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Preview: Braymere Custom Saddlery

Braymere Custom Saddlery

Model horse tack and talk by Jennifer Buxton

Updated: 2018-04-20T04:15:00.538-06:00


Seth saves the day


A lot of people contributed to my performance entries for Rocky Mountain Spring Fling, including my new friend, Maire Lanzafane.Maire designed multiple tack sets for Breyer in the early 2000's, but has only recently started making things for the model horse hobby at large.I met her earlier this year, when she traveled to Denver on business. She brought along some of her pads, and I was instantly a fan.I ordered a pair of half pads for Rocky Mountain Spring Fling. After they arrived, I asked Maire if she would make me a quarter sheet. It was scheduled to arrive the day before the show, but the mailman came and went without leaving anything in my box.I was extremely disappointed, not just for myself, but also for Maire. I explained the situation to Seth, and he immediately offered to drive it to the show hall as soon as it arrived on Saturday."You don't have to do that," I said. "I'm only using it in one class. It's not a deal breaker. Plus, the show hall is thirty five minutes away."He insisted. Secretly, I was delighted.The quarter sheet arrived just in time for the English Natural Trail class.It looked absolutely awesome on Olivia... except for the dangling butt strap. Oops.Still good enough for second place.  Thank you so much to Maire and Seth for their help with this particular class. It really does take a village to show performance, and I am so glad to have both of you in mine![...]

Erin's snail


Erin says she doesn't like snails, but that's not really true. Just look at this beauty which she showed in the Other Animal class at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling.
He won first place! It was the highlight of Erin's day! 
Congratulations, Erin. Sofaking Slimy is a champion, and you are, too!

The Outhouse Class, part two


It would have been a crime to let my nice Bookshelf Barns outhouse go to waste, so I was forced to prepare a second entry for the Outhouse Class at last Saturday's Rocky Mountain Spring Fling.The documentation read: Hoping for some peace and quiet, George Morris has retreated to the outhouse to eat his ice cream. Sorry, George. There is no peace and quiet at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling!This placed second, behind my other entry. I am very proud to have won a performance NAN card with an Otto.Of course, mine weren't the only entries on the table. I'm not sure who owned this mini outhouse (Christie? Melissa?)...but this definitely Sandy's work. Definitely!Keep pretending, Erin. We know you love our outhouses! Every show should have an Outhouse Class. This was so much fun![...]

The Outhouse Class, part one


Erin Corbett doesn't like outhouses in performance entries, so of course, Heather decided that Rocky Mountain Spring Fling's performance division would include an Outhouse Class. Also of course, I immediately decided this was The Most Important Class of the entire show. As luck would have it, I already owned a beautiful outhouse made by Alaina Richardson of Bookshelf Barns. I really wanted to use this, but I jcouldn't figure out how to make it work with a cantering pony.Eventually, I decided to go another way. I bought two cheap, unfinished outhouses...and turned them into a cross country jump. Teresa Buzzell helped me with the sponsor banner.Since Erin loves snails even more than she loves outhouses, I decided to make a few of those to go on the jump.Okay, I made forty one of them. If something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing, right?Then I asked Jana Skybova to make a snail themed saddle pad and fly bonnet. She was happy to oblige.I was so excited to put this on the show table. It was truly a thing of beauty.Erin loved it.She can pretend she didn't, but I know the truth.See? Every show should have an Outhouse class. That was awesome.[...]

RMSF Performance recap


On Saturday, I took my three-mane Purdy pony and a mountain of tack, props and dolls to the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds for Heather Malone's big Rocky Mountain Spring Fling show.I showed Olivia in eleven Other Performance classes, ten English classes (I forgot to take pictures of Jumper and Dressage)... and ten Western classes. That was way too many tack changes, but my efforts were rewarded with three sectional champion ribbons and the overall division title. Hurray!Sandy Sanderson showed her jumper, Better Than Sex, in almost as many classes. He won almost as many ribbons as Olivia, and swept the sectional and division reserve championships.I love showing with Sandy. She is an amazing performance shower. No one else pushes and inspires me more.Usually this would be the end of the story, but Heather's shows always include a Best in Show award. All the day's champions are brought back to the show table, and then Heather makes her selection.  Holy crap! Olivia won top honors!Here's a shot of all my Rocky Mountain Spring Fling loot. I had a very good day. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me with my performance plan, especially Tiffany who created the world's most perfect performance pony. Thanks also to Erin for judging and Heather for being the best show host ever![...]

