Friday, December 18, 2015

A Look Ahead at 2016 for Breyer horses...

Aside from how expensive it's going to be for me with joining all 3 of the extra clubs (Vintage, Premier and the new Stablemate) for 2016, there's starting to be "leaks" for what new models are coming down the pike for us rabid collectors and there's many of them I want to have. Fortunately, however, I don't want ALL of the ones we've seen so far and so I will be focusing on the ones I do want.

We will go with the non-horse model. A very cute little donkey on the Brighty mold called Hickory Hills Wall Street

I don't have anything on this mold yet so he will be my first. I don't know if he's going to be limited or not, but my dealer has started a "Call List" of people to contact when he comes in and I'm on the list. They expected to get him within a couple of weeks, before Christmas, but so far I haven't heard anything. Wall Street is a portrait mold of a registered Mini Donkey owned by Hickory Hill Donkey Farm
photo by hickory hill donkey farm
Next up is the beautiful 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner in Dressage, Valegro
photo by kay115 
Breyer really nailed the pose with this one as you can see...
photo by
The next horse I am looking forward to is on the Adios mold and is called Cherry Creek Fonzie Merit and is apparently a portrait horse of one that lives in Canada. Not real sure of the breed because they're calling it a Canada Horse
photo by paperhorse photography
Apparently 2016 is going to be the Year of the Portrait Horse because I saved the best for last...

The 2014 Horse of the Year winner and main mount for Olympian Beezie Madden...Cortes C
photo by Noelle Floyd
I am beyond excited about this one. I'm such a huge fan of Beezie's and have been for a number of years. I love to see the passion for her craft on her face, whether she's just done a fantastic job in the Stadium Jumping arena or going out on a trail ride near her farm in New York. 

I don't know when any of the models will be out, other than Valegro is supposed to be released to US buyers in January. He's currently available in the UK, which makes sense since he's their Olympic Champion. I'll need to find more room on my shelves, that's for sure. Maybe move my bed out of my room and just put up tons of shelves and sleep on the floor. Hahahaha.

In other is my unit's Christmas party. I'm not there. I decided not to participate this year. They're doing a White Elephant gift exchange and I just don't enjoy that atmosphere so I'm doing my own thing. Oh well. I think I'm the only one not there other than the people who're off today. No big deal. I don't make it a habit of skipping unit functions. Also, they're having a dessert pot luck and I know I'd have a hard time not partaking.

Speaking of which...I mentioned in my last blog post about the drastic changes to the Weight Watchers Program. I said I would commit to doing it for one week, but that lasted all of one day. As I had predicted, it was too restrictive and felt more like a diet. I figured out the points for a typical Saturday breakfast and lunch for me and ended up with only 6 points for dinner. I know the new plan is encouraging more healthy eating, but by increasing the points of so many foods because the formula for determining the points has changed, it eliminates the ability to have anything other than fruits, veggies and lean proteins. I might as well join Jenny Craig or NutriSystem and eat their cardboard food. Other people might be able to cut way back on most everything they enjoy, but I can't. I know from experience that if I'm deprived of things I'm going to end up bingeing on them and that's not good. So, I'm still going to follow the program and I'm still going to attend meetings. I have my older points calculator and several helpful websites so I have no doubt I can continue to follow the Points Plus Program that has enabled me to lose 16.6 pounds so far.

Well, I think that's it for now. I hope everyone is doing well. We've had some really low temperatures. Lower than even Chicago and New York. Everywhere I look I see blankets and sheets covering plants because we've had freeze warnings most every morning this week. It's supposed to warm up a bit this weekend, but then go back down next week. Yay!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The sound every horse lover knows...

You know the one. That unmistakable sound of horse hooves on concrete or asphalt or other hard surface. No matter what else is going on around you, as soon as you hear that sound, you start looking around for the horse making it, right? Surely I'm not the only one...who else wants to admit to it? I have two stories to relate to you on this subject.

A few years ago, when my parents still lived in Payson, some of their neighbors had horses. Not on their street, but in the neighborhood. One weekend, my brother and I were visiting with them. My dad was putting some hours in at work so it was just the three of us hanging out at the kitchen table. The TV was on and we were talking, but suddenly I heard something. Could it be? Going to the front porch I saw a couple of teenagers walking down the street, leading a palomino-colored horse. I'm he only one who heard it. Hahahaha. After watching them pass by, I went back inside, happy.

The second time occurred just this morning. As I was leaving my WW meeting I heard that sound again and started looking around the parking lot. Then I spotted "him" at the far end of the lot. The charter-type school in the same lot was having some sort of holiday thing for the families of their students and had brought in a bunch of snow, a train and a horse-drawn wagon. I think I've ridden in a horse-drawn wagon once. In Old Town Scottsdale back in the 80s, I think it was. Kind of cool. Nothing like riding a horse, though. Hahaha. Anyway, I, of course, had to take a picture...

And now I want to vent about something that is mostly not horse related so if you're not interested, you can stop reading now. Hahahaha

The week before Thanksgiving I decided to start going to Weight Watchers meetings again. I had been trying to do it using the online program, but since I didn't know exactly how much I weighed, I could only guess and calculate my daily points based on that guess. Surprisingly, I was only off by three pounds and was using the correct Daily Points Target. But I decided to start attending meetings again. This is a rather personal thing to me. It's no surprise I am overweight and while I'm not embarrassed to say I'm going to meetings again, I am embarrassed by how much I've "let myself go". My weight is keeping me from doing the activity I love most and that's horseback riding and is a big motivator for me following the program. If I'd stuck with it the first time I'd started going, I'd probably be at goal now and riding as often as I could like I did ten years ago. It's been 16 years since I've been riding because somewhere along the way, I decided food was more important.

