Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Royal Highland Show 2016 - #4 Anglo-Arab and Partbred Arab

After the purebred Arabs came the partbreds. I have to admit that I prefer the partbreds to the others, especially the ponies.

Anglo and Partbred Arabian

Royal Highland Show 2016 - #3 Purebred Arabian

I'm not the biggest Arab fan in the world as I like my horses with more bone and hair, but I really like seeing them at the RHS. Part of the reasoning for that is that they look like actual practical horses, unlike the oiled up and blinged out showhorses you tend to see in America especially, with loads of mane and tail extensions floating about.

Royal Highland Show 2016 - #2 Welsh Sec B

Despite being a Highland fan through and through, there's something about the dainty features and sometimes snotty attitude of the Welsh ponies that always makes me smile. This class was no exception!

Royal Highland Show 2016 - #1 Ridden Highlands

It's that time of year again!

Like last year, I met up with fellow collector Magdalena after I arrived and we spent the day ogling ponies and trying to work out what interesting variation of dun most of the Highlands were!

The first thing I saw when I arrived was unfortunately the very end of a class, the Highland Ponies Under Saddle.

Ridden Highlands

Ridden Highlands

As usual there were plenty of beautiful ponies.

Ridden Highlands

Ridden Highlands

The prizes were being handed out when I walked up, and a quick google reveals that this triumphant and gorgeous beastie is Royal Caledonian of Fourmerk.

Ridden Highlands

The equally lovely Reserve is Glenbanchor Somerled.

Ridden Highlands  

The lap of honour looked like great fun!

Ridden Highlands

Ridden Highlands

Short post is short but the next one will more than make up for it!

Part 2 - Welsh Sec B!

Worst. Luck. Ever.

Do you ever have those days where suddenly and inexplicably your life seems to have become that of a sitcom character with the worst luck in the entire world?

Yeah, last Friday was one of those days for me.

This will be long and meandering but hopefully amusing too, so bear with me!

I woke up, happy and excited for the Royal Highland Show that morning, then suddenly remembered that the results of the EU Referendum would be in. My good mood evaporated pretty sharpish when I realised that somehow, against all the odds and all good sense, the UK had voted out, and I still can’t quite wrap my head around that. I’m really genuinely angry about the results but to avoid putting a dampener on an otherwise hilariously unfortunate story, I’ll omit the details of my many facebook rants on the subject. Suffice to say, I’m not pleased.

 Following that, I got up, and headed for the bus. As I can’t get to the show directly, I have to get a bus into Glasgow, then another to the showground, but I’ve been doing it a few years now so I know the routine rather well. So, I stuck my hand out as my bus approached, stepped inside and confidently asked for the £1.95 fare into town. The driver gave me a dirty look and informed me that it was now £2.15, with an arrogance that really irked me – I don’t use the bus all that often these days so how was I to know the price had gone up?

Anyway, I got into town and headed straight for the #900 bus, arriving at the stance mere moments before it pulled away and drove off. That was fine, they’re fairly regular, and sure enough, ten minutes later another arrived and on I got, continuing my facebook rants and conversations until I realised I’d used up half the battery on my phone already, so I stopped a few minutes in, not wanting to drain it further. 

The journey of 38.3 miles from the bus depot to the showgrounds, according to the AA route planner website, should take approximately 45 minutes by bus.

It didn’t.

Congested traffic in the last few miles ground us to a near standstill, and we were on board for at least another hour and a bit before we even got our first glimpse of the showgrounds. I’d been through this once before in a previous year's show and it wasn’t as bad as then luckily, but still, time really drags when there’s nothing to distract you with other than the same hedge you'd been staring at out the window for five minutes. 

We finally pulled up next to the gate and everyone filed out, frantically pulling up hoods and opening umbrellas because of course it was raining. I thought I’d take advantage of the public conveniences nearby (there are very few toilets at the showground for some reason so if you see one, you really ought to use it as there’s no guarantee you’ll find another later on!) so after queuing for ten minutes just to get to the door, discovered that only two out of the three cubicles were functional and there was no water in the taps. Wonderful.

