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Preview: Braymere Custom Saddlery

Braymere Custom Saddlery

Model horse tack and talk by Jennifer Buxton

Updated: 2017-11-17T17:49:05.634-07:00


Catching up


I didn't make anything today, but I did go riding, which is just as good.
My seasonal job ended two weeks ago. The goal was to earn enough money to buy a new-to-me car, and I accomplished that. It's a good feeling.
I'm still at loose ends on the tack making and blogging fronts, but hopefully, I that will improve with time. I guess we'll see.

Whip it


I haven't had a lot of energy for the model horse hobby lately, but for some reason, I was inspired to make a dressage whip.
This could find its way into a live show set-up, but mostly, it's a cat toy.
Get it, Aeh!
Maybe tomorrow I'll make something else.

Someone at Breyer loves me


Shortly after I announced I'd be going to BreyerFest, I was contacted by Stephanie at Breyer. She asked if I would be interested in taking pictures of BreyerFest Live and the Children's and Youth Show for Just About Horses magazine.
 Of course I said yes.
 About a week ago, all my hobby friends started receiving their copies of Just About Horses in the mail. That's when I realized that I had forgotten to renew my membership to the Breyer Collector Club. There would be no Just About Horses coming to me. Darn it!
 But... someone at Breyer loves me. Today, as if by magic, I found two copies of JAH in my mailbox. Thank you so much, Breyer!

Weekend Showcase: Corina Roberts


For the past two weeks, most of my hobby time has gone towards judging the MEPSA October Performance show. MEPSA shows, even the regular monthly qualifiers, are a big deal. This particular show had ninety classes, sixteen entrants and more than two thousand photos, most of which were really, really good.Still, some were better than others, and none were better than these incredible mountain scenes by my friend, Corina Roberts. Thank you so much for allowing me to share them here, Corina![...]

Sarah Foster


I met a lot of great people at this year's BreyerFest, but no one impressed me more than seventeen year old Sarah Foster.
Sarah was this year's winner of the BreyerFest Live Sportsmanship Trophy
In September 2016, Sarah was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive and fatal type of brain cancer. Despite that, she made the long trek from her home in Orlando, Florida to attend BreyerFest. She showed at BreyerFest Live and attended our big room sales opening night on Thursday. She was a beautiful, kind, strong and brave girl.
Sarah and Tiffany Purdy
Sarah passed away earlier today. She will be deeply missed.



I have been planning a Halloween photo shoot for the last three weeks. I've gathered the horses, the dolls, the costumes, the props and the candy. That's everything I need, except, of course, the enthusiasm. I just couldn't muster that, so I decided to rely on Facebook instead. Thank you, to everyone who contributed their pictures. These are all awesome. Enjoy!photo by Anna Dobrowolska-Oczkophoto by Cameryn Oswaldphoto by Cold RuRuphoto by Anonymousphoto by Marjo Miettinenphoto by Missy Halvasphoto by Sandy Sandersonphoto by Becca Brooksphoto by Sharon Foster Pedenphoto by Sorraia ArtPhoto by Christine Sutcliffephoto by Vicky Norrisphoto by Nichelle Jones[...]

Fall break


Last week was Fall Break. Ryan is a high school senior, so it's likely this will be his last fall break while living under our roof. We decided to make the most of it, so on Tuesday, we piled into the van and headed out to Southwestern Colorado.Our primary destinations were Mesa Verde...Great Sand Dunes National Parks.Both of those places were awesome,but I was equally excited to be visiting this place. When I was twenty one, I spent three months in Mancos, working as a wrangler at Lake Mancos Ranch. It was one of the best summers of my life, and I have long dreamed of going back.Mission accomplished![...]

