Friday, July 23, 2021

Story of a Single Neckpiece


This shorter post covers the fate of our BreyerFest Random Draw Neckpiece.  I was and still am pleased, humbled and amazed that so many people entered for it.  If only I could churn these out!  If only there was unlimited time in my day for tackmaking,...  but,...
The winner expressed preference with the words, "... he likes the blue and green ... so either one would be lovely."  In a flash of wild enthusiasm and with complete disregard for all my Akhal Teke reference pictures, I conceived the idea of using both.  "You can't see the two sides at the same time,"  rang through my brain, at once an excuse and a truism.

I'm not sure where these thoughts come from.  I didn't even pay close attention to the customer's exact word, 'either.'  Despite being carefully trained by my parents against gambling, there does seem to be a gambler deep inside me.

The choice was made easier by a few precious green sapphires I had.  Maybe that's where it came from;  I had used these in the previous set, AT4 Feldman's.  (I had also used 2 colors on a previous neckpiece, AT3 Meyer's.)  I found one stone small enough to fit the existing bezels and halfway in color between the dark blue sapphires and the green emeralds: it was a sort of light sea-green.
Once the stones were chosen, it was one evening's work to put in linings and then affix them.  I had to open the window so the weather needed to be good (it was).  I have tiny clothespin clamps as well as my much-repaired medical clamps.  As ever, manipulation was the hard part. 
The finished neckpiece was a bit short for Altynai, but it did fit him on the last hole.  He is the largest Teke I'm likely to encounter in a lifetime of model tackmaking.

This is a true one of a kind, unique piece of tack.  The customer was ecstatic, so my gamble paid off.
Thank you Ln!

What's next?   If the gods continue to smile on us, we will be in Colorado for the first 11 days of August.

Progress is slowly being made on our Little Bit scale Pair Collar Harness.

And I sure wish I was doing braidwork again.  All these new horses are inspiring!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

My BFest 5K Dash


My second BreyerFest virtual 5K happened this morning, between 7:24 and 8:05.   The weather was perfect: 67 degrees with a light breeze, and a complete overcast, which central Pennsylvania is so famous for.  My faithful roady and No. 1 fan shag wagon was on duty with the camera -- all these pictures are by him.  You can't see it, but there is a model horse in my back pocket, beloved Tachyon.

Standing at the start.  The wrist brace and elbow band are for the tendonitis, under a doctor's care with PT.

Get Ready, Get Set, (looking at my watch)

GO!  And she's off...

I had trained for months, in and out of shape.  I've been running for years;  this would be my 10th 5K race since 2016.  I have run in every BreyerFest 5K.  Advantages of a virtual race are the choice of course, ease of cleaning up afterwards and the control of weather and schedule.  Disadvantages are the lack of a cheering crowd and real competition.  [Editor's Note:  Further disadvantages are lack of an authenticated time and recognition of that.]

Coming up on the first lap.  Man, the track is lightning fast!

Nine minutes!  As fast as ever I've gone.
First lap:  9 minutes
Four times 'round Buchenhorst and Gerald road is my course.  I've measured it many times.  Each lap is 1.26K, which adds up to 5.04K, close enough for anybody's book.

Rounding the second lap. 

Not quite so fast.  I've changed my direction around the loop since last year.  Now instead of mostly uphill, it's mostly downhill.
Second lap:  19 minutes

Ten minutes per lap is average for me.

Few cars at this hour.  As ever, the third and fourth kilometers are the most challenging.  No pain, the legs are fine, yet there is battle between me and my lungs.  A 5K is short enough to tempt the sprinters and long enough to need the stayers.  Endless training has honed the legs.

Best shot.   This year I've started running with my eyes closed (for seconds at a time).  It's less distracting.

Third lap.  This is the slowest split, 12 minutes.
Third lap:  31 minutes

The last lap is, of course, the hardest.  I'm always amazed at how hard it is, but relish it too:  It should be that hard.  There is always walking in a race.  In every race I've ever run, there is walking.

Here she comes.

Final sprint.  Thank heavens the grade is level.
This is the fourth lap and Finish picture.  Not glamorous.  I suppose that's racing.
Fourth lap and Finish:  41 minutes.

