Thursday, June 20, 2013

2013 Showmanship Suit

As requested by the lovely in2paints, here are some details of my new jacket.

The base fabric is Hobby Horse's new Hobbyflex fabric.  I used my winnings from the Elements Design contest to purchase new show pants and enough matching fabric for a jacket.

The fabric makes up pretty well.  It's such a nice knit that I didn't even feel the need to serge the edges which cut down some construction time.  It's got a decent weight to it but it didn't fee hot or heavy while wearing it.  According to Hobby Horse it's soil resistant, has moisture management, takes heat well, and is machine washable.  I agree with all of that but I did find that I had to be careful in finding the balance between a temperature that was warm enough to melt the glue on my adhesive appliques and crystals, but didn't scorch the fabric.  This is a battle with any synthetic fabric, of course.  There are a few little iron marks on the jacket but they're not that noticeable unless you're looking for them.  I won't tell you where I burned a hole completely through the fabric while learning just how hot my new Clover Mini-Iron can get.  Ooops.

Every project (of mine) has it's disasters, some minor, some major.  Burning a hole through the jacket was major until I found the right combination of appliques to cover the whole without looking obvious.  The other disaster was that I had to make the sleeves twice.  I finished adding the apps to both sleeves and then went to cut more of the ultrasuede and realized I had used the wrong color of ultrasuede.  I had a sand color that I'd used on the two previous year's jackets and that's what I had used on the sleeves.  I then remembered I'd purchased a matching color of Bone ultrasuede that perfectly matched the hat - which shows the value of ordering swatches because I'd have NEVER guessed from the web photo that it would match.

After some swearing and pacing and deep sighs, I decided it was worth it to start over, so I tossed the sleeves aside and cut a new set.  I didn't repeat the applique pattern on the second set and I actually liked both arrangements equally, though I was able to incorporate the ultrasuede in a more integrated way than the first version, so it was a happy accident!  Plus I was able to toss the first sleeves into the washer to see how they'd fare.  Surprisingly well!  The ultrasuede released a bit at the edges but that's fixable and minor compared to the convenience of being able to wash a show jacket!  I'm pretty confident that I can wash this inside-out on gentle and lay it flat to dry and have zero issues.... but I'll wait until it actually looks dirty!  Dress Shields are my friend!

All of the appliques were cut on my Silhouette Cameo machine.  Below is a video demo of the process that I made as a companion piece to a presentation I gave at a national theatre conference last spring.

The glitter colors are silver, gold, black-gold, and bronze. the supplier says they "cannot be layered" but it has been working for me just fine, even through washing so I'm not sure why they tell you not to... hopefully I never find out!

There's also some Silhouette brand "black glitter" but I'm NOT impressed with this stuff.  It was hard to weed and hard to attach and is not nearly as cool looking as the glitter, but my supplier was backordered on the black glitter so I tried this stuff. If I do another black jacket (IF... ha!) I'll make sure to get the black glitter.  It's such a cool tone-on-tone look.

For the double layered apps, I used my Silhouette software to create just the right size for the underlay and the overlay and then carefully lined them up and ironed them together as one.  I didn't stitch the apps down, hopefully that doesn't bite me later.  Back when I did in2paint's jacket, I stitched every one of them down because I didn't trust the ultrasuede OVER the glitter, but I think glitter on Ultrasuede is safer.  Oh and I had to cut each of those apps by hand which is why I now have a machine to do it for me!

I used only Swarovski crystals on the jacket in several colors and sizes and finishes.  I based the pattern off of Suitability's 5630 jacket.

I find it difficult to capture the shimmer of these crystals and glitter apps on still images so here's a quick video that helps a little.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Open Show June 15th, 2013

I think he looks a little smug in this one!
The show went very very well!  The weather was lovely, Junior was in a good mood all day, and we each came home with a blue!

  • Adult Hunter Showmanship: 1st!  We had to show in the bridle which I thought would be a  problem but Junior did really really well!
  • Adult Hunter Under Saddle: 3rd of 9. This felt good.  There were some great horses in the class.
  • Adult Equitation: 4th of 6. I think it was going really well until I overshot the whoa. :(
  • Adult Western Showmanship: 3rd of 4.  This one surprised me because I thought I did better than the Hunter SMS, maybe he didn't like my outfit ;). 

