Saturday, December 27, 2014

A custom Tibbi Searcher "Conquest I" classic scale resin that I painted a month or two back.  I shaved the leg feathers off of him, gave him a spotted coat pattern as a Spanish Jennet, and I also made a custom mahogany wooden base for him for stability.  Owned by Norgeena Gatchalian of California.

Photos of both versions of this resin (Conquest I and II) can be seen here:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Craig and I have been "attempting" to stay healthy during the holiday season, (key word here is "attempting"....)  It becomes difficult when friends drop off sweet treats at our doorstep and the winter weather outside is not productive to work all the extra calories off.  But, we're trying!  Today we walked along the Umatilla river levy.  The city has a nice paved walkway that is roughly 5 miles long and the weather was good today, so we put our walking shoes on.  There is a really AWESOME crane sculpture about half way along the levy, so we took a picture in front of the two dancing birds.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Long live Dwarf "Dain II the Ironfoot"! Wahoo! Craig and I watched the Battle of the Five Armies, and it was epic! Loved that fiery Scots-Irish dwarf and his armor-laden battle hog.  My new hero!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A fun little 8 x 10 practice piece that I did for someone who recently lost their horse.
(I'm still really rusty...... I need to practice A WHOLE LOT more!) 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Exciting news! I'm like a kid in a candy store at the moment! This winter season has been very liberating, and my backlog is now officially caught up with and finished. I planted my butt in the studio and cranked it out. The exciting part is I've started working on my own stuff.  At this moment I've got 2 drastic customs, 1 OOAK sculpture, and 3 bronze sculptures in the works! (And they're all happening at the same time.)  Hazzahhhhhh!!!!!! Whew, I'm on a big ol' roll baby!  There's going to be some canvas paintings coming down the turn pike later on too.

I'll have some pictures posted soon of the first drastic custom that is almost done. I've had a real blast making her, and she's a sweet new matronly bombshell!  Can't wait to share this "lounging lady" with the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another cross-post from Facebook. I notice that I'm starting a lot of sentences with "Well damn." I guess that I'm getting used to being disappointed about some things.


"Well damn. I had hoped that the new Horseflicks video would have a bit more romance to it, like something Darryl Larson would produce. Unfortunately it's another documentary style of flat like the first version. But on a good note, there is more riding and interviews in it..... which makes it a bit more better than the first time around.

I was hoping for a promo video full of romance and excitement that will sweep me off my feet! An artistical movie style production that promotes fascination and intrigue to the general public about our horses. Maybe someday somebody will make an exciting promo video for the akhal teke, similar to the one of the arabian production below."

Our breed has everything that is depicted in the arab promo video: a rich history, petroglyphs, paintings, beautiful tack, beautiful horses, capability, spirit, freedom, and a romance of the desert horse. Kinda makes you wonder why there isn't a huge demand for our breed, and nobody is banging down our doors to buy our horses.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Current Standings

Well damn.... our endurance ride season is over and we're going to miss getting a ROM by two measly stinkin' little points this year!  I was really trying hard to earn our first within a year, but we'll definitely get it at the beginning of next year. 

Paula still has one last horse show left in December - and if the roads aren't too bad like they are right now, (unfortunately we're snowed in at the moment) - we'll try for a few more English pleasure points before the end of the year.  Hopefully the weather will let up and cooperate...

Open ROM Standings 11/15/14

Registered Name   Points     CL TY SX PT
OCTOPELLE         33          Ho HU Ge So

Open ROM Standings 11/15/14
Registered Name                          Points            CL TY SX PT
HEZA MIRACLE ZIP                   44                 Ho ST Ge So
DYNAMIC BLUE CRUISER       37                 Ho ST Ge So
RDK SASS E IMPRESSION        19                  Ho ST Ma Ov
LILLYS LUCKY ZIP                    17                 Ho ST Ma Ov
LUCKYS APPACHE SKY           10                  Ho HU Ge To
DELUX IMAGE OF ZIP                6                  Ho ST Ma Ov
KR GREATEST SHINE                 3                  Ho ST Ge Ov
OCTOPELLE                                  2                  Ho HU Ge So
SHEZA SLOW LOPIN CHIC        1                  Ho ST Ma So


Friday, November 7, 2014

I usually don't take pasture pictures of anything because they totally bug the crap out of me. I believe that most of the time there is no point to it. It's just a horse doing absolutely nothing with someone thinking it's great to take a picture of them in the act of doing absolutely nothing - and there's a bazillion of these pictures plastered all over the internet. (I guess that I'm not the Hallmark type...)