Westerly Design studio tour


Earlier this year, I wrote a post about "dream studios." Karen Gerhardt's wasn't among those featured, but that's only because I hadn't seen it yet. Now I have, and let me tell you: This is a beautiful work space.Karen is a sculptor and finishwork artist, specializing in custom glaze Chinas.Her studio has separate spaces for both endeavors. This one is going to be amazing.These are her China molds...and here are some of her paint brushes. Everything is so neat and organized! The studio also houses some of Karen's personal collection... with an emphasis on the models she sculpted herself.There are multiple examples of her two Breyers, including some gorgeous one of a kind pieces painted by Karen at the Breyer factory.The next two pictures will probably give some OF collectors a heart attack, so take a deep breath before proceeding. Neither Shannondell...or Vahana are original finish. They are both aftermarket glossies.Also interesting, but not OF are the shrinky Shannondells. Both Middledell... and Littledell were created before Karen sold the sculpture to Breyer. The rest of the photos aren't part of the official studio tour, since they were taken in other parts of the home.Here are some of Karen's original finish Chinas...I have a little broken one just like this!...and most of her custom glaze collection. So gorgeous!Karen's house is also filled with some beautiful two dimensional art, including these paintings by her aunt and two well known hobby artists, Sue Rowe and Sarah Rose.Thank you again, Karen, for inviting us to your beautiful home![...]

Pumpkin party


Yesterday, a group of Front Range hobbyists headed up to the high country for Karen Gerhardt's Pumpkin Season Open Studio Party.The party opened with a tour of Karen's beautiful new studio...and a fun giveaway. Teresa Fedak and Yashka Hallein were the big winners, but no one went home empty-handed.After we'd inspected every inch of the studio...we went downstairs to eat, play with the dog...and paint pumpkins. Everyone looks serious, but this was actually a ton of fun.Here's a before picture of the painted pumpkins.  I can't wait to see what they look like after they spend a few hours in the kiln.In theory, one of these will be green!The party wrapped with one more fun activity.Karen had asked us each to bring a model horse. We lined them up on the shelf and held an impromptu competition judged by popular choice. I brought Proof. He didn't win, but I thought he looked amazing anyway.Thank you for hosting the pumpkin party, Karen!That was a great way to end the Fall Break week.[...]

Almost wordless Wednesday


Half a million may have been an exaggeration, but I really did take a lot of pictures of Rocky and Myr during my recent visit to Jennifer Scott's house. Here are a few that didn't make the main post. Enjoy![...]

Pony party


A couple weeks ago, Jennifer Scott asked me to come to her home in Evergreen to take photos of her and her Morgan gelding, Edgefield Gemstone AKA Rocky.Of course I said yes.Car problems almost forced me to cancel, but fortunately, Teresa offered to give me a ride. We arrived just as Jenn was finishing up Rocky's pre-photo shoot bath. Jenn tacked him up, and the three of us walked him to a scenic spot at the end of the street.I took about half a million photos.So handsome!Then it was back home where Rocky's best bud, Myr, was impatiently waiting. Jenn turned both boys out in the big pasture.  This is a rare occurrence, so they were really excited.Especially Myr. I love Myr.I took another half million photos...before the boys settled down... and went back to eating. Then we headed inside to play with the plastic ponies.Teresa and I drooled over the horses on Jenn's painting table... (this one wants to belong to me),admired her in progress Chinas...and checked out her new Quarter Horse sculpture. He's going to be awesome. Jenn's NaMoPaiMo horse will also be awesome... If she ever finishes it, that is. Come on, Jenn! You can do it! This was such a fun day. Thanks for spending it with me, Jenn and Teresa![...]



Just in case you think it's all centaurs and horse head masks around here, I'll have you know there's a lot of finishwork happening, too.In fact, as of yesterday, this Karen Gerhardt Caprice resin is officially done.This guy was gifted to me last December. He was one of the of the original artist proofs and had been painted solid, shiny black.After repairing his many breaks, I gave him a new coat of paint. He's still black, but now he has a small star, painted eyes, hooves and chestnuts and a bit of shading.In honor of his past... I've decided to name him Proof.Sometimes they really do name themselves![...]

My froggy centaur


I was looking for an easy doll clothes tutorial and stumbled onto My Froggy Stuff's YouTube Channel.I found the information I needed, but continued to watch and learn. Eventually, we got to a video entitled How to Make: Doll Costume, Centaur, Unicorn. And then, just like that, I had to make a doll centaur costume.I am not a seamstress, but the directions were clear and easy to follow. After one unsuccessful trial run... I made a completely credible centaur costume.And because I am me, I also figured out how to turn this into a performance entry.Heather, can we please have a Fun Costume class at Rocky Mountain Spring Fling? My centaur costume demands to be shown![...]