NaMoPaiMo at RMSF


There were a lot of NaMoPaiMo horses in the show hall on Saturday, so at lunch, we lined them up and took a picture. From left to right and back to front, this is Alex Aarons, Meredith Warren, Lu Heater, Marilyn Jensen, Kirsten Wellman, Fabian Rodriguez, Stephanie Blaylock and Jennifer Buxton. Melissa Addison, Renae Grinlaubs, Rachel Germain, Kenzie Parr and Christie Richardson attended the show, but didn't make the photo.Here's a closer look at some of those NaMoPaiMo horses. It was so fun seeing them all in person. We had models from both years...and many, like Hoka Hey and Ryan's Blue Mustang, that are now owned by someone other than their painter. Rocky Mountain Spring Fling had an Amateur Owner painter division, and most of these models showed there. Here's Alex's stablemate, Kenzie's warmblood, and my Clydesdale with their Amateur Owner ribbons.Some of the horses also showed in the Open classes. Here's Lu's Quarter Horse showing in performance...and Rachel's drafter showing in Custom Breed,Last but certainly not least, here is Stephanie's magnificent Appaloosa. The judge liked him as much as I do!Thank you to everyone who brought out their NaMoPaiMo horses on Saturday, and also to Heather for supporting NaMoPaiMo and amateur owner artists![...]

Rocky Mountain Spring Raffle


Yesterday was amazing. In addition to winning a lot of prizes with my pony, I also won the best prize in the raffle.
 I still can't believe that happened.
Apparently, neither can Sandy! 
Thank you so much for donating that Levi to Rocky Mountain Spring Fling, Jenn. I love him!

Mission accomplished


The calm before the storm


Earlier this year, I judged two of my best friends at A Midwinter Night's Ball in Georgetown, Texas. They are both really excellent performance showers, and I worried about the possibility of champing them both. 

"It's not that I want to give all the top prizes to my friends," I told Seth before I left for Texas. "But they might not give me an option.
They didn't.
Today, the tables are turned, and Erin is judging my brand new performance horse.
I have worked really hard on my entries. 
I don't know if I'll win a championship, but if I do, it's not because Erin and I are friends. I will have earned it.

The mane attraction


Today was a really good mail day. I got my Bookshelf Barn arena walls. I also got my loaner performance items...and Sandy's brand new Purdy horse.Sandy's horse is gorgeous and should belong to me. I'm not dwelling on that, however, because I also received Purdy Number Thirty.Because of Erin, I can'r share photos of her yet, but here are her manes. They attach to her neck with magnets, and I have spent half the day happily clicking them into place.Is it Saturday yet? I can't wait![...]

How many?


How many dolls does it take to show one pony in thirty one performance classes?
I don't know. I'm still adding to the box!

Crunch time


I have spent the last few weeks making things,buying things, trading things...and borrowing things.I am almost ready for Rocky Mountain Spring Fling, but there are still a few things I need before show day. I needed Ryan's help for one of them.What is it?Can you guess?I've been trying not to do previews because Erin, but this one's too fun not to share. It's a sled!We had a lot of fun designing this together, and I can't wait to put it on the show table.Just a few days left! I'd better get back to work![...]

Nine tenths


Stephanie Blaylock will be judging the youth division at next Saturday's big Rocky Mountain Spring Fling show.Since she'll also be entering a few classes, he shipped her show string to Heather ahead of time. During yesterday's pre-show party, we opened the box to admire all the goodies make sure everything had arrived safely.Every piece was absolutely exquisite...but this one... Mr. Toad's Wild RideKylee Parks' Tadpole resin, owned, painted and photographed by Stephanie BlaylockYeah, this one wants to belong to me.Mr Toad's Wild RideKylee Parks' Tadpole resin, owned, painted and photographed by Stephanie BlaylockNine tenths, Stephanie. Nine tenths. Can it be Saturday yet? I can't wait![...]