We didn't get High Point for the day, only getting beat out by 2 points, but I did manage to get the Circuit High Point for the two shows so we got a nice little gift bag!

Junior's OPC was our gopher/groom all day and OPJ rode Junior in the Open Walk/Trot HUS which, as always was HUGE and even had a whole group of big-time congress horses so he wasn't called back to the finals.

OPJ and OPC celebrate with JR!
OPJ WON his Limited Novice Walk/Trot HUS! It was so fun to watch.  Junior was VERY good for him and there were some really nice moments where he had him moving as well as he can move!  Then they got 3rd in the Limited Novice Walk/Trot Equitation.

Now THIS is the kind of horse show that makes me forget how much work they can be.  Everything seemed to go smoothly, and though in hind sight I wish I would have ridden the two western classes after all, but I was tired and we were had some timing issues with the BM coming to haul us home and I still got the Circuit award so it's all good, but there was only 3 in the WP and I think only 1 in the HMS, but that 1 was a nice horse that the judge really liked so chances are we'd have been riding for DFL.  ;)  Oh well.  Over it.  LOL!

It was a long day again, but more relaxed and though tack changes were kind of exciting between my classes and OPJ's classes, I think we all had a good time.  Junior's OPs even brought me a little Birthday cake for us to share after we were done showing.  They are just so sweet!

New outfit!

Circuit Champion Grooming bag with hand-painted brushes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

WTFriday - On Broadway!

Some folks in my incredibly creative facebook circle have amused me so much that I just have to share!

An actor friend who is known to post epic one-liners posted this status update after seeing the play War Horse:
"Personally, I think EVERY Broadway show could be improved by including a giant horse puppet."

I was fortunate enough to see the show when I was in New York and it was really a beautiful piece of art.

Soon people (including me*) started chiming in and it just kept going all day long!  Here's the list so far:

Kinky Hooves
The Music Mane
The Book of More Mane
Whooaaaa!seph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamColt
Thoroughly Modern Filly
August, Osage Mountie*
Anyquestrian Goes
Rodeo and Juliet*
Father of the Bridle
Seven Bridles for Seven Brothers
12 Angry Mares
Of Mice and Mares
Barn Yesterday*
Fiddler on the Hoof
Who's Afraid of Virginia Hoof?
The Best Little Horse-House in Texas
Neigh, Neigh, Nanette
How to Succeed in Dressage Without Really Trying
Pony and Tina's Wedding
The Foal Monty
His Gallop Friday
Singin' in the Reins
The Carriage of Figaro
The Grass Menagerie
Mare Poppins
The Filly-delphia Story
Babes in Barns
Furlong Day's Journey into Night
Mare-spray   (eeew)
Same Time, Next Yearling
The Stallion in Winter
Can-Canter, by Colt Porter
Filly Elliot
Mare for the Misbegotten
Whinny the Pooh
Inherit the Whinny
'Tis Pity She's a Horse
Bonnie and Clydesdale
Pinto the Woods
Palomino Joey
La Cage aux Foal
Hello, Filly!
The 7 Year Hitch
Kiss Me, Colt!
Riding Miss Daisy
Rosencratnz & Guildenstern are Bred
King Rear

Can you think of more?

Have a great Friday!!!!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Shows and shows!

I realized today it's been a whole week since our barn horse show and I hadn't posted about it yet! It was a really fun day.  I helped out in the morning (after I fed/watered all the horses) by manning the registration table, then showed, then watched Junior get used as one of the Medal class horses, which was somewhat nerve-wracking for me to toss a kid on him and send them into a WTC/Test class without much prep, but he was really good and the kid came in 4th out of I think eight.  She even liked him. :)

We showed in 4 classes, winning one and getting second in three, but all of those 2nds were DFLs, so the ribbons looked better than they were!  That's happened to us before.  I was a rebel and showed all my classes in western tack, which was kinda fun and felt more laid back since I didn't have to wear the dreaded breeches.  The only breeches I am confortable in are my Ovation Bootcut breeches and they're not appropriate for even a schooling show.

We did fine in the Showmanship, losing to a kid (figures) who shows the BO's big fancy QH who's been doing showmanship since he was a yearling.