For the past four weeks I've been hearing about the new program they were going to roll out and today was the day for people who attend on Saturdays, which is when I go. I have always been a fan of the 7:30am meetings. I guess because I can get it over with and still have the rest of the day. Anyway, I had been doing well on the program so far. Even though it's been difficult at times to use up all of my daily points, for the most part things were goi well. My first week after re-joining, I had lost 12.2 pounds, which made me very happy. I'd never lost that much in a week before. The following week I slipped up a bit and ended up gaining 2.4 back, but today's weigh in saw a loss of last week's 2.2 plus an additional 4.2 for a weekly total of 6.6 and an overall loss of 16.4 pounds. I am very happy about my progress so far, but then they hit us with the new program today. I don't like it. Granted, I haven't tried it yet and I will commit to a week, but I don't have much hope for it going too well. For one thing, my Daily Points Target, which is now being called Smart Points, has gone up 10. I already have a hard enough time meeting the current DPT so now I have to try to get an additional 10 in? Oh, but that should be so easy. Why? Because the values of most foods have gone up as well. Before, a 12oz can of regular Coke was only 4 points, but now it's 9. Why? They've thrown sugar into the equation for how values are determined. Before, they used Fat, Fiber, Carbs and Protein to determine the values, but now it's those plus Saturated Fat, Sugars and Calories. They are pushing us to find healthier alternatives, which is fine since they've always done that, but now I feel it's more of a push and I don't like that. Something I've always liked about Weight Watchers is that you didn't have to follow a strict diet or guideline. You didn't have to buy pre-packaged foods. You could eat what everyone else was eating. If I can't eat that Reese's Peanut Butter cup because it'll now cost me 12 points, I feel like I'm being cheated. I may as well join Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem where you have to buy their food in order to lose weight. Like I said, though, I'm going to give it a week and if it works just as well then I'm going to keep doing it, but if I find I'm feeling cheated then I'll go back to the old plan. My meeting leader says there won't be any tools to support the old program, but that's okay. I still have my materials and the little calculator that works on that program and so all should be good. We shall see.

I don't know how long it'll take me to get down to a weight where I can go riding again. There's a rental stable in Phoenix that doesn't have a weight limit, but I'm still at a weight where I wouldn't even attempt to go to that place yet.

Well, that's it for now, I guess. Until next time...

Friday, December 11, 2015

An update on the Salt River Wild Horses...

It was a dismal day back in July 2015 when it was discovered the Tonto National Forest would start rounding up what they considered to be "unauthorized livestock" from forestry land and sell them at auction.  Horses that have lived in peace for generations were in danger of being chased by low-flying helicopters and sold to the highest bidder, including those who would buy them for slaughter.  It wasn't acceptable and it caused an uproar.  What the forest service considered domestic horses that had "escaped" from nearby ranches were neither that nor the animals that were destroying the environment.

For the past 5 months people have written letters, posted notices and staged protests in an effort to save these precious animals.  Celebrities were notified, politicians were informed and numerous groups were established on Facebook to help organize it all.  Initially the forest service balked at the whole thing.  They claimed they had no authority to manage these horses and were not interested in speaking with any of the groups to figure it out.  Not long after a protest at Butcher Jones, a young horse was hit by a car and killed.  "We told you that would happen."  More recently, a 12 year old mare was found dead by gunshot.  I "blame" much of the publicity they've gotten.  More people know where to find them.  We still don't know if she'd been injured and someone considered it the humane thing to do or if she'd been targeted to prove a point.  E-coli was found in the water at Butcher Jones. "The horses are the reason for the e-coli." some people were saying because they go bathroom in the water.  Actually, they don't.  They never considered it could be the children in diapers who play in the water or the other people who're too lazy to walk to the bathrooms.

The politicians were in recess when all of this was going down and it was said only an act of Congress could save the horses.  Many people were suspicious of the timing.  Myself included.  But fortunately people were able to get in touch with the right people and initially the round-up was going to postponed until Congress was back in session.  The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group filed a lawsuit and a petition to stop the round-up and the forest service responded by postponing it for 120 days.  Some people worried it was because they thought not as many people would be around to protect them in December, but what they didn't realize is that people who follow these horses are around all the time, including during the winter.

The 120 day postponement was rapidly approaching.  Next Friday, as a matter of fact.  What was going to happen to the horses?  Our answer came today...

And the official notice posted

They still aren't 100% safe and won't be until they receive official protected status, but this is a step in the right direction and I am grateful for it.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a quick moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I think this is the first year in as long as I can remember where it's been just family, no close friends.  It's a little odd, but I'm okay with that.  It means I don't have to be on my best behavior or try to make polite conversation with people I really wish weren't here.  Hahahaha.  Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of offering dinner to friends who have nowhere else to go for the holiday, but...I'm just glad it's the three of us today.

