Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Horses Need Resecuing...

I had actually planned this post a couple of months ago (I think it was that long ago), but then I got distracted by something else so it never happened, but then I found a picture yesterday that brought the interesting topic back to the forefront of my brain.

The basis of the original post happened after reading on another blog about a couple of horses that had fallen through the ice and had to be rescued
 The fire department involved in the rescue had trained quite a bit for this sort of rescue, but had just received the special yellow suits seen in the top picture and this was the first time they'd been able to use them.  Initially they hoped they could just cut a path through the ice to shallower water and the horses would get themselves out and it worked with the chestnut, who, if I remember correctly, was the younger of the two.
 The palomino panicked a little and couldn't get himself out so the firefighter had to get into the frigid water to lead him out.  That's where the special suit really helped as it kept the firefighter from freezing in the water.  Fortunately, both horses were rescued successfully and recovered quickly.

In Arizona, however, we don't have lakes that freeze.  Well, maybe some ponds, but not where there are horses around.  The wild horses are in desert areas and there's no water that freezes because it's too warm.  The ponds up on the Mogollon (pronounced like "muggy-on") Rim and in Flagstaff, there's no horses around.  We do, however, have canals....

Canals are used to deliver irrigation water to crop fields and to alleviate the amount of water in the lakes to prevent the dams from overflowing.  Every now and then they drain the canals to clean them and find things like cars and shopping carts and...yes...sometimes bodies.  The canals look calm, but there's a strong current underneath the surface.  Because of how deep the canals are and the current, it's hard to get out of them if you fall in.  Some canals have steps while others have nothing.  They're not for swimming and it's highly discouraged to attempt it.  Every now and then you hear of a dog that fell in and was rescued, but more often than that, it's a horse...whether it's a carriage horse...
or a person on horseback
It's never an easy rescue.  By the time the fire department gets to the scene the horse is usually tired out from trying to keep itself afloat.  Fortunately, I don't think I've ever heard a story where the animal did not survive the experience.  Not every city/town has both canals and horses, but apparently some fire departments are now started to train for such unusual rescues.  How do you do that, though, without the use of a live animal?  You use a replica
In the above photo it appears as though they're practicing a trench rescue, which I've never heard of a horse getting caught in a trench, but I imagine it could be useful in extracting a horse from an overturned horse trailer, which happens more often than a horse in a canal.

I think it's very cool that there's so many people willing to help out when a horse or other animal is in danger and I applaud the fire departments who have extra training that will better help them assist the animal when the time comes.  Why wait until those skills are necessary to figure out what to do and how to do it?  

Well, that's about it.  I apologize if sometimes my blog posts seem pointless.  hahaha.  Sometimes they seem that way to me, so...

Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Adventures In Policing...

Over the past couple of days I've been chatting with Alyssa M about siblings and knowing stuff and I mentioned I had worked for two different police departments and she asked if I had ever gotten to ride one of the police horses so I decided it was as good a time as any to talk about my experiences.