I met up with a couple of my friends, and we spent the rest of the day wandering around, photographing and fussing ponies of all kinds, and a great time was had by all. (I’ll post my usual big RHS reports very soon, after I’ve sorted out the photos and had some time to recover!)
The weather varied, at times wet and miserable, with a dark and foreboding sky, then five minutes later the sun came out and you couldn’t see for the brightness. Typical Scottish summer afternoon really. XD

Finally it was time to go home, so I said my goodbye and headed for the bus stop. Surprisingly the #900 arrived within a few minutes which was nice, as I usually end up waiting for ages. The journey home was uneventful and really rather pleasant, if I ignored the throbbing pain in my feet, shoulders and arms from standing and walking for the majority of the day, and the fact that because my battery was now very low, I wasn’t listening to any music so it would last longer. I did see a rainbow at one point, so there’s that I suppose.

We arrived back in Glasgow and this is where everything started to go properly wrong.

I didn’t fancy getting the bus home, as it involved walking up a steep hill at the other end, and I didn’t think my poor feet could take it, so I decided to get the train instead and get a taxi home or ask my Dad to pick me up. For those who don’t know, there are two main stations in the centre of Glasgow – Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central. Queen Street was closer to me after getting off the bus, but after a certain time in the evening, it doesn’t do through trains to Milngavie, where I wanted to go  -  I’d have to get another one and change at Partick. I was tired so didn’t want to bother with any of that and trudged glumly down the road to Central, where I knew I could get a Milngavie train with no changes.
I bought my ticket, went down the stairs and glanced at the latest arrivals on the screen, then panicked when I spotted that it was my train and was literally just about to leave. I legged it down the corridor, rushed down the stairs…just in time to watch my train pull away from the station.


The next one wasn’t for another twenty-odd minutes, so I waited and waited and waited. Meanwhile, the tanoy announced that the train before mine had been cancelled, due to signalling problems on the line. No problem, thought I, my train doesn’t go on that route…does it?

Eventually it arrived, I got on and all was well.

Well, except for the fact that we weren’t actually going anywhere.

The man on the tanoy came on again, apologising for the delay and stressing that it wouldn’t be long until we were on our way. That lasted approximately three minutes, as his next message was to tell us that sadly, due to signalling problems on the line, the train was now cancelled.

Excellent. Just peachy.

I now had to trek all the way back up Buchanan Street to get the bus again, accidentally taking the long way round because I was annoyed, which made me even more annoyed when I realised I'd walked further than I needed to. (it was also up a big hill, in case the walk wasn't annoying enough)
In hindsight, I probably should have got on a train at Queen Street but the way this evening was turning out, it would have probably gone horribly wrong somehow too.

I’d texted home earlier to let my parents know what was happening as they'd expected me home earlier, and as my plan had originally been to get a train to Milngavie and get a taxi home from the Tescos next to the station, I asked if they needed anything from the supermarket. We were low on milk, so that was included in the plan. Obviously, with the train cancellations, that plan fell by the wayside, until I remembered there was a Sainsburys’ at the top of Buchanan street. I could pop in, grab some milk and be on the bus home in no time.

Weary feet protesting every step, I made it to the top of the street and headed for the supermarket. I knew it would still be open as it didn’t close until 10pm and…oh.

It was now five past ten. No milk for me.

By this point I was rather understandably fed up. I was really tired and just wanted to get home as soon as possible. I made it to the bus stop, checked the timetable and brilliant, yet again I had missed one by literally five minutes, and because it was after ten at night, the buses were irregular, and the next one wasn’t for another half hour. There were no seats at that bus stop, nowhere to lean or take the weight off my feet, so I had to stand, once again for ages until it finally arrived. I’d forgotten about the change in bus fare by this point so had to deal with another grumpy bus driver, but it was okay, I was on the bus now, it was moving, I was going home!

At least I was, until it broke down ten minutes later.

I very nearly broke down too at this point, I just couldn’t believe my luck, or lack thereof.

