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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Reminder

Just a quick post. I wanted to share this video since it really made an IMPRESSION upon me:

Yeah, just like the horse's hoof would have made in that guy's skull if he hadn't been wearing a helmet. I actually heard the "thwock" noise when the horse connected. Rider looked a little groggy and probably wound up with a headache, but that beats the hell out of the hospital bed or morgue that he would have been in without a helmet. Seriously, I don't know if I've ever seen a better advertisement for helmet-wearing!

There was discussion on the place I found this regarding why the horse kicked out the way he did. Discomfort? Prior abuse? Aggression? Ill-fitting tack? Fear? I'm not sure myself. All I know is it had been me lying there, with flying hooves aimed in my direction, I would have been freaking out. He is one lucky guy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Skipingo Home (Part 2)

To fill you in a little more on Skipingo's story, here is his biography page:
I hope you can read this!
Skippy was the Lyons' daughter Karen's H/J competition mount for a while after he came back to KY, but suffered a career-ending injury and is now a spoiled pasture pet. His buddy Primerica, a long-term track campaigner, went straight into retirement. The two distinguished gentleman hang out with a few other guys in a beautiful pasture next to an elegant white barn. This is their view from the pasture, courtesy of Skipingo's book:
The horses immediately came over to the fence when we drove up - I think they are ever-so-slightly used to being plied with treats, so they know when the goodie train arrives. :-)  Here are Skippy and Primerica (I forget his nickname). Skip is on the right:
Skipingo, grabbing another mouthful of that good KY bluegrass:
He was a good boy and took his treats politely, letting us rub his face and ears.
Finally, here is my bad photo of a good photo of Skipingo and Primerica that appears in the back of Primerica's book. Skippy is on the right with Karen Lyons Bailey, and that's her mother Jane on the left with "P:"
After we had visited a bit with these two "famous" TBs, we were off to see India's 2011 foal. This girl was in a pasture with a bunch of other weanlings, and gosh, were they a rowdy bunch! The groom had his hands full separating Baby India out of the group and standing her up for us to see. I haven't gotten to be around baby horses all that much, but just watching that gang for a few minutes was enough to thoroughly convince me that people who think they should have a foal out of their mare so their kids can see the "miracle of birth" and because it will be so "kyyyyyuuuuuutttte" need to know that they quickly turn into multi-hundred pound energetic monsters with flying hooves and teeth. No wonder there are so many unfortunate yearlings and two-year-olds on Craigs List advertised as "unhandled!" I had no interest in even trying to pet one of those rambunctious kids over the fence.

I was really enjoying my farm tour, but unfortunately, I was beginning to have a pressing time concern. I wanted to get back home to MO before it was late at night, since I had to work the next day at 8:30. Here I was moseying around more than six hours away, and it was going on 3:30... and I wasn't even packed up yet at my friend's house. So when the rest of the group suggested we visit the cemetery next, I said okay, but hoped it was pretty close by.

Imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw upon arriving at the cemetery was not a horse, dead or alive. Nope, in a pasture just a few feet away it looked like... could it be... well, yes, unless my eyes were deceiving me, it certainly was a striped equine, aka, a ZEBRA. Meet Ziggy! (See, I told you this trip would be from A to Z. Your patience has been rewarded!)
Ziggy was pastured with some donkey friends. I was very excited, and leapt from the car to run over and say hello. I'd never gotten to see a tame zebra up close! I swiftly approached the fence and reached out to pet this exciting animal. Just as my hand connected with his cheek, I heard Liz call, "WATCH OUT - he bites!" Now, I guess I was lucky, because he didn't even snap at me, but since I wasn't interested in losing any fingers to an African mammal I kept my hands to myself afterwards (I can just see explaining that one in the ER... "You got bit by a WHAT???"). Turns out Mr. Ziggy is in no way, shape or form "tame." He and the donkeys are rescues, picked up from poor circumstances by Karen Lyons Bailey. The only way anyone has been able to do a thing with him is to dart him, so everyone hopes fervently that he doesn't have an accident requiring veterinary care. Luckily, his hooves are "self-trimming" so they have been okay.

