Saturday, November 18, 2017

Buffalo and a Black Colt

Research reveals I have promised several blog posts in the past.  It also reveals I could very well combine a few.  This will be my first attempt in that direction.  (It would be so wonderful to be caught up... on anything!)  First I'd like to look at my new Buffalo from Black Horse Ranch; then let's take a look at a teeny black China Foal who is one of my two greatest model horse stories ever!

(Grammatically that should be "which is" but we're model horse people, so the horse is a who!)

When last seen, my buffalo collection numbered nine.  There is a blog post about them:  Buffalo Conga
This picture from it shows them in roughly the order in which Breyer released them.  It's not quite correct because the White should be 4th from left, but otherwise it's correct:
Imagine my pleased delight when, last year (2016), I went through the BHR line and spotted an unusual buffalo.  The moment I saw him I knew he was for me.  Collecting non-horses is for the fringe, yet I have always loved this mold; I had one when I was a kid.  This buffalo was a rare light brown with fantastic shading.  When I emerged back into the hall at BreyerFest waving my prize, I actually got a cheer from the crowd.

I now have 4 of the #76, Breyer's Buffalo, sculpted by Chris Hess.  This huge old mold was released from 1965 to 1991, one of the longest runs of any Breyer.  Clearly my new buff, on the right, is a lighter version of the "early shaded" (second from right), just as the red-chestnut buffalo is a lighter version of the "later red," on the left.
Look at the variation!  The earlier ones had what amounts to dorsal stripes.  They also had what I'm choosing not to show, shading on the genitalia (which is not that realistic.  Hess only knew horses, I suspect).  As noted in my previous post, all #76s had white horns.  Except for Choc the glossy 2002, no other buffalo (who is not white) has had white horns.

My darkest and oldest (darkest head) has the equivalent of "eye whites," an outlining of the mouth and nostril:
I swear I did not put those there!  Just another oddball feature of early Breyers...
Here's a side view of my oldest and darkest, showing the shading.  Forgive the slight out-of-focus.  Note the white stifle area:

A side view of my new light-brown from-BHR.  Note the shading stripes on the shoulder, neck and head, and particularly the black nose and muzzle.
Side view of the lighter of the chestnuts.  Andrea Gurdon of Breyer History Diva has commented on this color phase in her blog,  Chestnut Buffalo.  I think of it as analogous to the cinnamon phase of the black bear.
Side view of my darkest red.  Almost a liver chestnut, with reddish highlights.

I have since come across pictures of Karen Grimm's grey buffalo.  I know these exist, and ID Your Breyer claims they are from the 1970s.  Maybe some day I will have an opportunity.  I'd rather come across a Woodgrain, but I know those are even rarer.  Probably the future of my conga rests with repaints, and whatever weird decorator-inspired ideas Breyer can come up with...
Here's all ten:
It's kind of hard to get a good photo that shows all of them.

And now for the Black Colt story!
We first heard of this guy in my Econlockhatchee post:
To quote:
"I'm not normally a chinahead, but I collected these little Bone Chinas when I was a kid.  I have about two dozen stashed away or standing on the curio shelves in the downstairs bathroom."
"... I already had 2 of the black foal."
There you go.
This next photo shows both of those black foals, plus a number of my Bone Chinas.  Tucked away for decades, these few enjoy a precarious exposure hanging on a downstairs wall.  (My apologies for the dirt.)  The yellowish glue on the standing black foal is 'shoe glue,' hot gun glue, a family standard for broken toys.  The black mare to the left is their mother; there are 2 grey/whites, 3 bays and 1 pinto visible in addition to the 3 black Bone Chinas.  They came in families of Stallion, Mare and Foal.  If you want scale, the appaloosa in the right foreground is a Mini Whinny.
Bet you didn't know pizza-box center-discs were such useful platforms...!

The story of this black foal does begin in childhood.  I played heartily with my little chinas in the back yard.  We're talking roughly 1969 through 1975 here.

In 2005 or thereabouts, my father decided to replace a dying tree in the center of the back yard.  As it happened, his son-in-law, my husband George, was there at the time.  These two men were digging out the stump near where the old sand box used to be.  George was cutting roots with his shovel, piercing down into the sandy earth.  He had cut through them all, he says, when, finally pulling over the main trunk, he came upon the tiny body of a black colt.