Dinner is almost ready.  Just waiting for the brother to carve the turkey.  He gets the best of the holiday.  All he has to do is the turkey and eat while mom and I do the cooking and I do the cleaning. My brother gets so exhausted from doing nothing that he must remain in his room most of the day.  He will come out to eat then maybe go into the living room to watch TV and take a nap or he might go back into his room.  I made buttermilk mashed taters, which is something different for us.  They turned out pretty good.  I also made the Stove Top.  We were going to have Grands Biscuits, but the can was previously frozen and came out in two lumps.  We have half a loaf of French Bread leftover from Monday's dinner so I guess I'd better go slice it.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.  I hope you have a good day, however you celebrate it (or not)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Planning a trip...

Now, I'm going to start off by saying that I have no idea how others go about planning a trip, but to me my method seems a little unorthodox. I don't sit down and say, "I want to go somewhere. Where should I go?" Then start planning from there. No. That would be too easy. What usually happens with me is something will inspire me to think about going somewhere and then I start looking at how much it will cost for me to get there followed by what sort of activities there are to do.
Other people might think of what they'd like to do on a vacation and THEN decide where to go. Again, that's too easy. So, I was looking at my emails a little while ago and saw one from the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina. A few months ago they were having a random drawing for an adoption package and a Zoo Borns book. I followed the directions for the contest and ended up being the one selected and was given Presley, a Blue-Eyed Black Lemur as my adoptee
Now, I don't know which of the two in the above picture is Presley and which one is his buddy Hemsworth, but that's okay.  Anyway, I got to think how neat it would be to go to the Duke Lemur Center.  I really like Lemurs, especially the Ring Taileds
And I've never been to that part of the country.  They have neat lighthouses such as Bald Head
and the famous Cape Hatteras
Some lighthouses, however, are out on one of the islands and require a ferry trip that would take up too much time of a day to reach so if I ever decide to visit, seeing Cape Lookout

is probably not in the cards.  Oh well.  I suppose I could survive that. 

Another reason to visit?  I have a friend who lives about two hours away that I haven't seen since she moved back to the East Coast 6 or 7 years ago.

So, in looking at everything, it would appear a trip to NC in, say, mid-May would not be out of the realm of possibilities.  I would, however, require some kind of happy drug (prescription, of course) for me to be able to handle the 4 hour flight one way, but at least I can get non-stop flights in both directions and while the flight there would eat up one entire day due to time zone changes, but the departure time for the flight home would give me an entire day just about for activities.

I'll have to think about it...

Monday, November 2, 2015

Earthquake? What Earthquake...?

Certainly not something you expect to hear people talking about in Central Arizona and EVERYONE is talking about it.  Because not everyone starts work at the same time here, as soon as a "new" person comes in for the day, they ask "Did you feel the earthquake?" 
Apparently a series of 3 small-ish tremors rumbled across the center of the state just before midnight and it was felt by people all over the area.  I was actually awake when the first one apparently hit at about 9:00pm and the last at 11:15pm or so, but I didn't feel it.  My cats didn't behave any differently.  I was watching 90 Day Fiance and didn't notice a thing.  Granted, I'm about 55 miles from the epicenter, but a retired co-worker who only lives about 4 miles northwest of me felt something.  A co-worker, who lives only 11 miles from the epicenter, slept right through it but it woke her husband up.  I don't know if I'm disappointed or happy I didn't notice it.  I've experienced small-ish earthquakes before.  In Las Vegas back in 1994 or so I was attending a live (model) horse show and it woke me up.  I was just barely asleep and was dreaming that the building I was in was shaking and it woke me the rest of the way up.  I just sat in the middle of my bed, unsure of what to do and then it ended.  It probably lasted about 30 seconds.  I was on the 3rd floor of a 3 story hotel so it wasn't really that bad, but our host hotel was 14 stories and people who'd been in that hotel said it was swaying pretty good.  Then there were a couple of aftershocks, but the floor of the conference room we were in was kind of springy and kind of felt shaky when you walked across it so it was difficult to tell if it was an aftershock or just someone walking.  hahaha.  A 4.2 was freaky enough for me, though.  I don't think I'd want to experience one of the big ones like they get in California where you can actually see the street or sidewalk move. 

I made my decision about whether to volunteer at the Endurance Ride in 2 weeks and that is No. I just can't commit to 8 hours and the Ride Manager said I'd have to do an entire 8 hour shift so I felt like that was the only choice to make. I'm bummed for sure, but that's how it is.

Well, I guess that's it. Hopefully the rest of Monday will be uneventful...meaning no more earthquakes. hahaha.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A horse-related volunteer opportunity... I don't know what to do...

Recently I have started following a couple of blogs by endurance riders.  I've looked a couple of times in the past, but yesterday officially started following them.  I know very little about Endurance Riding, but it seems like a fun, if not stressful.  Riders get hurt.  Horses get hurt.  Riders can go the entire distance only to get pulled at the last vet check and not complete the ride.  And that's the main thing.  To complete the ride in one piece.  Winning would be nice, but...hahaha.  From what I know, Arabians seem to be the most popular breed, although the one of the blogs I have started following she rides several different breeds, including a couple of gaited breeds.