I'm sorry to say my phone died after I took this photo, so I didn't get any pictures of the cemetery. This was a row of nice marble stones set into the ground, and marked the resting places of such horses as Skipingo and Skipaway's mother, Ingot Way. Fleet Indian's ashes had already been interred but her headstone had not arrived yet. It was in a pretty spot next to a row of lovely old trees, and a fitting place to commemorate the lives of horses who are all definitely much-loved by the Lyons family. Here's a link to an article about the little purchase Mrs. Lyons made during the sale that was taking place at Keeneland while I was in town:

I did make my departure after this, and eventually arrived back at my own home, tired but very happy. What adventures I had had! I will leave you with this photo of the last page of Skipingo's book. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I only wish all retired TB racehorses could find themselves in such wonderful circumstances...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Skipingo Home (Part 1)

As promised, I finally bring you the (first part of) the last installment in my Kentucky odyssey.

If you recall, I was last seen ogling some very expensive TB horseflesh in the comfort of the WinStar stallion barn. I left there and headed back to Old Friends, where I had agreed to meet Melissa and her friend in order to join them in their visit to Summer Wind Farm. I wasn't sure if this was a good idea or not; Melissa was really excited to see her old racetrack buddy, the mare named India, and I felt a lot like I was butting in. But the ladies assured me it wouldn't be a problem, the farm manager was really nice, etc. so I said I would go. Plus, I was pretty excited at the thought of seeing a non-breeding operation TB farm up close.

Here is what I knew about Summer Wind before I set foot there: NOTHING. Other than that it looked big, quite nice and was across the street from Old Friends, I hadn't a clue. All I could see were the front gates and some fencing. It was a private establishment, didn't stand stallions and I'd certainly never heard of the owners, some people named Lyons.

Or had I...

You see, I actually DID know something about them and the place but I'd forgotten. Back when I first visited Old Friends in 2009, I picked up a children's picture book in their gift shop. It was called "Skipingo Home," and was the beautifully-illustrated story of a failed racehorse, headed down the drain, who was snatched up by his breeders and brought back to the farm of his birth. Of course this made me cry standing right there in the store, but I was delighted to read about people who cared that much for their TBs. Their farm, naturally, was Summer Wind. I can't remember if I realized then it was the place across the street, and I didn't remember any of this when I was invited to go there.

I hopped in Melissa's car when we met up, and we drove directly across the highway to the gated entrance of the farm. From the front, it certainly looked impressive. Melissa gave her name and the gates swung open. We drove in and proceeded down a long road winding between enormous rolling pastures (few trees) until we eventually reached the house-like farm office building. We were met on the front porch by the extremely hospitable and nice manager, a gal named Liz. Melissa had been in contact with her via phone and email to set up this visit, but they'd never actually met before. Many greetings ensued and we were escorted inside.

Hmmpf. I probably don't need to tell you, the offices were decorated just a wee bit nicer than my entire house. There was a wide hardwood entry foyer, with lovely framed photos of racer winners, horse portraits and the like. Two large and lavishly-appointed offices with mahogany desks, tufted chairs, abundant bookshelves and plants and other horse-centric things were to the left and right. A TV was running with live coverage of the Keeneland sale going on. Think expensive lawyer-like, with horse thrown in. An enormous boardroom was towards the back, and a kitchen to the left. Interestingly, there was what looked a lot like a shrine set up in the foyer; a large photo of a horse on a table with a bunch of greeting cards, floral arrangements and even a fading flower horseshoe on an easel next to it.

As I was busy taking all of this in, the other ladies were discussing a horse named Fleet Indian. "It was so horrible, they couldn't save her from the colic," "People have been so nice," "Miz Lyons is still just devastated," and other such things were being said. I was clueless, unfortunately, but finally gathered that they were talking about the subject of the shrine. I didn't want to say, "Who was this horse and why was she so special?" when everyone else clearly knew, so I just stayed quiet. Rather than keep you all in the dark as well, I suggest you read this article regarding the wonderful race and brood mare.

One of the framed race photos on the wall in the foyer turned out to be the object of our visit, India:
She was quite a good race mare, winning over a half-million dollars on the track, if this is indeed her  (I'm pretty sure it is). Melissa had made friends with her while visiting the back stretch at Saratoga back in India's racing days.