Pictures from today's ride


I haven't been riding a lot lately. This is mostly because I've been working so much, but also, a lot of my regular rides, including Sprite, have left Kenlyn. Fortunately, I still have Santana, and that is no small thing.Today Santana and I joined Mary Jo and Scarlett on a quintessentially Colorado ride.We experienced multiple weather conditions, including wind, rain...  and brilliant sunshine.We also crossed paths with several different types of wildlife...and reveled in the glory of the red tree.This tree turns red bright red for a few days every fall. Then, almost immediately, it loses all its leaves.Today was Red Tree Day.We made the most of it.  This was such a fun ride. I think I'm over being sad about the horses who have gone. It's time to concentrate on the horses I still have. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I am looking forward to spending a lot more time in the saddle.[...]

Backwoods fun classes


The Backwoods Two Day Show had just eight performance classes, but it also featured a full "fun class" division. Since I love having fun at model horse shows, this was a big bonus for me.The division opened with the Anything Goes class. I think everyone knows that I won this one with my golf cart entry.However, that was by no means the only interesting thing on the show table. Other entries included stuffed animals, Halloween horses, a cowboy riding a Western pleasure horse in an Indian saddle and an Arabian by Heather Maloneand an Indian riding a Warmblood in eventing tack!photo by Sandy SandersonThere was also a Lego tribute to Jim West. Clear Skies, Jim. We all miss you.After Anything Goes, it was time for the Mare and Foal class. I should have shown in this one, but strict class limits prevented me from bringing large portions of my show string, including at least one member of all my mare and foal pairs.Fortunately, the class filled up just fine without me.There were a lot of lovely horses on the table, but the top prize went to Heather's minis. Yay!photo by Heather MaloneCompanion Animals was next. I showed Aeh and Pixel...and Stanley. They won second and first respectively, which sounds more impressive than it was. In this division, the placings were Champion, Reserve Champion then first and second. Go figure.Champion was Heather's custom Scotty by Marilyn Jensen. This dog is super cute, and I covet him. On to Portrait Models! As the name suggests, this class limited to model portraits of real animals. Each horse (or dog) was presented with photos and sometimes stories. It was really neat to see everyone's beloved real life companions. I have a lot of portrait models, but we were limited to just two, so I showed Rev... and Abbie. Abbie won the Champion trophy, which is fitting since she really was the Best Dog Ever.The last two fun classes were Other Animals and Most Loved. I didn't show in either of these, nor did I photograph them. By this point in the weekend, I'd pretty much run out of steam. Sorry!Heather Malone, best Backwoods roommateThanks again to Amber for holding such a well run and fun show. Thanks also to Heather for going with me. That was so much fun. I'm already looking forward to next year's Backwoods![...]

Backwoods performance


With just eight classes, the performance division at the Backwoods Two Day Show in Divide, Colorado was even more abbreviated than Custom or Resin halter. Despite that, I managed to arrive at the show hall on Sunday with absolutely nothing prepared. I sat out the first class, which was harness.Sandy Sanderson left her regular ski-joring doll at home, so her jockey was pressed into service. He looked ridiculous on the big Barbie skis, and Sandy told me not to take his picture. Unfortunately for Sandy, I am a jerk about these sorts of things. Here he is in all his glory!Liberty was the next class. For this one, I simply plopped Hoka Hey and Liam Bray on the table. No surprise, the judge was not impressed. Heather Malone put a little more effort in her entry and was rewarded with her first performance NAN card in many years. Hurray! The third class was Costume. This was split into Native American costume...and Other. Other included a couple cute fun entries...and three nice Arabian costumes. Of these, my own Rune placed first with the Cary Nelson costume and doll that I bought at Breyerfest. Yay! Second place went to Heather's custom PAM by Linda Elkjer and Steph Blaylock. She wore a Stephanie Annee costume that is nearly twenty years old and still as competitive as the day it was made.My own Nejmet es Subh placed third in the six year costume. That was a tough class!English was next. This was another big, tough class, so Amber split it into two sections: Over Fences and Other.Sandy's brand new Uppenovah resin won the Over Fences section...with Jennibray picking up second place honors. Lady Liberty was third in the Other English with a nice but plain Saddleseat entry.  Onto Western! This time the split was Stockwork... and Other. I tried a little harder here and won the Other section with Lady Liberty's trail entry. Class six was Games. This was another good class... with lots of nice entries. I showed two horses, Lady Liberty and Liam Bray. After a slow start, my competitive juices were finally flowing, and there were my two best entries of the day.It's always a good sign when people crowd around your set-up and take lots of pictures!It was a clean sweep for the Braymere horses. Lady Liberty won the class and Liam was second. The final performance class was supposed to be Diorama/Scene. I did not enter this one, but there were a lot of neat entries on the table, including this racing scene by Sandy Sanderson.After Diorama/Scene, showholder and performance judge, Amber Schultz, added an Other Performance class. I was unprepared for this and was too busy playing with my golf cart to be bothered to put an entry together. In retrospect, I should have slapped together a showmanship entry for Lady Liberty, but I was feeling lazy. Sorry, Lady!With two firsts, a second and a third, Sandy's Seattle Slew resin was the clear overall performance champion.Lady Liberty tried... but she was nosed out by Dixie Gray's custom Victrix. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to Amber for hosting (and judging) the Backwoods Two Day Show. Next time I promise I will come prepared![...]