RMSF prepping party


I love model horse shows, so next week is going to be really good for me. Saturday is the debut of Heather Malone's destination show, Rocky Mountain Spring Fling.This show has it all: wonderful judges, a huge class list, amazing prizes and a really great show hall. I am so excited.some of the prizes, collage by Heather MaloneYesterday, Heather invited a group of local hobbyists to a show prep party.We stuffed show packets...and assembled the goodie boxes.Aren't they pretty? Molly approves.We also spent some time admiring the prizes. These ribbons are so cool...and everyone of us wants to win one of these amazing medallions by Steph Michaud. Fingers crossed!Of course, since this was a party, there was also plenty of food,drink... and general merriment.That was so much fun.Can it be Saturday yet? I can't wait![...]

Not your grandma's model horse show


There's nothing better than playing ponies with friends, so I love model horses. It doesn't really matter if they're big or small/ I love them all, but more than anything, I love that color outside the lines. Today's guest post is about an innovative show I wish I had attended plus a great list of ideas for show holders who want to try something different. Thanks, Sarah Townsend!Alternative Model Horse Show Formatsby Sarah TownsendLike it or not, the hobby is changing. A lot of people, including me, have started to re-think the traditional live show format. In 2016, I put some of those thoughts into practice when I held Hoosier Pony Live in Bloomington, Indiana. photo by Liz LaroseHoosier Pony Live was an all Yellow Card show with lots of classes in collectibility and workmanship. The OF collectibility classes were separated by year and type...1980's Breyer callbacksphoto by Alison Pareisand the custom classes were judged by color.  Champion Non Pro Custom by Laurel Haigphoto by Alison PareisWe also had a Custom Collectibility division, where models were grouped by age. Vintage custom created by Lesli Kathman in 1996photo by Alison PareisMost people were really happy with the classlist. It’s not something you see a lot, but it worked well. I hope someone else will look at this idea and make it work for their shows in the future.  Here are a few more pictures from the show.1990's Customsphoto by Alison PareisNon-pro custom callbacksphoto by Alison PareisOverall Champion Breyerphoto by Alison PareisFor the last several years, I've been making a list of fun and unique show ideas. Some of these are borrowed from other shows. Others are brand new. Since I won't be able to use them all myself, I'm sharing them here in hopes of inspiring someone else.Color specific shows. For example, Spots and Dots for appies and pintos or Plain Janes for solid colors only. Breed specific shows. These would cater to a groups of breeds, like stock breeds, draft and pony breeds or even mixed breeds and grade horses. These shows are a lot of fun and give you the opportunity to have a full show and still make it home by early afternoon. You could also have a performance division with only the themed breeds allowed. I feel like this would be great for drafts, ponies, and Spanish horses, all of which can be overlooked when competing against more versatile breeds like Arabians and Quarter Horses.Gender (stallions, mares, gelding) or age (foals!) specific shows. Foal shows should be a much more common thing and can include a full set of in hand performance classes. Sculptor specific shows. Entries restricted to models by a single, prolific artist, such as Chris Hess or Maureen Love. This is a great way to hold a quick and simple vintage show. Maiden shows. Entry restricted to horses that have never been shown. We all tend to show the same horses over and over. Sometimes it's fun to shake up the show string and bring out those horses who never leave the house. Similarly, a WEIOTT show for non-Breyer, non-Stone and non-CopperFox plastics would be amazing.Custom Collectibility shows. Some custom models are desirable for their history rather than their current showability.  As far as I know, I am the only person who has held a custom collectibility division, but it was popular and fun. Classes were divided by decade of creation, and documentation was provided as you would see in OF collectibility. Normal wear and tear was not held against models, and it was great to see so many old and not really showable models in the ring. This was also the division for aftermarket flockies and Eustis pieces, which usually fall into resin[...]