I poked my head into the board room as the ladies were chatting, and spotted some books on the (enormous) table. I recognized one. Hey, it was that children's book about the retired race horse! *LIGHTBULB* I went over and picked it up, noticing the other book looked to be similar. Liz appeared in the doorway and said, "Help yourself - take one of each if you'd like, they're about two of our horses who are retired here." I told you she was nice! :-) I happily scooped them up. Here are the covers:
And here are a few pages from inside. Aren't the illustrations just gorgeous?
Skipingo originally sold for over $400,000 at Keeneland. He's a half-brother to the famous Skipaway, and Summer Wind owned his dam.
This illustration shows the beautiful gated entry to the farm (thought I took a picture but can't find it).
Incidentally, all proceeds from the sale of these books goes to organizations that promote TB rescue (quote). I felt a little guilty about getting them for free... but not that bad when I heard more about the Lyons'. There is definitely no shortage of the 'ole ready in this family. Mr. Lyons bought the farm for Mrs. Lyons because she'd always wanted a horse farm in the Bluegrass. Simple as that. Here are a few more details: I guess they've got a potential Derby runner in the lineup!

Once our introduction was over, we piled into Melissa's car and set out to meet the chestnut mare. We followed Liz who was piloting one of the farm vehicles. And it's a good thing, too, because let me tell you: the place is freakin' HUGE. If I thought the back roads around the farms were confusing, they have nothing on Summer Wind - it goes on and on and ON and the interior roads wind every which way. I'd have to use GPS if I worked there just to find the right barn or pasture! On the way to where we'd meet India, we passed the main house. Um, let's just say it wasn't small; in fact, I don't think I've ever seen a larger home in person. =:0 Very tasteful, white with columns, overlooking a small lake with swans on it and I'd guess in the neighborhood of 15,000 s.f. And no, this is not their primary residence. Ay carumba!

India was out in a very spacious pasture with a number of other broodmares, but a farm worker had lured her over to the gate with a bucket of grain, so she was waiting for us outside the fence. Here's a couple photos of the happy reunion between her and Melissa, her old race-days friend. Melissa was pretty sure she remembered her.
India was a sweet, pleasant and very pretty girl, and in immaculate condition.
I think she was/is expecting her second foal? Not sure how many times she's been bred.
I thought once we met India our time at Summer Wind would be up, but goodness, was I ever wrong. Liz was so excited to have visitors and peppered us with questions about what/who we wanted to see next. The yearlings? The cemetery? Skipingo and Primerica? OH, YES, we replied to the last. How cool would that be, to meet the subjects of the books! So into the cars we all went for more driving (and driving) until we arrived at the gelding's pasture...


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guess What I Bought?

NO, not a horse, but I think you all will be proud of me anyway - maybe I'll be the first person you know to actually fulfill their New Years resolution! I said I was going to get myself back in the saddle, and I'm going to do just that.

Last weekend I woke up, rolled over, and picked up my phone. It's the first thing I do every morning now that I have instant access to the Internet and email via my adored iPhone. One of the first things I like to check is the day's emailed Groupon* offer. And what do you suppose I saw? This subject line:

51% Off Private Riding Lessons

Hmm, I thought, probably just that skeevy place that's offered lessons before. The first time they did, I clicked through and thoroughly investigated. I was not impressed. First of all, I am not much interested in a "jack-of-all-trades" trainer who purports to be an expert in both English and Western. Yeah, I know they actually do exist, but IMHE I have found that usually these folks are Western riders who fancy themselves able to ride and teach English because they watched some DVDs or putzed around a little in one of those silly, pancakey hornless things that goofy English riders like to call saddles. You know what I mean. I prefer to stick with dedicated H/J trainers and barns.

So I hadn't much hope when I clicked on the email to open it. Okay, so the photo didn't show a little kid in a Western saddle being led around. Instead, it was an appropriately-dressed teenager taking a real jump in a nice ring on a well-groomed, albeit chunky (Draft cross?) Pinto. She was jumping horribly ahead (thank you, George, for pointing out this egregious fault in virtually every installment of "Jumping Clinic." Yes, I KNOW I probably do it, too) but otherwise it was a nice photo. This was a definite improvement! So what barn was it? For your entertainment, here's all that was said under the photo. The copywriters at Groupon sure do fancy themselves mighty witty:

"Horses require human guidance to keep from brushing against barbed wire, eating poisonous rocks, and galloping triumphantly into the ocean. Take the reins with today's Groupon."