So, I decided to look to see if there were any endurance rides in Arizona that I could go watch.  I don't plan on doing it myself simply because I'm a bad shape for any kind of riding right now and I don't have a horse to ride anyway, but I think it might be interesting to watch.  I found out there's one in a couple of weeks and it's super close to where I live.  They have a Facebook page so I went to their page to check it out and one of the people "in charge" of the ride posted that they still needed volunteers so I posted on the wall asking what volunteers would do and she gave me her email address to contact her, which I did.

And that's where we are now...if I agreed to do it, I would be helping maintain a water station.  As the horse and riders come through you get their rider number and record the time they are coming through.  It sounds easy enough for sure, but the part that has me hesitating on telling her I'll do it is that the shifts are 8 hours long and I would have to stay the entire time.  I'm pretty sure I would not be capable of standing that long and I don't know that I'd be allowed to sit down for any part of that so I have not replied to her, yet.  She needs an answer soon, though.  I don't know.  I don't know what to do.  I'm certainly under no obligation to tell her I'll do it, but I do need to let her know asap.  <sigh>

On a different Friday is day one of the Member Preview for the new tiger exhibit at my local zoo.  It was supposed to have been finished in 2012.  Then we were told 2013.  Then 2014.  Now we finally have specific date.  Member Preview on Friday and Saturday then it's open to the public on Sunday.  The zoo opens to members an hour before the general public so it'll be easy, at least initially, to keep the general public away, but I wonder what they'll do when the zoo opens to the GP.  When they had the temporary Koala exhibit (they were on a 5 month loan from San Diego), they had a specific line for members only and they had employees ensure non-members didn't get in to see the Koala before they were allowed.  The big difference is that the Koalas were in a stand-alone building in the Children's Zoo and it was easy to filter people into a line and not line but the new tiger exhibit is on a major thorofare that leads to the Komodo Dragons, the Borneo Orangutans and the lower Elephant viewing area.  I'm trying to remember how they handled the opening of the Komodo exhibit, but coming up blank.  Oh. That one sort of had an entrance route and an exit one so employees were posted at both locations to keep non-members out.  I imagine they'll do a line-type thing like they did with the Koala and leave half of the walkway open for non-members.  I guess I'll find out next week, although I'll probably be in and out before the zoo opens to the GP since that's the only exhibit I plan to visit that day.  I will share pictures more than likely.  It will be first time seeing the new female tiger Suriya, who came on a breeding recommendation from the Oklahoma City Zoo after breeding attempts between resident male Jai (jay) and a female from Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle were unsuccessful.  Hadiah was sent to Dallas to pair with another Sumatran Tiger male and Suriya came to Phoenix.

Anyway, anyone have any advice on the volunteer thing?  I know it's ultimately up to me.  I will let you know what I decide on.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stablemate Collector's Club!

Hurray!  After weeks of waiting after getting verification that the club was going to happen in 2016, it has FINALLY opened for membership.  All we were told was that it would be late October and it can't get much later than it is now except Saturday, which is the 31st.  We were figuring that's when the announcement would happen or at least tomorrow, Friday since they like to do things on Friday (payday perhaps?) but I went to the Blab forum and saw that the thread about the Stablemate club was at the top.  It's been active lately and figured that people were just "complaining" that it wasn't active yet, but then I saw the first message on the last page said it was open and the person had already bought into it.  I didn't even bother reading any other answers before "running" over to the Breyer web page and seeing it for myself.
Needless to say, I joined immediately.  It's funny, though.  A couple of years ago, prior to Breyerfest 2013, Stablemates really weren't on my "radar".  Sure, I had some, but I wasn't an active collector.  That changed, though, with the release of new molds, specifically Chrome and Dungaree.  After that I bought more and more.  I don't know how many I have and I only collect certain molds, but that's okay.  This is a brandnew club.  A club that apparently in the past Breyer said wouldn't be feasible.  I don't know what has changed, but I'm glad it did.  I'm excited about this club.

Anyway, I just wanted to share.  It's Thursday.  I have a headache.  It's payday but I have rent, car payment and car registration due so I have "no money".  hahaha.

Monday, October 26, 2015

MOAR Liebster fun!

**oops! I started this last night and was unable to finish it and forgot all about it until I was looking at DressageKid's blog and saw her post about the Liebster Award so now I'm finishing it up.**

Weird.  I don't know why the text came out that way, with part of it being blue and part of it being bolded.

I was nominated also by DressageKid.  THANK YOU!

Okay, so I'm going to cheat a bit.  I started answering questions then realized I was answering the wrong ones so I'm going to do her questions first then the ones I already started.  Hehehehe.

1. Who is your favorite horse, model or real?
Model: Totilas
Real:  Legolas 92, I guess

2. Where do you want to go, any world, any place, any time?

3. Are you an only child or do have siblings?
I have an older brother

4. If all of your models were real, which one would you want to ride, show, etc.?
I don't know.  Either Bolya because of her cool color or Stud Spider because he's a solid looking horse.  I think I would show Stud Spider in Extreme Trail but I bet he'd do well in Hunter Eq because of his fairly flashy color

5. How did you get started in the hobby?
Depends on your definition of hobby.  Just as a collector?  I think I was at a toy store or someplace that had Breyers and I begged for one.

6. Who was your first model?
Well, Fleck the Family Arab Stallion was purchased before I was born but I didn't get him until I was 14.  The first that I actually had a conscious knowledge of...?  Halla, maybe?