Now, when I say "work" I don't mean work in the regular sense.  I didn't get paid, but that didn't bother me, although I had to stop in order to get a paid job, but I was "paid" in exposure to horses.  In 1989 I became a Police Explorer for the Scottsdale Police Department.  I won't go into the boring details of what we did, but I learned how to do building searches and traffic stops plus we went to other departments and competed against other Explorer posts for trophies and awards.  My first competition we drove down to Tucson and it actually snowed a little while we were down there.  During the lunch break, when everyone else was going out for lunch, we were firing up the grill behind one of the building at the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA) and getting a game of basketball going.  When some of the instructors saw us out there, they invited us in to share their pizza they'd ordered.  But that's off-topic.  hahaha.  Anyway, I got to know one of the mounted officers, Marcy, and would often go to the station when I knew she'd be getting ready to go on patrol and we'd chat for a little while.  She was the one who told me they were looking for help in training the new officer because she would be leaving the unit soon.  She wanted to make Sargent and you can't promote while on the mounted unit.  For the record, she retired a Lieutenant while the officer I helped train retired as an officer.  Some ambition.  hahaha.  Anyway.  So I started going to the police barn a few nights a week.  Marcy and Kirk would ride the horses to one of the arenas while Gary walked with them or Gary and Marcy would walk while Kirk rode.  He was the new officer so he always rode.  My job was to drive the trailer down to the arena.  I'm not real sure why they wanted the trailer there...maybe in case of emergency...but I drove it down to the arena and back to the barn, empty.  While at the arena, I always played the bad guy so Gary could videotape Kirk and give instruction.  I think I videotaped a time or two, but I don't remember
Mounted Unit circa 1990s
It didn't take me long to develop a crush on Kirk, but that's neither here nor there.  I spent a couple of months helping him get used to Rio, the black quarter horse they had recently acquired, and police work from the back of a horse.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad for the opportunities it provided me with being around the horses.  I still wanted to be a police officer at the time so it was good exposure for me.  One night, instead of riding back to the barn, Rio was loaded into the trailer to be driven back.  I wasn't told why, but it didn't really matter.  But now I wasn't allowed to drive the trailer.  When I asked why since I'd been doing it for so long already, Gary asked if I'd ever driven a horse trailer with a horse in it.  I said I had not and he said that's why I wasn't allowed to drive the trailer that night.  It was the only night, though, and Kirk and I had a nice chat during the short drive back.  He was always real nice to me.  Always made sure to involve me in the conversations.  During one scenario I complained that he never said "Please" or "Thank you" so he wrote this note on a piece of steno paper apologizing for never saying please or thank you and to please forgive him blah blah blah.  I kept that note for the longest time, even after it became apparent nothing would ever happen between us.  He ended up re-marrying his ex-wife and it turned out he was a jerk anyway so it all worked out in the end.

Alyssa asked if I ever got to ride any of the police horses...Once.  During Kirk's training, the unit asked the Explorers to come down to WestWorld so he could have some experience with crowd control when there was more than two people so most of our post, about 12 of us, met down there and did a few scenarios where we acted like an unruly mob of people and the two officers would "control" us (usher us into a group) or chase one of us individually.  Afterwards we hung out and were talking and one of the girls said she had never ridden a horse and was kind of afraid of them so they let her ride Rio for a few minutes around the arena.  Me being me, I wanted to ride, too, so I said I hadn't been on a horse since my fall the year before so they let me ride Chip.  I wish I had pictures.  I used to have pictures from when they did the public safety demonstrations, but I guess I threw them away or something.  Not real sure why, but I'm guessing I did.
Circa 2009
 My time with the Tempe Police mounted unit wasn't near as exciting.  I saw there was an opportunity to volunteer at the barn so I put in my "application" (I was already a volunteer with the department) and was allowed to go.  My first and only night there I was asked to muck the stalls and was even complimented on how thorough I was.  After that I helped the officers pull the Bougainvillea plants and that's when I discovered I had a contact allergy to them and ended up breaking out in a rash.  Not fun.  Obviously I couldn't work at the barn if I was allergic to the plants they had there.  I was bummed, but itching like crazy was no fun.  I think I got to pet a couple of the horses at the barn, but because of my short time there I never really formed a connection with any of the officers or horses.  Heck, I couldn't even tell you the names of any of them.  Later I tried to get a paid job as a groom, but I froze when they showed me a diagram of a horse and asked me to name parts of it.  I couldn't even tell the difference between the fetlock or the forelock.  I still have a problem with it.  hahaha.
So, there you go.  My adventures with the Scottsdale and Tempe Police mounted units.  Nothing too incredibly exciting, but it was fun and something I wouldn't give up.  There's things I would change, sure, but until someone invents a time machine, it's not possible.  hahaha.

Happy Wednesday!

**eta** I meant to mention this before, but the difference between riding a trained police horse and a stable horse is like night and day.  I'm talking the 1 hour rental stable horses that go on several rides a day but rather the once-a-day, out for 4 hours minimum horses.  Anyway, Chip (the police horse) was very push-button.  He almost seemed to anticipate your request before you could make it, but not in a negative way.  If you've ever ridden a push-button horse you would know what I'm talking about.  You only have to give the slightest hint of an aid and he picks up on it immediately.  You don't have to apply a log of leg pressure to get him going let alone "kick him repeatedly" just to get him to take a few steps.  I've ridden too many rental horses like that...again, the 1 hour rentals not the longer ones because they tend to take better care of their animals.  But Chip...and Larry, the only push-button rental horse I've ever ridden, were dream horses.  And Chip was, almost quite literally, bomb-proof.  You have to be when you're a police horse.  :-D

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Patience is a virtue...