"It was right underneath, and I'd just cut all its legs off and never realized it.  It must have been placed there on purpose.  I felt so sorry.  It was as though I'd desecrated a shrine."

My own memory is he told me he heard the 'clink' of a sound that should not have sounded.  Unfortunately no legs (or tail) could be recovered.  Further research reveals the planting date of the old tree in the very early 60s.  Although I have no memory of having placed a colt under a tree, it was entirely in character for me to dig and build horse houses in various landscapes.  I would have been doing it in many places in the back yard and later did it in the fields out back, and also further-out fields.  (Today one of those fields is the Dry Creek Trailhead of Boulder County.)  For the record, I never knowingly left a horse outside; but then, stranger things have happened!

What have those little eyes seen, over the long years sleeping in the earth?
The fuzziness of this photo is unintentional yet appropriate.  He is from another world.

Far from catching up on my blogs, this just opens more of them.  "One of my two greatest model horse stories ever" -- ??  The other is the story of GoldenEar.  Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Intermediaire/INTERSPORT: Performance

Once again, choosing the pix has been the hardest part!  Truly this is the job of a judge and quite different from that of the photographer.  Since my  personal interest is in Performance, it's been doubly hard to pick out a mere 40 shots from Didi Hornberger's excellent show, Intermediaire/INTERSPORT, which took place October 15 in Harrisburg, PA.  In the end I wound up with 53, my largest post yet.  That tells you something. 

Almost the first thing I saw upon entering the show hall was one of Kim Jacobs' entries.  They have a certain flair all their own; the scale is unmistakable.  I had never before seen a horse dressed up as an elephant...  I wouldn't've thought it possible!
Performance divisions traditionally start with harness entries.  I love harness and driving!   My eye was caught by this unusual sleigh.  Attention vehicle-makers: don't let sleigh runners stand in your way of building something sleigh-like.
Here's a close up.  The bronze-y head is either a bear carving or (probably) a dog.
This one was impressive.
 Beautiful, correct, realistic!  although I worry about that gold bit (brass is considered too soft for bits).
Slatted side panels often indicate a dog cart, but this vehicle has 4 wheels and thus cannot be a cart.  It could serve very well as a marathon vehicle.
Remember this appaloosa horse.  You'll be seeing her later!
 A superb Hansom Cab entry, owned and largely built by Kris Gallagher.

As a break between harness and my next subject to focus on, here are a couple of horses that should have been in the Halter post.  An uncustomized Stone Arabian Foal, showing the new mold (those ears! that tail!),
and a winning Stone Custom Decorative paint job that had everybody ooohing and aaahing.  It was very seasonally appropriate.  The name is "Moon Kitty."
On to Parade!  This entry proves yet again that the Bogucki Saddlebred is the go-to mold for O.F. parade.
Told you she'd be around!  We will see this Matriarch yet again later on... I'm sorry I don't know the tackmaker.
With this photo I seamlessly transition from Parade entries to the subject of jewels.  The tablecloths at Intermediaire cleverly indicate divisions by arena, but they do make for some powerful color influences.
 I was struck by the silver-green reflections in this green-costumed Parade rider's picture.  It's evidence of my interest that I was so focussed on the tack I cut the rider's head off.
I said jewels.  During Western Pleasure I spotted this entry.  I took more pix but am only showing two here.
 This is one of my favorite shots for the whole day, even though I'm barely into dolls.  Joan Yount is the doll artist behind this amazing outfit.  She just blazes!
Still on the theme of jewels, I spotted a saddle liberally decked with diamonds.  I have seen these in real life and they are spectacular.  This model one is by Carrie Sloan Meyer; she has done several in the theme.  To my disappointment the set didn't photograph all that well.  I tried:
Closer.  There is another shot but it's too blurry.  As a side note, the number of blurry and out-of-focus shots I took is quite embarrassing.  I'm still learning the difference between macro and super macro.

The next photo transitions to a focus on dolls.  This was an interesting entry.  I'm not quite sure which class this is or what she's doing: perhaps pouring tea?  Checking the water level?
 You'll have to take my word for it:  it's difficult to show many of these entries with only two pictures.  But I love her expression.  This has got to be captionable.
English-discipline dolls are some of the most lovely examples of miniature fabric control in the hobby.  Take a look at this coat (again, it really works when someone's already green!), created by Kris Gallagher:
Here's a fantastic sidesaddle rider.
 Who says you can't jump with a sidesaddle?!
Niki Hertzog came up with this surprising Hawaiian-parade themed entry.
Just one of the many outstanding Native American Costume entries.