But, the fall colors are pretty right now and I thought that the poplar tree was a brilliant shade of yellow. So here's a "dreaded pasture picture" of a filthy, muddy, out-of-shape, pigging-out Tommy... with a stunning yellow poplar in all of it's autumn glory in the background.

It's a rare occasion to see a photo like this coming from me, and you'll probably never see one again, so enjoy...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Craig and I built a storage cabinet together. I think that it turned out pretty good. My husband is great with the technical stuff - like measurements and cutting the precise lengths for things. And I'm more of the aesthetic type, decorating with wooden flourishes, staining, and applying high gloss finish for a glassy appearance. I think that we did alright for our first attempt building a piece of furniture as a team!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Turkmenistan and the Akhal Teke". (It takes a minute to start...)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Another music video about the Turkmen horse:

Monday, October 6, 2014

A cross-post from Facebook:

We had an EXCELLENT finish to our ride season at the Jubilee Ranch Endurance Ride on Saturday! Wahoo!!!!! I was sooooo proud of my black bombardier Octopelle. We accomplished our best time yet for a 50 miler, and he was an incredibly STRONG horse right up to the end of the ride. I'm really happy with his level of fitness and condition. The first two loops of 15 and 25 miles I had to hold him back, as he desperately wanted to catch people ahead of us so badly. (I felt like my arms were going to get pulled right out of their sockets - he wanted to argue with me the whole way and switch gears into warp speed.) But I had plans to stay conservative, so we kept it to a nice medium trot. On the last red loop he STILL really wanted to cut loose and go, so I trusted him and let him stretch out for awhile. We struck a nice easy lope and breezed right back into camp towards the finish line. Not sure if it was the smell of the apple orchards in the air or some other bizarre effect - but he's never felt better than on this ride. Plenty of go-juice left in the tank! We finished in 12th and he looked great at the final vet exam. I am a SUPER HAPPY camper!!!!!!!!

Photos are courtesy of Cassidy Rae.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

At the end of August I switched feeds for Octopelle because I wasn't really liking the results that I was seeing with his conditioning and ride results in endurance.  We'd been using Nutrena Perform, but I decided to give Omolene Performance a try instead.  And boy, what a HUGE difference that made!  I haven't regretted switching at all.  We finished our last 50 mile ride of the season yesterday at Jubilee, and he finished incredibly strong with his best time yet.  I'll give Purina products a glowing review any day of the week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


A show horse one weekend and an endurance horse the next weekend!  Mr. Multi-Tasker!

Octopelle and I got our "spit and polish" on for the MacMurdo show this year.  We went under USEF judges Walter De La Brosse of California and Margo Hepner-Hart of Oregon.
I entered him in some of the open English pleasure, hunter under saddle, and hunter  in-hand classes.  It was a very crowded arena this year.  Seems like everybody came to the show!
There were 20+ riders in almost all of the classes that we were in, and some of the cantering classes got pretty entertaining.  It was very hard to maneuver around on the rail without getting cut off and bunched up against other people, and some of the exhibitors horses were having some real problems with the heavy fast moving traffic, (like bucking!)  There were two people that blew up beside of us at the canter and I was praying to god that Ox would behave himself  long enough to make it to the line-up.  Luckily he was pretty good about the situations and kept a level head.  We made it through the tense moments alright, much to my relief.

Open hunter in-hand halter class.
Hunter under saddle class.
Open English pleasure.  My hands were a little high but I had a reason for keeping them that way.  Ox would pop his head up and crane every once in awhile, so it helped to lift a little bit to keep him in frame.  It made my equitation look kind-of crappy, but it helped the horse to look totally fabulous!

We placed under judge De La Brosse!  Yay!  Considering there were a very large number of entrants this year, I was thrilled!

And the following weekend after the show, we drove to Brothers, OR. for the NorthPac/Oregon 100 endurance ride.   He switched gears to an endurance horse in rapid fashion.
Coming in from the second loop on the 50 miler.  A really fun ride, and Ox did great!
The photos are courtesy of: Craig Mayfield, Entirely Equine Marketing, and Out of Steam Photography.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The ROM Race Is On!

We are slowly inching our way closer to earning our first ROM (Region of Merit) in the Pinto Association! Yay! This is a national program with a lot of competition, so I feel pretty good about earning it. Ox and I are planning to attend two more endurance rides this year, and if Paula decides to hold a few more OCAP approved shows before the year is over..... we may make it!!!!! Woot! It would be totally awesome to win our first ROM in a year! Yahoo!!!