Or, at least, that's what "they" say.  And sometimes I have it, but sometimes...okay, oftentimes...I don't.  Not when it comes to money and waiting for things you bought, especially when they take your money right away.  Some items, you have no choice but to wait.  Items like Peter Stone DAH.  About 6 weeks ago I ordered my 2nd and while I KNOW they take time, I don't like waiting.  Almost 2 weeks ago I got a glimpse of him in the Sneak Peaks on their Facebook page (he's the silver bay appy between the two Arabians)
I figured he'd be in my hands in a few days.  That was on a Thursday.  He didn't actually ship out for almost another week, but he's finally out for delivery today.  Look for an upcoming post on him.

But this doesn't have to do with horses.  Not entirely anyway since I just mentioned my DAH.  hahaha.  No, this has to do with something I ordered from a website in Japan.  The website said the order processing time was 1 or 2 business days.  Okay.  I can deal with that.  Especially when they have the option of FedEx shipping 3-5 days.  The site said you'd get an email letting you know when your stuff is shipping out so I waited.  On Saturday I looked at the website and it still showed my order as "unfulfilled".  No big deal.  It said BUSINESS days and weekends generally aren't considered business days.  So I waited some more, figuring I'd get an email on Monday or there'd be some sort of movement.  But when I logged into my account, there was nothing.  It was still showing "unfulfilled".  In the meantime, the money was already long gone from my account.  I continued trying to be patient, but when it hits Tuesday and there's still no word or update and it's now been 3 business days, I'm getting anxious.  I've never ordered from this place before nor have I ever ordered anything direct from Japan.  I just want my stuff...

I'd like to know why they made FOUR dogs and only 3 cats!
Anyway, when I checked on my stuff during lunch today, a pop-up window appeared with a customer service person saying to let them know if there was anything they could help with so I told her my timeline and was anxious since it was my first order.  She looked into it and said I should be getting an email about it shipping tomorrow.  Of course, now it's occurring to me...who's tomorrow?  It's currently 5:11am in Tokyo right now so does that mean I won't get the email until later tomorrow night?  Or what?  Hahaha.  Oh well.  At least it should be shipping soon.  I can't wait to "play" with my new goodies.  The two boxes are for packing lunches in.  They're called Bento Boxes.  And for the record, I'm not a Japanese Anime fan.  I've heard of Totoro (the guy on top), but only through bento.  I bought them because I think they're super cute and as tomboyish as I am, I like cute things like this.  My mom and brother will roll their eyes at me getting more "silly little boxes", but that's okay.  I don't take offense.  Although one time my brother called them "stupid little boxes" and I got on him about that.  You can call them silly, but not stupid.  He actually sort of apologized and corrected himself.  hahaha.  Anyway, the dogs and cats are food picks.  I already have some I don't hardly use, but I couldn't resist these.  :)

Well, I guess that's it for today.  My lunch break is long since over (30 minutes eeek) so I should get back to work.  Make sure you tune in tomorrow, though, for pictures of my new Stone DAH and maybe even a tale of my escapades with the Scottsdale Police Department Mounted Unit.  :-D

Friday, January 24, 2014

Decisions, decisions...

Aka...I hate being an adult sometimes and having to do the right thing...

Ok.  So.  I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona which has been home to an annual Arabian horse show for the past 50+ years.  Scottsdale was also home to many big Arabian show barns.  You could drive down Bell Road or Cactus Road and they were all over the place.  Tom Chauncey was on Scottsdale Road and on Sunday they held these mini shows where they'd bring out different horses.  It was there that I became aware of  *Naborr and Bask++, both of whom Mr Chauncey owned at one time.  They would tell you about the history of the breed while showing off their beauty, either being led or at liberty.  They called Toska Too their Goodwill Ambassador because she loved everyone and Simeon Shai liked to look at himself in the reflection of the glass in the sales center.  Mr Chauncey usually came out towards the end and gave Simeon a carrot. Or some other treat.  One year on Mother's Day some lady casually mentioned it would be nice if he gave someone a horse as a Mother's Day gift.  Guess what?  He gave HER a horse.  On Easter Sunday they would put bunny ears on one of the mares and lead her around with a basket of treats for the kids in attendance.  After the Sunday Showing you were welcome to tour the barns.  I went very regularly.