Hardee-har-har. I clicked on the "View This Deal" button. And then almost fell out of bed, because... it was the exact barn I've been wanting to go to! YAHOO!!! What luck, indeed. Needless to say, my finger couldn't hit the "Buy Now!" button fast enough. I got two private lessons for the price of one. I prefer group lessons for the camaraderie, but since I'm so woefully out of shape I might as well not embarrass myself in front of others right off the bat.

As I was celebrating this amazing coincidence, I suddenly had a thought. The offer was limited to one per person, but I could buy another as a gift... I decided I couldn't get away with giving myself a gift, but there was nothing stopping Hubby from doing so. I texted him (he was already up - who needs a household intercom these days?) and asked very sweetly if I could have an early Valentine's present. Sure, he said, and bought me another package. *Blows kisses* Hurray!

So that, dear readers, is how I have found myself gaily anticipating FOUR excursions to this lovely barn, located only 15 minutes from home. I have several friends from my old barn who ride and board there now and have urged me to check it out. Lest you be wondering, there's not a thing wrong with my old place, other than that I would feel stupid showing up after a five-year hiatus. "Where have you been?" and all that. Not keen on having to say, "Off trying to make some money to buy my kids shoes, instead of spending it on me and my expensive habit."

I am especially happy to get to ride in my own saddle, which hasn't left the laundry, ahem, tack room for way too long. It's a medium-tree Dover Circuit Elite, so nothing fancy, but I like it quite well and pine to once again be astride it (the horse I've been on most recently is too wide, plus we have no girth that's long enough). Time to get my beauty out and give it a coat of Lexol! I will try to ignore the hideous scuff on the cantle that a teenager I was foolish enough to let borrow it installed. Grrr... I've tried a teeny dab of brown shoe polish and Lexol to fix it, but it's still pretty obvious. Any suggestions? I also have a brand-new set of stirrup leathers in a narrower width (they're not anything great, I picked them up at PetSmart for 50% off when they were discontinuing carrying horse stuff from State Line), which I'd hoped might help with the rotten leg rubs I get. In their current state of mega-stiffness, though, I don't think they're the best idea (again, any tips on softening these things up? Neatsfoot?). Ideally, I'd be rocking a pair of these, but at $200 they are not exactly in the budget.

I am also going to try and restrain myself from trotting down to the tack shop and trying on half chaps. Mine are still serviceable; the zippers work, the elastic bottoms are okay, there's still a little nap in the suede, etc. One seam is pulling apart a little on both. Mainly, they're just fugly. I simply want a new pair with Spanish tops, in brown this time. I prefer brown paddock boots and my Ariats are showing no signs of slowing down yet. This is what happens when you've never been, alas, more than a once-a-week rider (except for that brief interlude with Polly I've written about). I only WISH my boots were wearing out! :-) Same thing with my helmet. Nothing wrong with it, just... not au courant. I tried on the Ovation helmet I said I liked last time I was in the tack shop and of course, it fit, and of course, it looked pretty good, but again - I need to save my money for more lessons.

This Groupon was just the push I needed to gather my courage and head back to a barn. I'm not sure when I'll get over there - but I will ABSOLUTELY be writing about it when I do. That is, if my fingers are still functioning, because I know the rest of me will be in varying degrees of distress. I have no illusions as to my fitness level!
NOT me.

Unfortunately, a lot more like it.
* If you are not familiar with Groupon, I'll explain: it's mainly a daily "group coupon" which is available online for a limited time, and often in limited quantities. You can sign up to receive emails and/or open an account to purchase Groupons. Free membership, no transaction fees. I have mainly stuck with local deals but there are also nationwide ones, like for Old Navy (I've bought theirs - $10 for $20 worth of merchandise). I have bought beauty salon packages for 1/3 the usual price, gotten $20 off restaurant meals, grabbed an introductory lesson in another sport for a family member for half off, etc. It's fun and easy and growing like wildfire, so I urge you to check it out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

And The Winner Is...