7. What was your best model purchase?
A 2013 grey CC Shuffle and 2005 JCP Holiday Catalog Lady Phase for $160ppd

8. What's the worst thing you've ever bought?
Model?  I don't think I have a worst

9. Favorite tv show?
I have several but Cops is probably at the top

10. What is your least favorite Breyer mold, horse, and color?
There's several molds I don't like, no matter what the color, but Ashquar is probably at the top of the list.  No matter what color they put him in, I just can't get past the pose and that weird head.  Hahaha.


1: Best model horse buy?
Hmmm.  I think the 2013 Breyerfest CC Shuffle in grey and the 2005 JCP Lady Phase.  I got them both for $160 including postage.  I've been wanting the grey one since it came out but the cost has been higher than I really wanted to pay.

2: Ever had a model horse barn set up?
No.  Although I've always wanted one.

3: Any Peter Stone models?
7 ISH and 1 Arabian that I did in DAH to resemble *Muscat, a pure Russian stallion who used to live in Arizona. 

4: How many Schleichs (if any) do you have?
I am not sure.  The Schleichs I have are maybe all wildlife animals like ones you'd find in a zoo.  But I don't know which are Schleich and which are Papo.  Hahaha
5: Favourite type of horse riding? E.g barrel racing, dressage, jumping…
I grew up riding Western because in Arizona, unless you have your own horse or take lessons at a multi-discipline barn, it's what you do.  That being said, I prefer English.  I have ridden English a couple of times and both times ended with me in the dirt, but I still prefer that style.

6: Ever been to Breyerfest? (Or any other model horse event)
Not Breyerfest or other Breyer-sanctioned event, but I have been to fairly big live shows in Oceanside, CA and Las Vegas, NV.
7: Least favourite horse colour?
I don't think I have a least favorite color

8: If you could design a Regular Model for Breyer, what would it’s mold, colour, eye colour and markings be?
Oh, that's a tough one

9: Do you have a subscription to a horse or craft magazine?
At one time I subscribed to Dressage Today, Paint Horse Journal, Horse Illustrated, Young Rider, Horse & Rider, Trail Rider Magazine and one for appies, but currently I am only receiving miniatures magazines. I need to re-subscribe to Trail Rider, though.

10: Favourite thing about the model horse hobby
How so many people are willing to help other hobbyists in need.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Leibster Award Questions...

Thank you to Nichelle at Desktop Stables for tagging me on your Liebster Award nomination.  These are fun.  

1: What first got you into model horses?
I don't remember, really.  I may have been in a toy store that sold them and talked my parents into buying me one.  I was 7 or 8.

2: Plastic, resin, both or other?

3: Who is your favorite horse in your collection?
That's a tough one.  It's hard to pick just one, but I'm going to say Kalahkaari.  Either him or the original Lady Phase.

4: Who is your favorite model horse sculptor?
I actually don't have one.  I don't buy based on who the sculptor was and I really couldn't point out a model and tell you who it was sculpted by.

5: Finishwork artist? 
N/A as I don't collect non-OF

6: How long have you been collecting?
A looooong time.  35+ years...but not straight.  In the 90s I took a break.

7: What would your dream horse be? (real or model!)
Model: Zydeco
Real:  A 17hh bay Hanoverian

8: Do you have a sentimental favorite model?
Not really.

9: What do you like most about the model horse hobby?
Good question.  I've seen some real good things such as helping others out who are in need and I have seen ugliness.

10: What is your best memory involving model horses?
Winning my first (and only) Champion in halter.  It was at Arizona Live in 1996 and I got a neat clear trophy plaque thing.  I still have the award and the model that won it, which is amazing since I have so few other models anymore from that time period.

Friday, October 23, 2015

I want to go to Las Vegas!

So, every now and then I like to look at the online newspaper of different places, mostly San Diego but sometimes Las Vegas and that is what I did today.  I went to the online version of the Las Vegas Sun and saw a headline about Siegfried and Roy turning down a BOATLOAD of money to fly with 4 new Tiger cubs to the United Arab Emirates so the prince or king or whomever it is can see them in person.  S & F consider their animals to be their family so they said they aren't interested in taking their family all that distance.  Also in the article was a bit about granting a wish to a young girl through the Make A Wish Foundation.  She got to meet S&F and the 4 cubs, who were born in early August and she also got to swim with the dolphins.  Roy Horn is looking real good and there were several pictures of Siegfried assisting him. 
Of course, it may have been purely for the cameras, but the fact that they still live together and work together...I'd like to think it has more to do with a deep freindship and not the cameras.  Last I heard, they were no longer together as a couple, but they still are around each other all the time.  It warms my heart to see pictures like above because it shows that they are still dedicated to each other, regardless of what that relationship might be.

But I'm wanting to talk about the kitties.  I don't know if they were born of the S&F cats or if they got them from a facility in Florida (I hope not, considering their age...they should still be with mom), but I was surprised to see that each one is a different color.