KoHarA was just around the corner from Tom Chauncey Arabians and had beautiful grounds.  I only got to visit once because they weren't open all the time, but the one time I was there I was introduced to this lovely guy

I fell in love with him immediately as well as one of his fillies who was at TCA named Amber Rage.  Anyway, I've been wanting to do a Stone DAH to resemble *Muscat but I kept pussy-footing around and with the start of 2014 a major design part disappeared from the drop-down menu...the 2013 blaze.  While not an exact replica of *Muscat's facial marking, it was the closest Stone had it.  So I thought that was that.  Until someone posted on the Stone FB page asking them to bring it back and they said they'd check with someone on Monday and, well, they brought it back.  I waited a couple of days until payday then ended up deciding not to get it just now.  But then today I was looking at posts on the Stone FB page and one of the employees posted a message to the West Coast people asking if they needed more time.  More time for what, I asked.  The 30% off DAH.  for orders over $100, right...that had been the sale earlier in the week.  No.  30% off ANY DAH during a certain time period, but basically to end at 6pm MST.  Now was the opportunity to get my *Muscat so I went to the Stone website and did up my Arabian. But I can't have just one at that low price, can I?  Noooo.  Of course not.  So I did up a second Arabian.  The price was doable, but that's where being an adult comes into play.  I had the money to order both, but...I hate not having money in the bank.  So I decided to busy myself with other stuff so I wasn't tempted to buy.  Easy, right?  Nope.  Just for shits and grins I checked the FB page to see if the sale had been extended, but there was no mention of I so I went back to the stone website and discovered the discount still worked.  Now what?  Nothing.  I still didn't buy.  Not when the discount worked at 6:15 and not when it still worked at 6:45.  That's when I flipped a coin.  Heads I buy both, tails I don't buy either.  It landed on tails.  Ok.  Fine.  I could live with that.  So then I did an alternate.  Heads I buy JUST the *Muscat and tails I didn't.  Again, it landed on tails.  <sigh> Okay.  That was that.

Well, if that was that then how come, at 7:01 I ordered a chestnut Arabian with the 2013 blaze with three medium socks, one low sock and hoof stripes on the two front feet, huh?  Tell me that!  But hey...I'm still a responsible adult.  I only bought one horse.  The one I wanted the most.  I have no doubt they'll have another good sale down the road and I can buy the liver chestnut extreme tobiano with blue eyes and the 2014 narrow stripe...or another one.

The big question is, though, how do I explain the arrival of *Muscat when both my mom and my brother witnessed the buy/no-buy coin flip and know it landed on no-buy?  I guess I'll have to deal with that when the time comes, but in the meantime, I'm getting an Arabian with lots of 'chrome' for very little money.  Total score!

Have a good weekend, Everyone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Double Monday...

So, yesterday I had the day off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day.  The state made it an official day several years ago, but it was only in the past 5 years or so that my company decided to give it to us off in an effort to show they embrace diversity.  Or something like that.  Anyway, having Monday off means Tuesday becomes the new Monday, but we'll get to that.

I didn't do much over the weekend.  My mom had an eye appointment at Wal-Mart Saturday afternoon so we decided to do our WM shopping then and the regular store shopping Monday.  Normally we'd do both of it Sunday, but there was the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon that would pretty effectively trap us in our house for much of Sunday unless we wanted to go way out of our way, which we didn't.  Back to the eye appointment.  My mom had cataract surgery on her left eye back in 2008 and two years ago the DMV sent a letter saying they'd been notified of an eye condition that might prevent her from seeing well enough to drive and they wanted her to go have her eyes checked.  So she did and the doctor cleared her and all was well.  Then last week she got a letter from the DMV saying they wanted her eyes checked again so that's why she went to the doctor on Saturday.  She went to WM because that's who cleared her last time.  Well, apparently now they required some sort of Field of Vision test or something and WM didn't have that machine so now we both have eye appointments at LensCrafters this Sunday afternoon.  Oh joy.  At least the doctor at WM didn't charge her for the visit.  He said he didn't like his patients having to pay twice so he wasn't going to charge her anything.  It was stupid, though, because when she called initially, she could barely understand the person on the other end of the line so she hung up on them and called the doctor directly and made the appointment for 2:30pm.  Well, early on Friday someone from WM called to confirm her 9:30am appointment.  Huh?  Okay.  Whatever.  Earlier in the day is more convenient.  But then Friday night we get ANOTHER call from WM confirmed her 2:30pm appointment.  Good grief.  We confirmed we'd be there at 2:30pm and that was that.  We arrived at WM about 1:15 and did our shopping then went to the eye appointment.  Sunday I realized we hadn't gotten a main ingredient for Sunday's dinner while at WM so I had to go out to get it.  Well, our closest store is less than a mile away and while they had chicken breast, it was frozen.  Not just the package but the chicken breast itself had ice crystals on it.  Since we needed it for dinner that  night it wouldn't do any good to buy frozen chicken so I decided to see if I could get to Albertsons or if I was going to have to get on the freeway to circumvent the marathon course.  Fortunately, though, I didn't need to because the half-marathon was over by then and the roads had re-opened.  Yay.  Anyway, on Monday mom and I went to breakfast at Denny's then did the rest of our grocery shopping.  I felt I was very un-productive all weekend.  There were things I wanted to do, but wasn't able to or just simply didn't do it because I got too lazy.  hahaha.  Oh well.