PtHA Open ROM Standings 08/22/14
Registered Name      Points        CL TY SX PT
OCTOPELLE             21              Ho HU Ge So

PtHA Open ROM Standings 08/22/14
Registered Name                   Points     CL TY SX PT
HEZA MIRACLE ZIP                  43          Ho ST Ge So
DYNAMIC BLUE CRUISER         29          Ho ST Ge So
LILLYS LUCKY ZIP                   17          Ho ST Ma Ov
RDK SASS E IMPRESSION          11          Ho ST Ma Ov
LUCKYS APPACHE SKY             10          Ho HU Ge To
DELUX IMAGE OF ZIP               6            Ho ST Ma Ov
KR GREATEST SHINE                3            Ho ST Ge Ov
OCTOPELLE                            1            Ho HU Ge So
SHEZA SLOW LOPIN CHIC        1            Ho ST Ma So

Afterwards, we will start working our way towards a performance ROE (Region of Excellence) award. The future is looking bright! Bazinga!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Went for a nice trail ride today over labor day weekend.  Great weather and a good temperature today!  Started at Corporation Guard Station and climbed to the top of Ruckle Junction.

About two miles from the summit, Octopelle and I encountered a huge flock of white whooly bell-laden sheep.  We rode right through the middle of about 100 of the smelly little buggars, and proceeded to split the flock down the middle onto both sides of the road.  I encountered the herding fellow a ways up ahead, and talked to him for a minute.  He was very nice.  I apologized for making my way through the middle of his flock, but he said he didn't care.  It looked like he had two puppies that were "in training" with him, so I'm sure the flock had probably seen a lot more excitement than a slow moving horse plodding through them.

On the way back down the mountain I kept hearing big splashes near the river.   The road follows the water for about 10 miles, so I stopped for a minute to see what the splashing was all about.   The salmon are spawning their eggs, so it was a nice to sit and watch them in close proximity.  They're totally awesome big beautiful fish.

It was a fun relaxing trail riding day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Farm Fresh

I'm fairly proud of this. We're officially "mostly" off the supermarket grid baby! Yeah!!!!! It's been a lot of work, but well worth it.

Yesterday I fiddled around in the garden and harvested some more vegetables that were ready to go into the freezer. I've been working for the past 7 years on building my two veggie gardens and getting the soil nice and balanced for an array of plants to thrive in. It's been a labor of love, but very much well worth it. We live in a high desert climate, so it's a very dry growing season and there are tons of rocks in the ground (much like Ireland). We used the tractor quite a bit when we first started our gardening project years ago, by stripping the planned areas down where we wanted the gardens to go, and then filling them back in with some nice new fertilized top soil. Craig and I invested in a big old used rototiller that we put to work every fall and spring cultivating the soil.

This year the neighbors asked me to take over their raised bed garden as well! I was honored, and of course said yes. I get a half share of the veggies grown in that garden as well.  Yippee!!! 
Purple Viking potatoes!  This is my first round of potatoes that I've harvested so far this year.  We've got more in the garden, as there are also Yukon Gold's and blue potatoes in the ground as well.  My eight plants of purple taters gave me about 15 lbs. to go into the freezer.  I think that by the time I get the rest of the Yukon's and blues dug up, we'll have around 40 lbs. of potatoes in storage for the year.  These purples were in a 5 gallon bucket before I took them into the house to clean, slice, blanche, package, and then freeze.     

A view of some of the items in our big freezer.  Half of the Walla Walls sweet onions are in there already, but we still have more growing in the gardens.  Craig and I eat a lot of onions because I put them in just about every dish that I cook!  There's also about 15 lbs. of stringless green beans, cucumbers, carrots, sliced red tomatoes, zucchini squash, crookneck squash, acorn squash, eggplant, red and green bell peppers, jalapenos, sweet banana peppers, cabbage, rhubarb, and frozen strawberries in there as well.

A view of the basket full of frozen veggies on the other side of the freezer.  This large freezer will last us over the winter and into next fall, just in time to re-stock it with next years crop.  There is not a single store-bought item in our freezer anymore!  I feel pretty good about that.

Craig and I like to pick wild blackberries from down near the river, and I make big batches of freezer jam out of it.  And we've also got a couple of rhubarb plants growing out in our front yard that I like to make blueberry/rhubarb jam out of.  (I'll also make a pie or two every year from the strawberries that come from our neighbors berry patch, and I add the rhubarb into the mix.) 