That sound is my head hitting the desk. I tell you. Just when you think the human race, particularly those who feel the need to own horses, has already truly hit rock bottom on the intelligence scale, you find something like this. Craig's List, of course:

Our horse is apx. 5 years old, he is fully broke and was originally used as a roping horse. We paid $1000 for him, and don't really want to get rid of him; however he has bread our paint and has recently taken to abusing our new little philly. We are motivated sellers as we have no where to put him to keep them sperated. I am afraid he is going to seriously hurt the little one or worse... Breed with her. please give us a call at: ***-399-2222 or ***-629-1859 (Dan and Mary-Jo). Prior to having the philly he was the sweetest most loving horse. We think he is jellous of the little one. Please make an offer. I can take more pic.s of him and send them to you via cell ph. if you'd like.

DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN!!!! Where do I even start? I don't know if I should laugh or cry. (I know I don't normally post anything like this, but today I simply cannot resist. You are about to see my inner sarcastic snob come to the fore and for that, I apologize in advance.)

- Are you telling me these people seriously are so stupid that they bought a stallion and didn't realize he would "bread" their mare, when they were forced to live together? It certainly appears that way. One wonders if Dan and Mary-Jo have managed to procreate themselves, since they don't seem to have a very good grasp of sex ed. (That is a rhetorical question. They probably have a half-dozen little urchins running around, for whom they bought the pretty horsies in the first place so they could "grow up together.")

- Along those lines, apparently they also do not realize that there is *GASP* this nifty procedure known as "gelding," which would render their big man unable to impregnate his daughter (I fear the poor mom is already a goner again). And then, like, WOW, they could still keep him! Imagine that! AAAIIIIEEEEE! 

- Again along those lines, I have a distinct feeling that no veterinarian has seen these horses lately, because I would sincerely hope that s/he would have brought up the aforementioned procedure. "You know, folks, you could cut them there dangly bits off and he couldn't breed no more. You'd be all set..." Either that, or they do know and it has been mentioned but our friend Dan is the type to quail at the thought of one of his manimals losing his balls. Let's look under the porch for that fourth or fifth litter of kittens or puppies, shall we?

- "Jellous" of the foal? Right. Suddenly not being so well-behaved towards humans? Could it possibly be he's protecting his "herd?"

- If they refuse to consider gelding, then this stallion does need to be rehomed stat. I'm not exactly sure at what age the little "philly" can get preggo by dear old dad, but if he's already trying... ugh. Again, it would have been nice if they'd thought about this possibility before buying a stallion. But then, they never seem to. How many times do people act like the horses have just magically multiplied in the field? "I don't know what happened! One day there was two of them and voila, three, and now, HELP, I CAN'T FEED THEM ALL!" Why, oh why, can't they be doing this with fish or even rabbits, instead of 1,000 lb. animals?

- Or, maybe they just say they can't afford gelding. That is utter and total crap. Firstly, if you can't fork out $200 on the spot you can't afford to have a horse, let alone three. One vet call (from, say, running into the fence) is going to rack up way more than that. And tell me, what's going to be cheaper in the long run, supporting five (assuming there's another one on the way already) horses or paying a couple hundred bucks now? They might even be able to find a free clinic! (Hmm, they paid $1,000 for the dude in the first place. They can afford gelding.)

- Love the beautiful barbed wire enclosure. I will say, however, that the horses do appear to be well-fed and not rain-rotted or unthrifty. I will give them that. Can't see the feet to tell if those are being attended to.

- Last but not least, I think there should be a requirement for horse ownership (well, there should be many, this is just one of them) that specifies that one should be able to identify and SPELL certain horse-related words. Like, "filly" and "bred." There sure are an awful lot of crumb-covered equines out there in CL land, aren't there? Unfortunately, many of these poor souls may well wind up that way on a plate in France if their wretched owners persist in trying to sell them or give them away!

Sigh. Thank you for putting up with my diatribe. Do you think it would be worth my time to send a nicely-worded note to these people, gently suggesting they look into gelding Mr. Studly? I have the feeling they really aren't bad folks, just appallingly under-educated in a lot of ways. :-(

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I've Won An Award!

I am ever so pleased that my blogger friend Jessica, over at Hopeful Jumpers, was kind enough to pass this along to me. THANK YOU, JESS! Please check her blog out; she most often writes about Prince, her darling horse, but also covers her other animals. I love reading this blog for several reasons, not the least of which are her terrific pictures. Would you believe that Jess is a veterinary student (and writes about that, too) but somehow finds the time to ride/take care of Prince, her dog, her cats and her guinea pigs (something else we have in common - I'm also a "pig person"). I have no idea how she does it!