Circle C Classic Fun Show report


There's been a lot of talk about the future of model horse showing lately, but personally, I see no cause for alarm. The old system may be changing, but the future looks bright with lots of innovative, stand-alone shows springing up across the country. Today's guest post is about one of those shows. Thank you, Maggie, for letting us share in the fun!Circle C Classic “Micro Mania” Fun Showby Maggie Jenner-BennettA few months ago I was announcing at the last Circle C Classic show here in North Carolina and considering what sort of show I’d like to see. It occurred to me that not only would a fun show focused on micro minis be great, but that the next planned show for the space was intended to be very small—so perhaps half the show hall might be available! And, indeed, it was, so the “Micro Mania” fun show came into being. I knew from the start that I wanted this to be a show where everyone participated, and that I didn’t want to struggle with finding judges. I also knew that I wanted to give out lots and lots of great prizes. And if I could show some of my horses, that would be neat, although it was by no means necessary. One of the things that always bothers me when showing really little horses is the low, uneven light in most show halls. You just can’t see details without bright light! So I decided that for an all-micro mini show it was really important to me to put in as much light as possible. I made these very simple stands and pulled all of the LED lights out of my shop. They provide wonderfully bright, diffused light, without any heat!The AR/CM show table was bright! I didn’t have enough lights to cover all the rings, so the original finish table on the right was placed under one of the overhead lights.This was intended to be a fun show, so I wasn’t worried about NAN qualification. Instead of having one or two judges, we asked every shower to judge every class. That meant everyone got to look at all the pretty ponies! Our judging method was simple: place three pennies next to your choice for first, two for second, and one for third (and of course, don’t place horses you own or painted). There was no specific judging criteria besides “Place the ones you like the best.” Unfortunately, the show hall was broken into over the previous night and someone stole our pennies! Happily replacement pennies were quickly located, so we were able to continue as planned.Beth’s husband, Fletcher, tallied the pennies and handed out ribbons. He also reorganized the used pennies into little stacks of six after each class so showers could easily grab a stack to judge!The good lighting made photos show up nicely! Every first place horse won an artist resin, whether they were AR, CM, or OF! If one of my horses, or a horse owned by my assistant Beth, placed first, we moved the prizes down such that second, third, and fourth received the prizes. I figured that kept it fair and fun—and Beth and I don’t need any more unpainted micro minis!Even little classes, like this two-horse CM class, took home prizes!Of course, some classes were rather larger. And incredibly hard to judge—AR draft was full of amazing pieces.Everyone managed, though.Somehow. Stephanie Blaylock’s amazing Donner and Blitzen ended up tying for first, so we gave them each a prize! We could have had another round of judging with just those two, which was in the show rules, but it’s a fun show and what could be more fun than more prizes!Here’s many of our showers judging!And here’s our champion call-backs... allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='h[...]

This is why you always save your patterns


Last week, I made an eventing vest for one of my dolls. I was really pleased with it at first.Then I got my brand new, custom ordered, Jana Skybova eventing pad in the mail. Those pinks do not match.I tried to convince myself that it was okay, but the more I looked at it, the worse it got. Something had to be done, so today I went to Michaels and bought a new piece of craft foam.I have a plastic tub in my studio that is filled with pattern pieces. It's not at all organized, but there are patterns for just about everything I've ever made. This includes things I don't necessarily plan to make again, like eventing vests.This looks so much better. The first vest took me a couple hours. The second took twenty minutes. Hurry for not having to re-invent the wheel![...]

NaMoPaiMo classes


If my calculations are correct, it's possible that as many as eleven NaMoPaiMo horses could turn up at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling.Most of these are eligible to show in the Amateur Owner workmanship division, but I am hoping there will also be an impromptu NaMoPaiMo class. These classes have sprung up in Iowa,Taylor Stickrod, Amanda Bowe and Sondra HouseholderTexas...Marilyn Jensen, Alicia Vogel, Erin Dunn, LoGeana Anderson and Taylor Trentphoto by Christie Parteeand Massachusetts. photo by Corrie McDermottTo the best of my knowledge, none of these classes were planned ahead of time. They were added to the class list on the day of the show and were judged by people's choice.Marilyn Jensen's Browniephoto by LoGeana AndersonAlicia Vogel's Valegro was the big winner at Tournament of Champions. He won the NaMoPaiMo by LoGeana Andersonand also placed first in dressage...and was Reserve Champion of the Custom Sport division.Danielle Feldman's Tadpole was the crowd favorite at Southern New England Winter Round Up (SNEWRU).Some of the other horses in the class included Corrie McDermott's beautiful Tiny,Linda White's wonderful Tee-nah mule...and Anne Giles' Rockinhorse Wild Rose, who won a rosette in her breed division!It makes me so happy seeing all these NaMoPaiMo horses in the show ring, and I can't wait to see the Rocky Mountain Spring Fling line-up![...]