From left to right you have the standard Orange, a regular (striped) white tiger, a stripeless white tiger and a golden tiger.  I wonder how often that happens...I don't think I've ever seen it before.  I know I've seen both standard orange and striped white in a litter, but not all 4 variations.  What I find "funny" is on the announcement board it mentions conservation...maybe in the form of the striped orange, but to get the white color and the golden color you have to breed close relatives that carry the gene.   I may have found an article that points to S&F's stripeless white female as the mother and if that is the case then her parents were brother and sister.  Oftentimes when you inbreed like that, the white cubs end up with birth defects, but these cubs look to be normal.  The last time I was there they had a sibling pair of striped white cubs and both had slightly crossed eyes.  But I don't want to get into the morality and ethics of inbreeding.  If you look at some horse geneology, you will see the same name on both sides of the tree so it's not something that is unique to tigers, but usually by the time it gets down to the "current" horse, the blood relation is likely mostly non-existent but you sometimes see or hear someone who will say their horse is by So and So on both sides or is a double So and So and they're proud of that.  But again, it's likely acceptable because the relation is several generations past.

Anyway, I want to go and see the new babies and, more specifically, the golden tiger.  I've never seen one in person before because, until the birth of this litter, the closest one to Arizona lives in Washington.  They just aren't that common.

So, I'm trying to figure out the money to see if I can swing an overnighter. I have a flight credit that would take up most of the flight cost and I can get a discount at a hotel. I could probably drive there for cheaper, but I don't want to do that. hahaha. Of course, as the time gets closer to when I'm looking at going, I'm sure I'll change my mind several more times. hahaha

Our weather is finally starting to cool off.  Mostly in the morning when I'm leaving for work, but I think we are finally out of the triple digits for the year.  It's supposed to get up to 90 in a couple of days, but I'll take that over 115 any day.  I think the hottest it got this summer was 119.  Yikes!

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is it just me or....

Are there several CollectA horses that are almost identical to Breyers?  I was looking at someone else's blog and she was doing a walkaround of a couple of CollectA models and I spotted it right away so I went in search of a website for CollectA and found a couple of others that are almost identical to a Breyer model.  The only difference might be a slightly less tucked head or a leg moved a hair.  What do YOU think?  All of the photos are from IDYB and

The first model is what they are calling an Australian Stock Horse Stallion.  Bring the head up just a touch and make a slight change to the swish in the tail and who do you have?  Latigo.
Next is what they are calling Lusitano Stallion...
Again, change the head a bit and the swish of the tail and you have Croi Damsha.  Even the floppy lip. At this angle it's more noticeable on the CollectA, but if you flipped Croi around, the floppy lip would be evident

Even Classic size didn't escape being copied.  CollectA's Quarter Horse Stallion

And Breyer's Cutting Horse...

Those two are a little more different than the others with the forward leg being switched, but it's still pretty close.  Or maybe it's supposed to resemble the Traditional Bobby Jo...?
But considering Bobby Jo was brand new and only released last month, maybe not but the tail and foot placement is more like the CollectA one.

I'm sure there are others, but those were the most obvious to me.  I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when you're imitating something like a model horse from a well-known company, it borders on...just a tiny bit...copyright infringement.  They may have changed just enough characteristics to get away with it, but really, why not come up with your own unique designs?  Oh well.  

Tuesday Breyer released for purchase the 2nd Collector Club special model Fabien.  He was first spotted at Breyerfest this year and has been much anticipated since then.
It's funny, though.  When a Blabber announced they'd discovered Fabien was available for purchase, a lot of people said they weren't going to buy him because they thought his dapples were horrible.  Fish scaley and too perfectly uniform.  The funny part is today, someone went to buy him and the website said he was sold out.  A call to Breyer confirmed he was currently unavailable due to them running out but more were on the way.  Finding out he wasn't currently available made him a hot commodity all-of-a-sudden.  I got my order in right away so now I just sit back and wait for him to arrive so he can join Totilas and Enchante on my shelf at work.

So far, it looks like 2016 is going to be an expensive year for me, model-wise.  I will be joining the new Stablemate Club and I will probably join the Vintage Club for the first time.  Only time will tell if I renew my Premier Club membership.  I really like the first model, but so far I haven't kept any of the 2015 models.  I wanted to keep the first one, but at the time I couldn't really afford to buy it so I sold the pair to someone else as I did with Bobby Jo, the 2nd model.  I don't know about the 3rd yet.  We've seen a picture of it in Just About Horses, but the angle was a bit odd so we don't really know what it looks like.  In addition to the clubs and the individual models that we already know will be released, Breyer will be having another Collector Event in 2016, plus there's Breyerfest, which promises a brand new mold for the Celebration Model.  I would really like to try to attend BF this year, but if the Collector Event ends up being closer to home and sounds like something I'd enjoy as far as activities, I will pick that one over BF.  The website says more information will be released later in the Fall.

Speaking of Fall, it is officially here.  According to the calendar, anyway.  In Arizona?  We are still firmly entrenched in Summer with 100+ degree temperatures.  The mornings are starting to feel a little cooler, but we still have a bit to go before the weather is comfortably cooler.

I hope y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Plastic Pony Overload!

How much can model horse collectors take in one day?  Or even over a couple of days.  First it was the Stablemate Collectors Club on Tuesday.  Yesterday morning there was the unofficial release of the 2016 Vintage Collectors Club models, the 3rd (and final) model for the Premier Club and the reveal of the first model for 2016. PLUS...the reveal of what the first Collector Club exclusive model is going to be.