Apparently "liebster" means "dearest" in German, and this award is strictly for bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. I will take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my 27 - you are appreciated!

Here are the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award logo onto your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs!

So without further ado, here are my five choices (but of course I still recommend all the blogs on my sidebar):

From Racehorse to Showhorse: Wendy's blog is one of the very first I started reading. This is the place for you if you enjoy absolutely splendid horse photography, because that is now Wendy's job - taking pictures of the finest of (mostly TB) horseflesh in Lexington, KY! Wait 'til you see the stunning head shot she recently published of new mom, Rachel Alexandra. She herself owns two OTTBs, Ollie and Toby, and her blog of course gives plenty of details about their latest activities. If you recall I was lucky enough to meet them and Wendy when I was down there. Also of interest is Wendy's cool connection to "War Horse," featuring her beautiful, much-missed guy Jaguar Hope (he's shown in her header).

Brays of Our Lives: If the cute title alone doesn't get your attention, the amusing ramblings of Fenway Bartholomule certainly will. He and his mom FarmWife live on a small farm in Washington state, along with a large cast of other animal and human characters. I enjoy hearing about the bunnies, dogs, goats and chickens because they always seem to be doing something interesting. Marnie is a professional writer and editor so you can expect an entertaining and well-written post every time. I knew next to nothing about mules prior to reading this blog, so it's fun to hear about the likes/dislikes and rides on a different kind of equine. Marnie currently takes FenBar out on trails, has worked on training him to drive, and hopes that one day he will decide he can stand to do a little dressage.

Princess Witchface: I recently found this blog about a mare and her girl who live in FL, and it's really entertaining, if only because we're all waiting to find out her horse's true lineage. It's like a mini-episode of "As The Barn Turns:" Who are this horse's parents? Did her father really jump a fence and knock up an unsuspecting TB mare? Why is someone hiding her identity? Stay tuned for the next episode! In the meantime, this pair do fun things like charity trail rides and costume contests. They are not show-oriented and spend a lot of time just enjoying each other's company, which is cool.

The Vault: Horseracing Past and Present: This blog is a little more esoteric, in that in order to truly enjoy it you should be a fan of Thoroughbred racing. Abigail doesn't post too often, but when she does - watch out, because you're in for a treat! All of her articles are impeccably researched and beautifully written, and contain amazing archival photos. My all-time favorite is the one about Eddie Sweat and Secretariat. Dear Eddie was Red's devoted groom, and no one deserves more credit for keeping that horse happy and healthy during his racing days. I am glad that posthumously he has been recognized so much (e.g., the life-size bronze statue of Secretariat with Eddie and Ron Turcotte riding that's in the KHP). Read this blog to steep yourself in knowledge!

Riding Aside: Julie has to be one of the most positive and enthusiastic people I've run across on the Internet. When she likes something, she really plunges right in. She always loved the idea of riding sidesaddle... so she bought one, and she persevered in learning how to ride in it, and she trained her gorgeous Saddlebred to accept it, and she had beautiful costumes made, and by golly she goes out and shows that way! I am fascinated by all this because riding sidesaddle is definitely on my horsey bucket list. The whole deal with the flowing skirt, fitted jacket and smart hat with a veil just add to the appeal (though where I'd find all that I have no idea). I still remember seeing a gal riding aside at a H/J show when I was about 10 years old, and just being blown away at the elegance. Julie also collects sidesaddle-themed art and other items and publishes lots of photos of those as well.

Honorable Mention to (I had to put this here, as she has slightly over 200 followers so doesn't truly qualify):

Braymere Custom Saddlery: Raise your hand if you had Breyer horses as a kid. Now raise it again if you have a clue as to how many adults currently exhibit their Breyers (and other small horses) in model horse shows? And exactly how amazing model horse tack can get? I, for one, had no idea until I found Jenn's blog and was plunged into the fascinating world of model horses all over again. Jenn is also a rider and currently leasing the world's most adorable palomino pony, and we hear about their adventures, but her vocation is as master tackmaker for model horses. Every time she posts a photo of a new creation I am astonished anew. You simply won't believe the level of realism! She attends quite a few shows and other equestrian events, so it's fun to read about them, too.