The WTC Equitation Pattern was the same but I didn't have any time to ride after my SMS class so all I was able to do was jog around a bit and try to remember the pattern which I got a whole 5 minutes to look at.  Luckily the same kid from SMS wasn't paying attention and she wasn't even tacked up by the time I got the the ring, so I had a little time at least.  I started the pattern and got about 5 jog strides in before I remembered I was supposed to be loping so I totally called a Mulligan and went back to the start.  DFL, of course.

The Adult Walk/Trot Equitation Rail was really good. There were four of us.  I lucked out because I was under western tack so when the judge asked for sitting trot I just kept doing my thing.  I ended up winning the class which was cool because Junior was actually really awesome.  He just jogged around light and forward with a nice relaxed frame and made it easy for me to hold my horsemanship position.  The judge was highly complimentary on my riding and said she really liked Junior.  Who doesn't?
Don't look at the dirty legs.  Fly spray + Dusty Arena....
and also I didn't wash them...

Trail was my last class and of course there was a walk-over of a raised pole that he simply kicked over with the first foot.  Then the rope gate gave us some issues and I ended up with my leg over the rope at one point.  Kinda wish it was on video. The kid who won the class is really sweet and it was a big step for her horse to do so well with obstacles so I was happy with the outcome.

Now, this coming Saturday is our next (possibly last) show of the summer. Junior's OP are showing him too so it'll be extra fun. I'll probably blow all my classes because I'll be thinking more about how he's going to do for them in THEIR classes!

I've spend the past two rides working ONLY on transitions.  First in English tack with my neck-stretcher bungie, then today in western tack.  We had a fight.  I won.  Spoiled pony didn't want to keep his posture when I asked for a stop so we had a 'conversation' about it.  And then he nailed a stop (I felt his back feet stop under him) and he got tons of goodboys and neck smacks.  I have a horsemanship/showmanship lesson scheduled for Thursday.

I'm knee deep in finishing my new showmanship jacket.  I'll post pictures when it's done.  It's a black base with bronze, gold and silver glitter appliques, bone Ultrasuede (matches my hat perfectly), and lots of Swarovski crystals in several different colors and finishes.  I had the fabric cut back in April when I was hoping to finish it for the May show, but I left it in a pile until recently.  The plan I had for it went awry when this mesh/sequin overlay did NOT look as I had hoped so it took me a week or so to make a plan B.  I love designing these, but I sure wish I had a crew like I do at work!  Here, YOU sit here and heat each crystal for 20 seconds, I'm gonna go find a martini.  Sorry, no, there are no martinis at work, but if I was the Queen of my own private shop there would be martinis.  Not for the crew, just for me.  Bwahahaha!!!!  The end.

I probably won't post until after the show, so, see you in a week!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Well Eye'll Be...

Remember way back when I first got Junior and I freaked out because I found a cyst in his eye?
No? Yeah I couldn't find a post about it either, but I've mentioned it in my posts about fly masks. 

It's a corpora nigra cyst. Feel free to google that. Not uncommon and most of them don't bother the horse. But the can obstruct vision, especially in bright light so there are potential complications with that. When I first noticed it and showed it to several vets, they all said the same thing: monitor it, keep it out of UV rays, and if it gets bigger it might be a problem. 

I've noticed lately he's been spookier and more reactive, especially from his right side. I even received a report from the BM of a big spook while being led in from turnout and she confirmed it was on his right side. Also, he's been giving me trouble staying on the rail to the left. I decided to take a comparison photo of his eye to see if perhaps there's been changes in the cyst since all these issues seem to point towards vision and his right side. 

I think the answer is yes. Darn it. First pic from 2008, second pic from May 2013. Both in barn light so i think we can assume the pupil would contract more outside in the sun, where his spooks have been occurring. 

What next? Next I make some phone calls to the different vets I've worked with and find out who's equipped to remove it and get estimates of the procedure. From what I've read it's not super complicated even though putting the words "laser" and "eye" in the same sentence is not comforting to me in any way. 

We are not in an emergency situation and I'm surprisingly calm considering my tendency to freak out about things. 

I'll keep you posted, of course. My barn is doing some schooling shows this summer and the first one is tomorrow. I'm going to be a rebel and do all the classes western. It looks like ill be the only one. It'll feel like a demo for all these hunter kids. :)