April foolery


Earlier today, The Plaid Horse magazine posted a funny picture of George Morris and one of his adoring fans.The caption read: #Repost @arlequestrian ・・・#tbt to when i met george morris at starbucks and we harassed him for a picture while he was eating ice cream and he literally looked miserable but we became friends i thinkAs soon as I saw it, I knew I had to recreate the scene in 1:9 scale.That was pretty good, but George didn't look grumpy enough so I used my rudimentary Photoshop skills to fix it.Happy April Fools Day and happy Easter, too![...]

Lost and found


I shipped nearly two hundred boxes in the weeks following the end of NaMoPaiMo.This forced me to dig deep into my stash of small boxes, and inside one of those boxes, I found this.The postmark on the box was dated November 2008. What was happening in my life that caused me to not unpack more than sixty dollars worth of tack making hardware?I can't imagine what I was thinking then, but I was delighted to find it now. The liverpool bit went right into the harness I'm making for Heather's show. The stirrups were added to an old saddle I'm rebuilding. This saddle was made in 2005, and originally featured stirrups I'd bought from Marsha Ensor.Old stirrups in back, new in front. Just switching these out will make this saddle look a lot more current.Thank you, careless 2008 Jennifer! 2018 Jennifer really appreciates the goodies![...]



Years ago, I bought a bunch of teeny tiny magnets to use in horse boots. Initial results were frustrating, but eventually I found a way to make them work. However, I never really got around to making a good set of user friendly boots, at least not until today.
My performance plan for Rocky Mountain Spring Fling includes at least a dozen tack changes. There's no way I can deal with buckle boots, so this morning I sat down and forced myself to come up with a better solution.
 These fit nice and tight against the model's legs and click on and off in seconds. There are a few little pattern adjustments I'd like to make, but I'm calling this a win.
Now to make a set of matching hind boots!

Hello dolly


The last time Erin Corbett judged in Colorado, I decided it was more important to clean my house than it was to prepare my performance entries. I managed to do okay at the show... but all my set-ups were a little sloppy, especially Princess Trillium's.Her cross country entry was so terrible, Erin mocked it. I should have been offended, but honestly, I didn't blame her. It really was that bad.In just over two weeks, Erin returns to Colorado to judge the performance classes at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling.This time I've decided good entries are more important than a clean house. Most of my recent hobby time has been spent on show prep.Yesterday, I started working on my cross country entry and realized that I never got around to upgrading the poor riding doll that made Princess Trillium's entry so mock-worthy. My first thought was to message Anne Field and beg her to make me something better. However, I know she's busy with a real job these days, plus I already owe her for my new dressage doll.My next thought was to borrow a doll from Tiffany, but I'm already borrowing so many things from her. I hate to add anything else to the list. In the end, I decided to try making my own doll.Or, more accurately, I decided to finish the doll I started last year using Anne's doll customizing tutorial.I'd planned to write a post about the experience, but it ended up being so frustrating--and painful-- that I never got around to it.Fortunately, things went a lot more smoothly today. All of the clothes are re-purposed Breyer clothes except for the safety vest. I made that from craft foam and leather. It has a magnetic closure so that it can be easily removed if I want to use the doll in other classes.This doll isn't perfect, but she's good enough. Most importantly, I don't think Erin will feel the need to mock her. Hurray![...]