By his watch it was 41:40.  This beats last year's 46:20 and seriously beats my 2017's 45:01.  This has been my fastest BreyerFest race by a notable margin!  I should carry a stopwatch.  [Editor's Note:  It's your second fastest.  2019 was 41:11.]

Kudos to Breyer for keeping up this tradition, and trusting us with the medallions.

From last year:  Tachyon the CollectA Teke.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Akhal-Teke Neckpiece Random Draw Offer

 If this year were a BreyerFest-in-the-flesh, doing a raffle would've been easy.  Since it isn't, I'm offering for purchase, by random draw, a single Akhal Teke neckpiece.  The metal color is silver and the leather is natural undyed.  The roller tongue buckle is handmade from stainless steel and sterling silver.  The neckpiece is a 3-ply, meaning three rows of silver metal bars, and it fits all known Trad-scale Tekes.  Best of all, the winner can have their choice of color gemstone put in:  Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Citrines or Tanzanites!   These are the precious stones I have in the right size and that are appropriate for the tack.

The price for this neckpiece will be $50 plus a postage-and-handling fee of $15, totaling $65.00.   To enter, email me your name and email address.  You may enter only once under your own name; if you want to increase your odds, use a child's, a pet's or a friend's name...!  Everyone's name will go in the hat on July 17th, the Saturday of BreyerFest, at 8pm Eastern time, and a computer will randomly draw the winner.  The winner will be notified by me within 24 hours and publicly announced on the TSII FaceBook page as soon as possible.  The winner need not pay until the stones are set in the neckpiece, which could take a week or so.

Due to bitter experience I will not use an envelope to mail tack with; only a box will do, hence the $15.

The winner of this neckpiece could even ask for two different colors.  Note that authentic Teke tack does not combine more than 2 colors of stones on a neckpiece, and that rarely.  The below neckpiece is part of TSII Akhal Teke set no. 3 (AT3) and combines sapphires and rubies.
The sapphires come out a nice darkish blue, while the rubies tend towards the pinkish side.

This BreyerFest 2021 random-draw neckpiece came out of AT3's construction, and was made back in January.  At the time I thought it was too short, and started over (for C. Sloan Meyer's Akhal Teke set).  Later I extended the buckle end, and now this piece fits both Lonesome Glory and Altynai. 

The rest of this post will be a happy exploration of this still-ungemmed neckpiece on various colors of horses.  A couple of times I PhotoShopped in some colors to see what they would look like.  Here we have my own AT2 neckpiece, Brasenose's, with its emeralds:  my best example of this color.  Doesn't it look good with the red bay of Mardi Gras!?

Or how about a buckskin?  What looks like a hole is actually the leather showing at the bottom of the bezel.

I tried to indicate Tanzanites with this shot.  They're more dark blue than this shows.

Do you have a Perlino?

Perhaps you've got an unadorned Altynai?  I PhotoShopped this one for rubies.

This is your chance to get a pretty sparkly piece for a very good price, from one of the most famous model tack shops we have.  "Since 1979."  When Carol Howard passed away in 2018, I became the longest-continually-in-business model horse tack maker in the world.  We are at 42 years and counting.

For various reasons, the TSII has not been producing much tack in the past year.  I am somewhat chagrined to have only this one neckpiece to offer for BreyerFest (Plus the Guide of course!); but hope springs eternal.  Perhaps the next 12 months will bring some changes, more time and more healing.

Thank you for entering!

WINNER:  Larry Combs.  Congratulations Larry!!  There were 18 entrants.  Both our FaceBook pages have had this information posted on them:  Susan Bensema Young and the Timaru Star II Model Tack page.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021



This is a very self-serving post, intended only for use with my new phone.  However, I am so insanely proud of some of these shots that I am leaving them up anyway.

These first two are explained by the last post, about AT4, the fourth Akhal Teke presentation set we ever made.

Most of the rest come from the Troika shoot.  These are three of my NaMoPaiMo horses.

This one features both Orlik and Brasenose.

Here we have both Brasenose in his emerald set, AT2 made by me, and Orlik in his Jacquee Gillespie braided bridle.

The braided bridle seen here was designed and commissioned by me, and made by Jacquee.

The thread acting as a noseband has been PhotoShopped out.