I also delved into making my own sausage last year.  We used to have a meat processing plant do sausage for us, but it was expensive.  So for my birthday I purchased an electric meat grinder and decided to do it myself.  (Yeah, I know... what a great birthday present to myself!  ha ha.  But, I did really need it...)  So I butchered a couple of our older sheep during the winter and made them into sausage.  I experimented with several different recipes - hot jalapeno sausage, Moroccan sausage, Cuban sausage, honey mustard, and a couple batches of maple sausage.  Waking up on a cold winter morning made the batches of pan-fried sausage even more delicious!

We also traded a local fellow two of our spring lambs for a hog.  Remember Curly?  Well, there he is - all neat and tidy in a freezer box.  I had to have a meat processing plant come and process the pig, because I'm honestly not sure how to skin one.  The rest of the processing I probably could've done myself, but I'm not comfortable skinning one out.  So the professionals got the job.  We've ate most of the pork steak and chops, but there are a few that are still left in there.  There's also some nice big roasts that we'll probably finish off this winter.  It was worth the trade. 
I also grow some chickens and turkeys to butcher every year too.  Craig and I bought an electric plucker a few years ago, and we're able to process our birds at a good rate.  We have another smaller freezer in our garage that is filled with frozen chickens and turkeys.  I think that there are around 10 birds still left from last year frozen in there.  I love smoking a few chickens and turkeys in the winter time in the smoker machine.  Our neighbor that lives on the west side of the road is a fisherman, and sometimes I'll trade a couple of frozen chickens for some large whole fresh salmon or steelhead. 

Here are some "snacks" from the garden.  The little yellow pear tomatoes are good to sit in front of the television and just pop them into your mouth.  Yummy!  And I like to make thin slices out of the zucchini squash, and then fry them in seasoned olive oil for some "zucci chips".  They make a healthier alternative to actual potato chips.

The laying hens give us eggs on a fairly regular basis.  I usually sell most of the eggs to customers, but I'll keep a dozen or so around for our own personal use.  (I do the same with the sheep and chickens/turkey meat - I sell most of it, but keep a little bit around for Craig and I.)  A win win situation.

So that covers most of it.  We've got veggies and fruits in the freezer, and meat and egg proteins available walking around on the farm.  All that we've got left to cover is the dairy - but I've got a plan for that too.  There are two very cute little Alpine nanny goats in the pasture that probably wouldn't mind sharing some of their milk and cheese....  (I can see that my next birthday present will most likely be a small hand-held milking machine...)  Also, my dad has a colony of honey bees - so I like to bum some fresh honey off him every once in awhile too.  It's awesome for honey-roasted ham, jerky (yeah, I make that too!) and also adding a spoonful to a cup of hot steaming Early Grey tea on a cold winter day. 

Anymore, about the only thing that we go to the grocery store for is: toiletries, detergent, coffee and tea, Craig's crackers snacks, and a gallon of cow's milk.   We're making an attempt at being a healthier household that steers clear of the Monstanto goo that's floating around out there.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A couple of photos from the "very early" morning start of the Santiam Cascade ride.  Courtesy of Out Of Steam Photography.

(For some reason this picture didn't want me to rotate it... I gave it a valiant effort, but it just didn't want to turn.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A simple custom repaint Breyer sporthorse foal into a golden bay tovero with blue eyes.  Made for Kathy Dawley of Washington.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Photo Gallery...?

I see that a few people have a "photos" album/section type of thing on their blogs.  I'm not sure how to do this, but I'd love to have one - (for the models).  Going to attempt to figure out how to add one of those pages soon...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pink Ribbon Classic 2014

Last Saturday was the big Pink Ribbon Classic open show in Walla Walla, Wa. I took little Ira, (well, maybe I should rephrase that.... he's growing like a weed and honestly he isn't quite so little anymore...) to partake in a few of the halter classes. The baby boy did totally awesome!
We went under USEF judge Lewis McKim of British Columbia for in-hand halter. We placed: first in the 5 and under halter class, first in the light breed halter class, and third in the solid colored equine class. Ira won two pink buckets with some matching pink brushes! Here are some photos from the horse show, courtesy of Entirely Equine Marketing.

The first thing that the judge asked me was about his breed....(because he's so big for a yearling).  After explaining that he wasn't a warmblood, the judge exclaimed that he looked like he was going to be a really nice horse to ride in the future.  And I said "yes!"