Anything goes


I didn't win a trophy today, but I did win the Anything Goes class with my golf cart entry. 
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video by Sandy Sanderson
And you know, as far as I'm concerned, that's the only class that really mattered.

You never know


 Nine years ago, I went to a party and came home with a bag of body parts.These included a set of Boreas bookends.I reunited the front and back halves and sent him to Mindy Berg, who gave him one of her glorious dapple grey paintjobs. In the years since then, Dhaulagiri has been one of the mainstays of my resin halter show strings. He's won a lot of NAN cards and a couple division titles...but I never expected this to happen! Today, Dhaulagiri was named Resin Halter Overall Reserve Champion at the Backwoods Two Day Show in Divide, Colorado. Here he is with the Resin Halter Overall  Champion, owned by Heather Malone.His stablemate Castillo was the Custom Halter Overall Champion. It was a good day for Team Braymere.Performance tomorrow![...]



I don't think I've ever been this unprepared for a show, but the van is packed. I even left a little bit of room for Heather.
And away we go!

Tough decisions


I am attending the Backwoods Two Day Show in Divide, Colorado this weekend. Despite being a multi-day event, this show has a very limited class list. Here is the entirety of the Resin Halter Division:200 Foal201 Light202 Gaited203 Spanish204 Stock205 Sport206 Pony207 Draft208 Longears/Exotics209 FantasyTo further complicate things, we're limited to just three horses per class. This isn't a big deal in the Gaited or Draft, but how am I supposed to choose only three ponies?!No really. How... am... I... supposed... to... choose?Please send help. I'm going to need it![...]

Work work work


I worked nine hours and thirty one minutes today, all but twenty three of which were overtime hours. It has been a long week.
Horse spotting on the way to work
Hopefully next week will be better.

Liz and Paula


Today's guest post is a tribute to one of the hobby's longest-term and best-know friend couples, Liz Bouras and Paula O'Keefe. Thank you, Christie, for sharing their story, and thanks, also, to all the hobbyists supporting today's Tally-Ho Model Horse Show in Leesburg, Virginia.Liz and Paulaby Christie Richardson, with help from Katie Hail-JaresPaying it forward and taking care of one another is one of the cornerstones of this hobby—an attribute that Elizabeth “Liz” Bouras and Paula O’Keefe have exemplified over their forty year involvement with model horses.Paula and LizEarlier this spring, however, Liz and Paula found themselves in need. The two roommates were diagnosed with cancer in the same month. Friends, hobbyists, and fellow artists rallied to support the duo organizing a benefit show, Tally Ho.  The show will take place this weekend in Leesburg, Virginia and will include a silent auction and raffle, with all proceeds benefiting Liz and Paula.Beyond just organizing and hosting a benefit show though, friends (like myself) wanted to put into words how much Paula and Liz mean to us and this hobby. Jennifer graciously allowed me to usurp her blog to share a collection of those stories and chronicle why Liz and Paula are important to this hobby, and gosh darnit, just wonderful people. Liz Bouras has been painting horses for over forty years under the name Amarna Productions and has recently been a featured artist in Copperfox’s magazine. She specializes in beautiful, intricate star dapples, but does deep, luscious shading in any color or scale (as long as they don’t have spots!). She holds a BA in Fine Art and has won numerous awards, including being a finishwork finalist in Breyer’s inaugural Best Customs Contest.Liz and SecretariatPaula O’Keefe has been prepping for Judy Renee Pope from the very beginning. She also crafts stunning miniature studies of period Native American regalia. Every single detail is researched and executed, right down to the proper protective herbs to go in miniature medicine bags, which every model receives.Paula at the museumIt is probably best to allow the photos to speak for themselves.JoeGhost RiderMy own introduction to Liz and Paula centered around pony trafficking. I purchased a gorgeous dapple grey mini Cromwell from Liz in January of 2015. Liz no longer showed, but offered to have Shay Canfield drop him off to me at a show. In the time since then I have, in turn, trafficked many ponies for them and have become great friends while doing so.Afzal, NAN 2016One of these ponies was a mini Khan. It turned out that Liz and I work approximately a half mile from each other, so we met for lunch and more pony trafficking. At the time, I had about an hour and a half commute one way into work, through some of the worst traffic in the country and was looking to move closer. Having lived in the area for thirty years, Liz suggested several apartment complexes and, a few months later, we were neighbors. Perhaps this isn’t a very profound statement for most people, but six months before I had left the Peace Corps due to medical reasons, and I was grieving my loss of community. The model horse community filled that void. Paula and Liz were at the forefront and gave me a family back.Liz and Paula’s apartment is a mini museum of model history, with jaw dropping chinas, gorgeous works by Judy Renee Pope, and “what’s left” of Liz’s tack collection—a feat I might be able to equal if I keep [...]