Yes, I know you really wanted to know all of that.

So last night on Blab someone had posted that the Collector Club model was now available for pre-order.  Yay.  I've been waiting for this one as I have the Premier Club Kalahkaari and the RR Palomino Marwari.  But there was a slight twist.  It wasn't just a plain comes with TACK
Nothing major. Just a traditional halter and neck ribbon, but still pretty cool.  Needless to say I had to put in my pre-order right away.  I can't wait to get him.  His dapples do look a little reptilian, but I can live with that.  It's not as bad as what's on Valiant, in my opinion.  Also over the weekend, someone wrote on the Peter Stone Horses Facebook wall to please bring back the 2013 blaze on the Design-A-Horse since the 2012 blaze was available all during 2013.  Whoever is responsible for the FB page said they'd ask "Julie" on Monday if that was doable because she thought it was a good idea.  Well, yesterday we got a report back that Julie also thought it was a good idea so they'd put it back up.  Yay!  Initially, though, they listed 2014 blaze twice (plus the thin 2014 blaze) so I pointed that out to them on FB and they fixed it.  Now I can order a DAH to resemble one of my favorite Arabian stallions *Muscat!  Hurray!!!!!!!!  I can't wait.

So, back to having two Mondays.  I stopped at Einstein Bros Bagels this morning on the way to work and when I took my money out, somehow my hand got bumped and my $20 went flying and...disappeared.  It wasn't my only money, mind you, but it was still a $20.  So I searched and searched my car for that dang thing before finally finding it between the passenger seat and the center console.  Okay.  No problem, right?  Wrong!  I couldn't get my hand down in there and each time I tried, I pushed it further in and eventually I couldn't even see it.  I couldn't go in from the back seat because it was too far forward.  I was starting to consider going inside Einstein and asking one of the cashiers to come out and help me.  I know her pretty good so I was pretty confident she'd help, but then I thought to try to move the passenger seat as far forward as it would go and see if that would help and viola!  I was able to retrieve my money and get my breakfast.  Yay!  Then I stopped at Circle K (a convenience store) for gas and I was only going to get $20, but I was paying much attention and went over the $20 so I decided to get $25.  I ended up with $25.01!  AAAAAAAAAAGH.  Hopefully the bad stuff ends there.  hahahaha.
**Edited to add** I came back here to add something and realized I'd misspelled the word "double".  Sheesh.  Anyway.  Because I'd had to shove my hand around in a space that was too small and the top of my hand was rubbing against the metal seat frame that it goes back and forth on when you adjust it to go fowards and backwards...I now have the makings of a large bruise.  Yay.  It's only red right now, but it hurts and I have no doubt I'll end up with a bruise.  Oh yippee!  Typing is so much fun right now.  hahaha  Yes, I'm whining.

But now I'd better get to work.  It's 7:42 and my shift started at 7:00am.  Thank goodness I work in an office and don't have people breathing down my neck!  Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Police horses around the world...

I'm finally getting a chance to do this post!  Hurray!  hahaha.  I've been wanting to do it for almost 2 weeks now so it's exciting for me.