At first I and the other passengers just thought it was pulling in at a bus stop but when it didn’t move off afterwards people started getting a little concerned. Everyone downstairs started getting out and suddenly the driver shouted for us all to leave as the bus had overheated or something.

So there’s me, nearly two hours after arriving back in Glasgow, about a mile down the road with no other public transport available, a phone with barely any battery left, sore feet and half a millimetre of patience left.

I managed to call a taxi before my phone eventually gave up the ghost, and finally, FINALLY got home, but jeez, you really couldn’t make it up. It was like everything that could have possibly gone wrong, went wrong and every time I thought I’d catch a break, something else happened.

Luckily the copious quantity of ponies made up for most of it, and I’ll be posting about it all today and tomorrow hopefully if I can get flickr to co-operate!

I have the Lake District Julip Live at the weekend and I still haven't packed anything up yet so this week is going to be pretty busy!

Monday, 27 June 2016

...and the winner is!

*drum roll*


Congrats! Get in touch and we can discuss your prize! :D

Sorry it took a little longer than expected to reveal - my computer decided to start randomly overtyping everything at the weekend, and randomly moving the cursor to the middle of words, so I didn't think it was quite the right time to post anything, haha!

As ever I'm incredibly touched by all the commenters and followers I've gained over the years, and I hope to continue to provide you with dubious quality blog posts! I want to run another few giveaways in the future so watch this space!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Enter the Giveaway here!

Sorry its taken a wee while to get back into this, especially as we've gone well past the 130k views now!

There was a lot of interest in this but no consensus on what the prize should be, soooo, I've decided that the winner can choose what they'd like between a stablemate custom, a rug/headcollar set or miniature prop of your choice, and a (simple) mini diorama! Next time I'll try to organise it a little better so there's actually a ready to go thing to win!

That said, pop a comment on this post and you're in to win! I'll leave it open a week and then use a random number generator to pick the lucky winner!

This is free and open to all, from anywhere in the world!

(If you live somewhere ridiculously far away and opt for the diorama I may ask for a small contribution towards postage but everything else would be totally free for you)

Monday, 6 June 2016

Giveaway at 130,000 pageviews!

It seems like no time at all since I hit 50k and I appreciate every single one of those views. At the time of writing I have less than 40 views to go til 130k which kind of blows my mind a bit.

I love this blog and although my posting often comes in fast and furious sprees and then nothing for months, the fact that people still visit it and comment really makes me happy. (especially my regular commenters, you guys are awesome :D)

Sooo, with this in mind, I'd like to offer some kind of a thank you giveaway for after the blog hits that magic number - any ideas? :3

Comment below with the kind of thing you'd like to win and I'll see what I can do!

Yet more mini customs!

I'm obviously in the mood for customising at the moment as I seem to be doing nothing but cutting up tiny ponies!

First up is this G2 Pacer - I've always felt rather sorry for this mould as there are so few breeds it could be shown as (as there are relatively few horse breeds that display that kind of lateral gait) that it rarely seems to be customised.

 WIP mini customsWIP mini customs

I thought it had potential as a trotting horse if I flipped the forelegs round, so after having to buy myself another hacksaw (I lent mine to someone and haven't got it back yet, haha) I set to work.
 I discovered that the bent foreleg was considerably shorter than the other one, so I had to tweak and extend it with a wire before I reattached it.

 WIP mini customs

At first I was just going to bend the neck and lower the headset but after a while I thought it'd probably be far easier to just resculpt it entirely, so he was decapitated for science. :P

WIP mini customs

It was during this time that this stray speck of plastic pinged off and flew straight into my eye, somehow bypassing my glasses entirely.

WIP mini customs

I spent the next ten minutes in front of the bathroom mirror with a variety of small pointy objects, trying to extract it. Luckily it had ended up right in the corner, near the tear duct but kept creeping sideways the more I poked at it which was rather alarming. It came out eventually and I've had no problems but it did make me more aware of what I was doing and I'll definitely be investing in some goggles the next time I'm out as I usually just assume my glasses will be enough to protect my eyes but obviously not! If that had been a bit of glass or metal I could have been in serious trouble! 