Stupid halter


I cleaned up my work desk over the weekend, and yesterday I made a halter... a stupid halter.
That's how I refer to halters with missing pieces made for big haired models.
Of all the stupid halters I've made, this is probably the stupidest. In addition to the missing crown piece, it also has a split throatlatch.
Normally, I wouldn't bother tacking up a model with this much hair, but I'm working on a performance entry that needs a "bad" pony. Dagobert fits the bill perfectly. I'm really looking forward to completing this set-up, stupid halter and all!

Get a red mule


While I was busy working last week, my best riding buddy, Mary Jo, was riding a mule in the Grand Canyon. That's something I've always dreamed of doing, so I asked her to write a blog post about the experience. Happily, she obliged. Thank you, Mary Jo!Get a Red Muleby Mary Jo StarkWhile we were riding Scarlett and Sprite earlier this year, I told Jennifer I would be going to the Grand Canyon North Rim to do the bucket list mule ride. Since this is a ride she wants to do and has already visualized some of the photographs, I asked for photography advice. She told me to take a shot of my foot in the stirrup looking down, to take lots and lots of pictures, and to get a red mule. The wranglers laughed when I asked for a red mule. Leslie was a lovely shade of auburn red. She reminded me of Scarlett.I was so happy to finally get to ride a Grand Canyon mule.Riding behind wrangler Bryan and his mule Gus with his long string of cowboy chatter put me in the zone. I forgot to take lots and lots of pictures. I just looked at all the beauty in wonder and fell into the rhythm of Leslie picking her way along the trail. Good thing I made friends with my group, as this is a great uphill shot by Carol Land on Mike. I did remember to get a photo of my foot in stirrup looking down. This shows how close to the edge the mules walk, although I missed the aaaaaaahhhhhh moments.I also got the ubiquitous As Seen Through Leslie’s ears shot.And I got a photo by Bryan for the Old Cowgirls group wearing my green bandana.Most of all, I got to ride Leslie the red mule into the Grand Canyon.  One more equestrian bucket item checked off my list! [...]

Side of the road


When I accepted my current job, I was warned that I would be working a lot of hours in August and September. I was secretly hoping that was an exaggeration, but if anything, it was an understatement. I have put in a lot of overtime hours in the last two weeks.Fortunately, I like the work, I like my co-workers and I especially like earning a overtime-enhanced paycheck. The only thing I don't like, really, is the lack of personal time. There just aren't enough hours in the day right now. All my hobbies have had to take a back seat to work, family and sleep.Still, no matter how busy I am, there's always time to brake for horses. I passed this pair on the road to Laramie, Wyoming last week. It was a work trip, and I was in a hurry to get where I was going. I almost didn't stop, but then I realized that what I needed in that moment, more than anything else, was to stand on the side of the road and look at horses. My life is really busy right now, and I don't have time to do all the things I love. That's okay. September is a short month. The horses will wait for me.[...]