Okay.  So.  On this Facebook group, As Seen Through Horses' Ears, there's little pictures of members at the top and I kept seeing this one that left me scratching my head
Since the picture was quite small it didn't look like a real horse.  I thought maybe it was like one of those puppets they used in the theater version of War Horse.  After seeing it several times I finally clicked on the picture to hopefully see a larger one and discovered it was, in fact, a real horse.  It's a police horse in Norway and I guess this is its normal patrol equipment.  Wow.  I can't imagine the horse enjoying having to wear so much stuff.  I realize it's to protect them, but look at it all!  Is that really a horse under all that?  I still think it's a robot or a puppet.  hahaha.  Anyway, it got me to thinking about police horses in different parts of the world.  While Norway seems to be the only agency with practically full-on body protection, there's other agencies that use protective gear.  Australia, for one

And Toronto, ON in Canada also uses face shields for their horses
As well as some sort of "knee pads".   I'm thinking this stuff is riot gear because I really can't imagine the horses needing it on a daily basis just to do their job and if it's that dangerous that they do need it, I'd think maybe the horses just shouldn't be used in that area then.

I don't think I've ever mentioned this before, but I used to work with the local police department's mounted unit.  When I was in the Explorers, I helped out at the barn training the new officers.  In so doing, I developed quite a crush on one of the officers that, looking back on now, makes me cringe
He's on the chestnut on the far left.  I don't know why I liked a guy like that.  He turned out to be quite a jerk anyway so it was no big deal when things fell apart.  As you can see, though, no face shields or other such protective equipment on the horses.  Granted, this was a publicity photo, but still...Even the NYPD doesn't use all that stuff during patrol...
Unfortunately, many cities are having to do away with their mounted units due to budget cuts.  San Diego PD had to shut theirs down a couple of years ago and they sold their horses to the public.  In Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department has a mounted posse unit, but the horses are owned by the individual members not the county.  Customs and Border Patrol also has a mounted unit.  Scottsdale still has theirs, but I think Phoenix did away with theirs, although my brother claims otherwise.  Tempe still has theirs, too
I worked briefly at their barn as a volunteer until I discovered I had a contact allergy to bougainvillea and there was lots of it around the stable.  Later I tried to get a paying job (the plants had been removed) but when they asked me to identify the parts of a horse on a diagram, I choked.  hahaha.  I couldn't name anything.  I was disappointed, but not surprised I didn't get the job.  Oh well.

Anyway, I guess I'd better get to work.  It's Wednesday.  Yippee!  Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A horse hunt to end all horse hunts...

Let me start out by saying hunting horses is never a sure thing or an exact science.  There's several places I know to look for them because I've seen them there before, but they're not always there.  They move around a lot.  Usually when I don't see any I can go by "my" ranches and shoot some domestic horses.  Sometimes neither one cooperates.  Apparently, now, we have to add the CAMERA not cooperating!  And the weather.  Well, I try not to go hunting when it's raining because who wants to see horses standing around getting wet?  Not me.  But the time of day has now become an issue.
So I moved up a bit and got somewhat better ones where the sun wasn't right there

This particular group I shot last week.  I was driving along the highway when I saw a single horse plodding along, munching as she went.  I was going in the opposite direction so I got to a place where I could turn around and by the time I caught up with her, I saw something much more exciting.  Something was really kicking up the dirt and as I went further up the road I saw it was the rest of the herd.  They were running towards the hill they're standing on in the above pictures.  It was the COOLEST thing ever.  I wish I'd gotten pictures of that.  Or better yet, video, but we were both moving and that wasn't going to happen.  Unfortunately, not long after these pictures were taken my camera started bugging on me.  Dead batteries.  AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!  Oh well.  From here I went and drove around some more, but didn't see anything exciting.  I finished the day getting an oil change.  Yay.

Yesterday I went out again and thought I was going to be hugely disappointed.  I checked all three of my spots and nothing.  So I went to a different area I'd only visited once and...nothing.  As I was heading back to my main area something on the side of the road caught my eye.  It was three horses.  So I did a quick u-turn and pulled off the side of the road near where they were.  They had just crossed the road and when I stopped, they started to move deeper into the brush
 but I still whipped my Canon out (can't shoot horses without a canon!) and began shooting.  Well, my scanner was on and it had been fairly silent, but then the chatter picked up did their heads.
Then they did something very unusual...they started walking TOWARDS my car...