This part of my blog could be called 'unusual Performances.'  I'll spare you the horse jumping the dragon and other cute stuff, but this double Jumper entry was intriguing to me.  They are in fact two different resin sculptures.
Morphing into unusual tack, this is a Portuguese saddle outfit on a resincast horse.  The mane and tail ribbons are part of the mold.
This is Joanna B. tacking up with her Indian Marwari costume.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing. 
 The tackmaker tied on every pompom by hand.

And now for a tack story.  Oh, I do love a successful Who-Dun-It!!  Niki Hertzog had purchased this lovely Draft Stallion Surcingle a long time ago and lost the information on who had made it.  I was drawn to its beautiful design and smooth execution.
 The spotting is intense, and the scrolls are all handcut.
Who could have made such a distinctive piece?  We were all scratching our heads.
Then Niki happened to mention that it had been accompanied by the initials S.C.S.  And the bell went off in my head.  "Shadow Cat Studios!"  I exclaimed.  "It's Donna Huchinson!"
A years-long mystery was solved.

Moving on to Arabian costume, here are just two examples of the riches in this class. 
Green again.  This must be an unconscious theme of mine...
With this photograph I began to learn the attractions of a multiple-horse shot.  Which is more interesting to look at for a month, one horse or three or more?  Which gives more information?  The answer probably is a mix of both, depending on the horse and tack.  I was pleased that the judge gave the blue to one of my favorites, even though in hindsight I think his saddle is set too far forward.
And now on to something more Western.  With this photo (and for the only time in this entire post) I'm giving in to the urge to show off some Timaru Star II tack.  Owned by Margaret Suchow.
I told you we'd see this horse again...!  pretty versatile she is...
Here is a table shot, the only one I am including in this post.  It's cows, mostly.
If you're still with me, we have another round of unusual Performance entries.  This one is of crowd-control training for a Police horse.  What a clever use of those foam things!
This is a fishing scene, believe it or not, from earlier in the day.  I was struck by the garlic strings hanging on the near horse's pack... now that's cooking in the bush with style!
This was an interesting idea:  How to dress while riding during deer season.  Hunting is part of life here in Central Pennsylvania.
And this one really caught my eye.  Not only is my husband a wargamer and miliary historian, the paddle also grabbed my attention (since I am a canoeist).  I think it is a Kim Jacobs entry.
Here's the paragraph:  Beach patrol during the war!

With Niki in the room of course there had to be something from Doctor Who.  I was enchanted with the lanterns on the tops of the standards:  they are actually lit up, as are the windows.  She is using doll house technology.
Here is a very strange Jumping entry.  I'm sorry I don't know how it placed.  It's a creative way to use a non-jumping model in a jumping class.  Two photos will have to do.
The caption.
Remember the white Hansom Cab horse, back with the harness entries?  She's a Brigitte Eberl resin owned by Kris G, who tells me she's a good and steady winner.  Here she is in a Showmanship entry.
 It was in trying to see the dolls' faces that I got this photo.  I am so pleased with it -- my best shot of the show.

If you're exhausted, remember this day was TWO shows, run simultaneously.  Each one had many divisions.  At any one point in time there were 8 or 10 classes going on.  It's amazing I was finished by dark.
Intermediaire, the less competitive of the two shows, always has some fun classes towards the end.  One of these is my perpetual favorite, the only known Stable Wear class.  I swear I'm gonna enter it next year...
Another fun class is Wildlife.  I didn't get a shot of the whole class but it included a Buffalo, two bears, a Rocky Mountain Goat, Holi the Elephant and this!!  Not only is it shocking to have one of these at a horse show, it's probably the smallest model in the room!
I want to end with this, a sample of Didi's famous Flavours class.  If your horse was a flavour what would he be?  Because I own a Let's Celebrate myself I was drawn to this entry.  Cheers!
Thank you Didi.  May there be many more shows like this one.

I'm aware that many blog post subjects have been promised in the past on this site.  An actual count gives me something like ten.  It is my hope to combine some of them eventually.  New ones are continually arising, alas:  I must spend time making tack and drawing (drafting) plates for my next book.  All I can ask for is your patience.  Know that it is appreciated!