this order would be finished, although I hope very much to be done by fall!  The  order does not have to be paid for right away.  The winner shall have up to two months to pay for this order, if they need it (until September 9, 2020).

I can only accept one order for this sort of tack at a time.  Therefore, unless the winner of the Giveaway does not want the bridle & BC, no other tack orders can be accepted.
If they don't want it, an order will be drawn from other entrants.
Any future pieces produced will be offered at auction.
PhotoShopped to purple and silver.

Recap:  Enter the TSII Anniversary Tack Giveaway by making a comment on ANY of our blog posts, one comment per post per person, until July 9.  A winner will be pulled by random draw.  Their neckpieces will be made to the model and in the color of their choice,... when I have the time...!  ...  That could take until fall (but hopefully will be a lot sooner!).  The winner will have the option to order a matching bridle & BC for $325.00, payable anytime up to September 9. 
Thanks for reading!  Good luck!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

TSII #89: Restoring an Old Saddle, Part IV of IV

This concludes the restoration of TSII #89, a saddle built in 1985.  A better title might be Let's Celebrate Denderah!  I did promise a shoot of this Arabian stallion, sculpted by Karen Gerhardt, under tack.  What I hadn't counted on was how photogenic he was!  You invested in this expensive resincast just to take pictures of him unfinished?!  But how not...!!  Be prepared:  He is wearing something besides a saddle in this post.  Near the end, we will see him with only the bridle.  At the tail end of this post, something completely different:  a Giveaway!!
Denderah sculpted by K. Gerhardt
Even though Denderah is stealing the show, we must pay our dues to Valhombra/Carrick, who did his part.  These first pictures of the finished saddle were taken up in Sproul State Forest.  The expedition (May 31) was loaded with relief and freedom for us.  Our Governor clearly told us to use the State Forests, and we were happy to do so.  :) 
The weather was delightful.  It was wonderful just to be out in the wild again, with flowers.
A sun-lit close-up:
Although it would've been nice to have no concrete in the views, this parking-lot-kiosk sidewalk turned out handy.  I could pretend it was somebody's trailhead.
With a little judicious positioning...  Off for the afternoon.

For a transition, try this!!  We drove past a desert-like stretch of gravel, and I couldn't resist.  It turned into a lesson on how my camera handled shooting a pure white horse in sunlight on a light background.  "A chance for PhotoShopping," was the answer.
Yes, that is Brasenose's emerald collar.  There are deep connections between Tekes and Arabians.
I have rarely PhotoShopped a photo as much as I have this one.  Consider it a side-trip for art's sake and education.
Sculpture by Karen Gerhardt

The final test of any piece of tack is fitting it on horses other than the one you've been working with.  Not only is this step a last chance for the tack (why didn't I make that [fill in the blank] longer, stronger, bigger, smaller, easier to adjust?!?) but it is an opportunity to get the feel of another horse.
So many revelations occur at this stage.  There is one comfort.  The piece is in your own hands and can still be tinkered with, instead of with the customer and beyond your reach.
I found Denderah different from Carrick, with a smaller chest and head and girth; yet still the set fit him well.  And nothing broke.  :)
For all that Karen says she did not take tack into consideration with this horse, I found him quite reasonable.
No matter what angle Denderah is seen from, he's exciting.
One has only to circle around,
and around,
and around him to get a dream come true.
He carries the weight easily and does not look overburdened.   Arabians have been ridden Western in this country from the beginning of their importation.

This view of the finished restoration shows (amoung other things) the improvement given by the stitchmarking.
Here's the concho close up:
And the seat.  It's better than it was, and the cantle won't be flopping down.
TSII #89 is restored and back where it belongs, and its owner has told me she's pleased.
On to more new cinches!!

you took the saddle off
and let go,
he's getting away,
he's left his disc...



I am unable to resist a sneak peek of a future post subject.  Another dream has come true (thanks to Anne Field for the Altynai)!  To celebrate the TSII's 42nd year of model tackmaking, let's hold a Giveaway!   Two Akhal Teke neckpieces in whatever color the winner desires!!  with the option to purchase a matching bridle and breastcollar.
To enter, leave a comment on this blog.  Entrants would be limited to one comment per post per person, for the length of the entire Giveaway, from now until July 9th, just before BreyerFest.  Winner to be drawn by random number computer generation.  There are over 190 posts in this blog,... that's a lot of chances. 
As the TSII often says, More later.  So many thanks for your patience.

Management reserves the right to refuse (delete) inappropriate, spurious or duplicate comments.