Fortunately it's not a mold I collect and it's not a required purchase to stay in the club so I don't plan on getting him.  Anyway, also "leaked" was another new model on the Wyatt mold. 
It's not known, yet, if he'll be a Special Run or a Regular Run but at least he's something that will be available, unlike the bay Carrick that was on the cover last year (or was it the year before?).  I also wonder if the tack is something that is being made for release as well.  There is no barrel racing sets out there for commercial purchase and this set looks pretty neat.  Jennifer Buxton of Braymere Saddlery designed the tack on both the 2013 and 2014 covers, but she hasn't said anything about 2015. But then again, because the magazine hasn't really been mailed out in large quantities yet, maybe she's not able to say anything. I guess we'll know soon enough. :)

Anyway, with all of yesterday's "reveals" (none are official yet since Breyer hasn't said anything), the best was yet to come. A "few" months ago we were told that a model was being made of the British dressage horse Valegro. We got a tiny preview of what he might look like when a picture of the sculptor was photographed next to the actual horse and she had the sculpture in her hands. Well, yesterday a photo was posted on Blab that someone had seen on Instagram, I think it was, and while it isn't official yet, we're pretty certain it's Valegro
The pose is a Canter (or Cantering) Pirouette, although depending on who you ask on Blab, they'll correct you and say it's just a Canter. Bah. I've heard it called a Canter Pirouette on TV so you can take your unneccessary correction and stick it in your ear. hahahaha. I dislike it when people correct you like that and it comes across as know-it-all. She could've said "Actually, it's this not that" rather than say "It's not that, it's this". It's all in the way you word it that can make it seem less "You're ignorant and I know everything" Oh well. Anyway, I looked on Google and found a photo of Valegro in almost the same, exact pose so that kind of solidifies that the mold is him

It's a really neat mold and they pretty much nailed the pose.  The model will be released in the UK first and then to the US.  I am really looking forward to getting one.  Gosh, 2016 is going to be such an expensive year.  I may as well just have my paychecks sent directly to Breyer.

Well, I'd better get to work.  I've goofed off way too much this week because of all the fun stuff that's been going on over at Blab.  Yesterday I told myself I was going to stay off the fun internet (some of our programs are internet based), but that quickly flew out the window and I'm not doing so well today staying off and it's only 7:14am. 

Hope everyone has a great one!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Darn you, Breyer!!!!

A year or so ago I had a "Darn you, Stone" post, but I've never done one for Breyer. Never had a reason to. Until today. Yesterday I blogged about the new Stablemate Collectors Club they'll be starting up in the new year. That's fine. It's inexpensive. But then today someone on Blab posted a picture of another goody. Or Goodies, as in plural. The first is the Vintage Club. I've never been a member of that club because it seemed too expensive to me and I didn't like the models they had in the past. But then, I saw the offerings for 2016 and it's full of all kinds of wonderful

I really like the 3 Cantering Welsh Ponies and definitely the Lady Phase on the 2nd shelf.  Initially I also liked the black appaloosa Man O' War, but the more I look at him the less I like him because of the white mane and tail and the white socks.  It looks off-balance.  The article says he's painted reminiscent of Stud Spider, but Stud Spider didn't have all that white.  Anyway, unfortunately the CWP models are Gambler's Choice so you won't know which one you get until it arrives.  Well, I want all 3!  Ugh!  The Charlie is a neat addition, but I'm not a huge fan of this new mold and will likely sell it along with the Western Prancer on the top shelf, should I decide to join.

Also leaked out, was the final model for 2015 Premier Club
Yeah, I'm not a real fan of it right now.  The pattern is a little odd to me, but I don't know yet if I want to try to find a buyer for him.  When I saw the offerings for the Vintage Club I figured I'd join that one and not the Premier Club again, but then the first model for the 2016 PC was leaked and I really like that one
So what do I do, then? I might be able to afford both the PC and the VC, but I don't know if I want to attempt it. Not with me trying to go to Breyerfest next July. It's a hard choice, really. On the surface, since you don't know what each PC model is going to be until a short time before its release, the VC seems like the best bet since those are all revealed ahead of time.

I still have time to decide. Neither the PC nor the VC have been opened up for joining yet so I will think on it some. But really, the VC has more that I'm interested in. Oh well. I'll figure something out.

I've been goofing off much too much lately and need to do more work and less playing. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Exciting Breyer Collector News and a Car Update

A few months ago one of the people on Blab started a Facebook page to try to get Breyer to start a collector club for just Stablemates.  Last I saw, there were more than 300 members, but it wasn't very active.  The person has been in touch, off and on, with someone at Breyer to keep her updated on our numbers to show Breyer that there really was enough interest to have a club.  Fast Forward to Saturday (or was it Sunday?) and a conversation on one of the bus trip during the Sweet Home Chicago event.  Someone asked the Breyer employee about the possibility of having a Stablemate Collector Club and all Breyer person would say was to keep an eye on social media for an announcement that would make Stablemate collectors very happy.

Today, it happened.  Not on social media and, in fact, it hasn't even been mentioned by Breyer yet, but someone got ahold of the new JAH issue that is about to be mailed out and there it was...
It looks like Breyer listened to us on a lot of things we wanted such as an affordable price, older molds, newer molds and drawstring bags like the big guys get.  It's very exciting and I'm looking forward to joining.  I will need to renew my Collector Club membership in order to join, but I'm due to renew in December anyway so I'll just do it sooner to make sure I don't miss out.  So far, I really like the looks of the first model (I believe it's the one in the picture) and am excited about getting it. It's an interesting color. I don't know when the first model will ship, but probably not until after the first of the year so there's still some waiting to be done, but that's okay since we know it's going to happen now rather than hope and speculation.