NaMoPaiMo in the international show ring


Despite its name, NaMoPaiMo is an international event. We had participants from twenty three countries this year, and many of those faraway NaMoPaiMo ponies have found their way into show rings across the world. Today's second post showcases the early careers of some of these models.Our world tour begins in Ontario, Canada at the Luck of the Irish Live Show. Marina Amanova's tiny Gypsy Vanner was sixth in pinto workmanship,Erica Ferguson's equally tiny Arabian placed third in his class...and Lynn Cassels-Caldwell's Al Arjuani won the Overall Artist Resin Workmanship Championship. Hurray!Sarah Biber's Khause a Scene won two Reserve Champions and a Champion title at a show in Rheine, Germany...and Claire Goss's Negan won the custom Mustang class at Year of the Dog Live in Northampton, England.  There were two NaMoPaiMo horses at Göteborgsliven in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is Tina Melin's Nazar winning his first class at his first show...and this is Sophie Nordström's Dustu J with his Championship winnings. This picture is a little older. It was taken at Vattenshowen 2017 in Stockhom, Sweden. It shows Jeanne Saar's 2017 NaMoPaiMo horse, Shikuulharaharijar, now owned by  Tai Lenke Enarsson winning the Overall Reserve Championship.And speaking of Jeanne Saar... here's her 2018 NaMoPaiMo horse collecting top honors at the Red Anima Live Show in Moscow, Russia.Congratulations, Marina, Erica, Lynn, Sarah, Claire, Tina, Sophie, Jeanne and Tai. You are all winners![...]

NaMoPaiMo in the show ring


The NaMoPaiMo Class of 2018 is less than two months old, but already they are making their presence known in show rings across the country.Jennifer Cook's Tator Tot at Halfway LiveThere were no less than three NaMoPaiMo graduates at Halfway Live in Fremont, Nebraska. Kiersten Schmieding's Galaxy Quest took third in the Welsh (Including Cobs) Class...and Molly Pengra's tiny Appaloosa, now owned by Carra McClelland, won the Artist Resin Other Stock class.Audrey Dixon took her 2018 NaMoPaiMo horse, Lokkadís, to Save The Tigers in Hilliard, Ohio. She placed first in Breed, second in workmanship and won section champion in breed.That's impressive, but Audrey's 2017 NaMoPaiMo Horse, Dark Sally, did even better at Save the Rhinos, which was also held in Hilliard, Ohio. She won her breed class and went on to be Overall Custom Champion. Great job, Audrey!Angela Bonewitz's Gypsy Cob, Heartbreacker, placed second in the Other Pure/Mix Class at New Year's Bash Defrosted in Ohio.At the same show, Angie McPherson's big buttermilk buckskin won both first and breed and third in workmanship.Maggie Garlock painted several horses during NaMoPaiMo, all of which were shown at the Sea to Bay Show in Pocomoke City, Maryland. From left to right are Bey Sara, Change of Shift, and Fly Eagle Fly.Alison Martin's Gold Rush...and Shannon Robinson's Hotwire both won good ribbons at Red Rock Plastic Ponies in Hurricane, Utah.Jacen Tooley also showed at Red Rock Plastic Ponies. Her first-ever custom, All That Glitters, won both her breed and workmanship classes and a sectional championship. Woo hoo!Four NaMoPaiMo horses competed in both the performance...owned and painted by Suzanne Combsand halter rings at the GLC No Frills March Show in Huntley, Illinois.Sazerac, painted by Nan Wagner and owned Marilou Mol.Lindsay Diamond's VAF Running On Empty won her breed did DeeAnn Kjelshus's The Little General.BreyerWest in Albany, Oregon was another four NaMoPaiMo horse show.Seabreeze, owned and painted by Kenzie ParrMandy Hood's Saddlbred (now owned by Debbie Connell)...and Shana Bobbitt's Smarty both won their breed classesand Gail Hildebrand 2017 NaMoPaiMo horse (now owned by Heather Visser) was the Reserve Champion in the English Performance Section.The biggest winner, at least in terms of ribbons, is Lisa Smalley's  The Horse Who Does Not Want To Be Painted. Officially known as Foxy After Midnight, this Knightly Cadence resin was Champion Other Performance and Reserve Champion English Performance at SNEWRU/Southern New England Winter Round Up... and Champion AR/CM Other Western division, and Reserve Champion Open Ranch Horse at MidAtlantic Regionals (MAR), where he also won a NAN card in breed. Congratulations, Lisa. He may not have wanted to be painted, but he definitely wants to be shown!Congratulations also to Jennifer, Kiersten, Molly, Audrey, Angela, Angie, Maggie, Alison, Shannon, Jacen, Suzanne, Nan, Lindsay, DeeAnn, Kenzie, Mandy, Shana and Gail. You are all winners![...]

Three amputations


My studio was the site of three amputations yesterday. Two were intentionalOne was not.Fortunately... I'm pretty good at fixing things. As good as Better than new!On to the next project![...]