A considerable amount of (careful!) sanding with my knockoff dremel later, I reattached the legs on the opposite sides of the horse with white-tac to see how it looked before making the join permanent with superglue and bicarbonate of soda.

WIP mini customs
 WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

As I've probably mentioned numerous times before, I hate using epoxy as it inevitably gets everywhere and I find it really frustrating to work with, but after accidentally supergluing the horse to my hand earlier on, I decided that I'd have to put up with it rather than my usual glue/bicarb method.

The throatlatch is obviously waaaaay too thick here, and I'll need to do a bit of work once the epoxy has cured but I'm pleased with how well the sculpting style matches.

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

I think I'll end up having him for some kind of western performance as he's ended up quite chunky and quarter horsey.

I still had loads of milliput left over so I worked on a few side projects to finish it off.

I bought this Schleich Akhal Teke at the Copperfox show, and lopped his head off almost as soon as I got him home. I reset it today a little lower and straighter, although trying to get the distinctive hair texture to match was a little trickier and I'm not really sure if I've managed it or not.

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

I started this guy years ago - a G2 Shire to some kind of cantering draught. I love the mould's head but not much else, especially that horrible, horrible tail, so that was the first part to go! His left foreleg is entirely new which is why it looks so bad compared to the rest!

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

This was another old custom I started a while back, a G2 Saddlebred. I really like the mould, but I'm not hugely enamoured with my resculpting here. :/ I really want to do a glued thread version but I can't find another body in my stash even though I know I must have at least one more!

WIP mini customs

Another custom from the dawn of time is this G1 Silky Sullivan I started way back in 2011.

Resculpted neck

She's really been through the wars and has had multiple surgeries on her neck, and eventually ended up painted chestnut with a mohair mane and tail, but somehow that never quite worked for me, so I stripped off all the hair the other day and started again with glued thread hair.

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

This mould has such a lovely face.

WIP mini customs

She was going to be flaxen chestnut but halfway through pastelling she told me she wanted to be a very dark liver chestnut...oh and she wasn't an Arab any more, she was a Welsh pony!



She's still very much a WIP but I'm really liking the direction she's heading in now.

Also in progress is this Britains Shire, who is well on her way to becoming a very hairy cob.

WIP mini customs

WIP mini customs

Friday, 3 June 2016

Just some tiny pony pictures.

I spent much of the other day taking show photos of some of my stablemates.

EA Funky Fresno - Paint - gelding - CM - EG3
This is 'EA Funky Fresno' an etchie of mine from a couple of years ago

 I still need to name half of them before they can go up on flickr though.

EA Funky Fresno - Paint - gelding - CM - EG

I used my mini desert diorama (which I'm really hoping to sell at some point as I don't use it enough and I'd love to see how it does in live shows with someone!) and a royalty free photo of monument valley I found online for the background and afterwards thought I'd let the tiniest members of my herd have a go with it...


They aren't really kitted out for western riding but that can't really be helped, (although I'd really like to see if there are some HO scale cowboy figures somewhere!) but some instagram filters give them a nice 'old west' kind of feel and help make it look less like a diorama and more like an actual landscape.

Some of my tiniest models out for a ride in the desert. The diorama was made by me and I painted the models too.  #model horses #modelhorsephotography #microminihorse #HOscale

Some of my tiniest models out for a ride in the desert. The diorama was made by me and I painted the models too.  #model horses #modelhorsephotography #microminihorse #HOscale

Some of my tiniest models out for a ride in the desert. The diorama was made by me and I painted the models too.  #model horses #modelhorsephotography #microminihorse #HOscale

Some of my tiniest models out for a ride in the desert. The diorama was made by me and I painted the models too.  #model horses #modelhorsephotography #microminihorse #HOscale

Some of my tiniest models out for a ride in the desert. The diorama was made by me and I painted the models too.  #model horses #modelhorsephotography #microminihorse #HOscale 

Anyway, nothing particularly exciting but I thought I'd share anyway!