On the car front, I was able to pick mine up yesterday after work from the Progressive Service Center. They did a GREAT job on it and you can't even tell it was dented. Plus they gave it a good bath both outside AND inside. I'm quite impressed and would have no problem recommending the body shop to anyone who needs paint or body work done and lives in the Phoenix area (the shop is in Mesa). I'm just happy to have my car back, I tell you what! They told me not to wash it for 7 days, though, and we ended up getting hit with another monster storm last night. Strong wind and heavy rain. I was worried it would not only dirty my car back up, but also wash some of the paint away, but it did neither so I'm happy about that.

Well, I've been goofing off too much today already so I'd better get back to work. Until next time!

Monday, September 14, 2015


Well, Breyer has released another model in the Big Cat Series.  I think this one is the best one so far.  The mold they chose was a good fit for the cat

My only real gripe, other than the cost of $175, is that they painted completely different markings on each side of her face and real tigers have more similar ones.  They're not identical, but close enough that you'd think they were identical until you looked real close and saw the small differences.  What Breyer did is more than small differences

Oh well.  I don't plan on entering for her because I don't like the idea of model horses painted to look like big cats.  I wish they'd just done a series of big cat models that were the shape of the actual cats.  Does that make any sense?  Instead of a horse painted to look like a cat, just have the cat.  hahaha.  Oh well.  I still think they did a really good job on this one.

We had another little storm last night.  Some rain.  A little wind.  Nothing major.  I think our monsoon is giving us a good soaking at the last minute before it leaves until next June.  Now, if the temperatures would just come down some more.  On Saturday it was 107 and yesterday it was 103, I think.  I'm looking forward to when it's down below 100 degrees for longer than 2 seconds.  hahaha.

I'm still trying to find a Four Stars from the Sweet Home Chicago event over the weekend.  I had someone offer me hers, but since she'd bot it on the secondary market she'd already paid a mark-up and was offering it for the same price she paid.  I had to politely decline.  I'm not interested in paying more than twice the original cost.  And I'm not toally 100% sold on whether I like the paint job or not.  The body is nice, but the tail is what is bothering me.  I might see if I can find me a Ferris, though.  Who knows.

Happy Monday, All!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Breyer Event: Sweet Home Chicago

When  Breyer first announced through the 20 15 issue of JAH there would be a Collector Event in the Fall, there was lots of speculation on Blab over where collectors thought it would be and where they hoped it would be.  Since the last event, Big Easy Bash had been in New Jersey, the obvious location would have been the west coast, even though Passage to the Pacific had been in San Diego in 2012, us west coasters figured it would only be fair since they also get Breyerfest.  Well, eventually the location was announced as Chicago and after seeing the list of activities, I decided I wasn't interested in going, especially since Friday's activities included an aftenon at the Arlington racetrack.  Also, because I have never been to Chicago before, I wasn't sure I wanted to devote my entire weekend to the event because I'd want to visit the zoo, some lighthouses and maybe take that river tour.  Even if I had decided I wanted to go, it was limited to 200 people so there's no guarantee I'd even get selected in the drawing of people to attend.

Anyway, the event is going on right now and aside from some minor drama at dinner last night about seating and such, everything seems to be going well.  I believe today is when people have access to the Special Run Store.  The exclusive models were on the tables at the dinner last night along with a handout of what models are available and I gotta say, I àlmost wish I'd entered for the chance to go.  Almost.  Hahahaha.  All of these photos were taken by Blabbers...

This is the one I want most 
Eventually I hope to find the glossy Desatado down the road for a decent price, even at cost preferrably, but I think that one is going to be like Zydeco from BEB.  I have yet to see one go up for sale, but it looks like they increased the quantity, which is good.

In addition to the store speciaĺs, each attendee was given a special Stablemate and I was able to find one on MH $P so I have one of those coming
I can't wait.  He's more than I normally like to pay for an SM but I learned from BEB and Moon Pie , the prices don't always come down and if you don't get one shortly after the event, you may be waiting awhile before they show up on the market again.

Today my mom and I went to my local Breyer dealer.  The Grulla AQHA has finally started hitting the shelves and I was hoping to find one, but no such luck so I got the bay plus the tack for the Polo Pony.  I have the doll, too, so once I get it all set up I will take a picture and post it here.

Our temperatures here have still been pretty high, but they're slowwwwwly coming down.  Now it's only 457 degrees rather than 502.  Hahaha.  We've had some good storms lately, too.  I don't remember if I mentioned the one we had last Monday that knocked our power out overnight.  It also kjockey over one of our fences in back.  It wasn't a perimeter fence so there was no danger of a dog getting out, but it provided them access to a small part of yard we don't want them in because they would be able to escape from that part.  I took off Tuesday because we didn't know when power would be restored and I didn't feel comfortable leaving my mom here alone.  So we went and had my tires looked at then I took her to see the wild horses she's been hearing so much about on the news.  We didn't see any at first but as we were leaving to go check out a spot another regular told us she'd seen them at, we saw them in the parking lot.  She was quite impressed and kept saying how healthy they look.

Well, I guess that's about it for now.  I hope everyone is doing well.