I don't know what it was about my scanner, but it seemed to really interest them.  The grey one was a little hesitant to get very close, but "he" no longer seemed concerned about my presence

They seemed to want to have their picture taken

This one was my favorite
Then I remembered I had my smaller camera with video capabilities so I quickly shot some video...not much, but's something!
I know.  It looks like a GIF lol
Finally, I left this trio and headed back the way I came and guess what I came across...yup...two more horses.  I saw the grey one first
And then it's companion, but that one was too deep in the brush to get a good picture of.  So I continued back down the Beeline and...yup, you guessed it...more horses.  This one was in the same spot as the ones last week.
I don't know where the rest of the herd was, but I'm sure they weren't far behind.  Look at the roman nose on that one!

Wow.  What a day!  I doubt I'll ever have another day like that one, but that's okay.  It was truly a special experience.

Well, I'd better get back to work.  I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Breyerfest 2014 Model Release...

Okay.  So.  Yesterday I was wondering around the Breyer website when I discovered they had put up information for Breyerfest.  EEEEEEEE.  I was excited so I immediately started poking around to see what models are going to be available as of now.  They'll add more as time goes on, but so far we have about a half dozen.  There's a lot of talk going on over on blab about the models and a lot of disappointment, it seems.  This is the 25th Anniversary of Breyerfest and a lot of people were expecting "bigger and better" and I can't say that I blame them, but I kind of like the offerings.  If I end up not being able to make it I'm not going to be hugely disappointed unless the shuffle models end up being epic, but we'll see.

So, we'll start with the Early Bird Raffle model.  This is a model you are entered for when you buy your tickets before a certain date.
His name is Alegria and a lot of people are most excited for this one out of all the other models, it seems.  He's not too bad, but I don't like the forelock stuck way up in the air.  I don't collect this mold, but I wouldn't be disappointed if I ended up winning one.  Even though I'm not 100% for sure going or not (although I'm probably not) I'm still going to buy a 3 Day Ticket.  There is a special run model I do want and hopefully I can find someone to do me pick-ups.

The next model is the celebration horse and this one is what really has people up in arms about it.
The celebration model is the one everyone who buys a 3 Day Ticket and attends Breyerfest gets...unless they run out, which has happened before.  The thing that has people so upset about it, apparently, is due to his resemblance to another model called Goffert.  It's the same mold and the same color except Goffert is more glossy
Without seeing the faces of both, the only differences I can see between the two are that Goffert has black hooves and Gooitzen fan Teakesy (try saying that 5 times fast!) has grey ones and the stand on GFT is silver while Goffert's is clear.  I don't own Goffert so I'm fine with this.  The Celebration Model is always patterned after a real horse and Gooitzen is a champion in driving and English Pleasure

Apparently one of his show handlers is Carson Kressly, which I find highly amusing, but...whatever.  In the above picture of him, Gooitzen looks more deep brown than black, but I guess he's officially black.  Too bad Breyer couldn't have make him look more dark chocolatey like he appears in pictures.

Next up are two of the tent models available for purchase by anyone in attendance with no limits.  Athos and Paddyngton's Mark of Distinction

Neither one interest me enough to really want them.  A lot of people thought a Saddlebred was going to be the Celebration model because the logo looks like a Saddlebred so I'm sure there's more than a few disappointed people that it wasn't.

Every year they do a contest where the winner is an exclusive model and for 2014 the mold is on a Cantering Welsh Pony named Party Time.

For the most part, I like this model.  He seems to have real nice shading and I like the minimal spotting in his rump, but I don't like the facial marking.  There's just something odd about it that I don't like.  They used the same marking on a model called Tally Ho, who looks pretty similar to Party Time except for the spots and the color is a little different.  They both even have 4 socks!
It's a good thing Party Time isn't a special run or something you could buy in the tent because then I'd have to buy him and I just don't really like him that much, but since I like the mold I'd have to get him.

And last, but certainly not least, my favorite of the bunch.  This is a Special Run and the one I want the most out of all of the models they've released so far and the one I'm going to have to find someone to do pick-ups for me.  Finding someone to get me the two Stablemates last year was pretty easy because she put an ad on MH$P so hopefully this time will be just as easy.  Without further ado, here is Champagne Toast
I've always liked the Adios mold, even though I don't currently have any and who can pass over such a nice paint pattern?  He even has hoof striping.  Yeah.  Hopefully I can find someone to do pick-ups for me if I can't go.

So, there you have it.  The first releases for Breyerfest 2014.  I look forward to seeing what else will be coming down the pipeline in the coming months.