Can anyone guess that I love this horse..?  I had a huge beaming smile after winning two classes.

We received very high compliments from the judge, the announcer, the photographer, and also even a few fellow competitors.  Everyone really loved the little guy and thought that he was very beautiful!  Ira was a very well mannered young fellow at the show, and I was very proud of him.  

Getting ready to trot out from the line.  He was watching Sibbea with her camera at that moment.

Looking forward to our next show in September!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Feed Your Tekes

A quick rant about feeding.  (Yeah, it's my blog - I can talk about whatever I want sometimes...)

People amaze me.  With as much nutritional information that is available in the world today, and with such an amazingly vast array of supplements and grains and forages that are available in feed stores - why in the hell do people still think it's okay to have skinny animals? 

One thing that you will never EVER see me do, is post pictures of skinny horses from my farm!  That does not happen here.  I like seeing nice fat healthy horses with no ribs showing, no matter what the situation is!  I guess that the only exception would be if it was an extremely old (30+ years) horse, or one that is in failing health - but NOT EVEN THEN would I find it okay to post emaciated photos, thinking that it was satisfactory to keep an animal in such poor shape.  There is such a thing as humane euthanization at a certain point...    

WHY for the love of god, are there still akhal teke people out there who think it's okay to have/ride/own skinny malnourished animals - and then,  post photos of them - like they are so proud to have a skinny rail thin horse?  Are they just stupid and can't see it....?  I am getting so dang sick and tired of it!  I've seen multiple photos in the last week of horses from one "breeder" that are ribby, rail-spined, sacral joints showing, and hip bones protruding terribly in the photos!  (And they are young horses.)  Ugh.  Sadly, I know that there are just as many, if not more, horses out there that don't get their photos taken - so nobody will know about their situation.

On the photos that were posted this week, I couldn't take it.  I didn't sit back and stay quiet.  The person has heard my opinion in a private e-mail.  Maybe now that it has been brought to their attention, they will start feeding their horses..... but most likely they probably won't.  They'll probably think that I'm just a quack, and dis-regard it altogether.

Sadly, off the top of my head, I can count at least three major offenders in the north american akhal teke breeders population that have proudly posted photos of their malnourished horses on some very public sites.  Why?!?!?!  The general public already has the impression that akhal tekes are willowy types of horses that are "greyhound-ish" in appearance - which is okay.
BUT........ could we possibly steer-clear of adding "starving" to the overall impression?  Please, pretty please....???????    
Good words of wisdom, no matter what you attempt in life:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"In It 2 Win It" - Part II

Friday night was the last In It 2 Win It schooling show in Pendleton. Luckily the weather gave us a little bit of a break and reached only the mid 90's. The show was re-scheduled from Monday night because of the heat and other various reasons. But this was some more good practice for little Ira! The more practice that he gets the better, because this upcoming weekend we're planning on attending a bigger open regional show.
He won his very first little ribbons at this show too! (It's one of those "proud momma moments" when you save his first baby awards and paste them into the scrapbook...)

Friday, July 18, 2014

A New Start and Some Older Progress

While I'm waiting for my second bronze to reach the patinization stage at the foundry, I'm getting ready to start on a new OOAK (one of a kind) project.  I'm pretty excited to delve into it.  He already has a name, with thanks to a foreign friend that helped me translate the meaning of the word that I was trying to find.  Yay!  Very exciting stuff.

And in old news the studio, I'm happy to say that I'm only two backlog orders away from being free!  This is really thrilling.  When I get these two customer orders done, I'm going to throw a private little shindig of joy.  It's been a stressful few years doing paintwork for other people, and I've reached the decision that I'm just not going to do it anymore.  I work ultra snail-paced slow and it takes me forever to get stuff done, so I don't think that it's very fair for people to have to wait forever for their models.  But in the future, I will have several of my own finished sales pieces available to put up on MHSP as they are completed.  Lord knows I've got enough naked resins hanging around here in my private stash, it'll probably keep me busy painting for the rest of my life!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Will this infernal heat wave never end?  Jeesh, we've been having a serious temperature spike here in our high desert part of the country.  For the past week it's been hovering steady at around 105 degrees every day!  I've been spending most of my time trying to keep water going to the plants outside, in an attempt to keep our two organic vegetable gardens alive. 

Due to the heat, the second "In It 2 Win It" show has been moved from Monday to Friday night when the forecast predicts that it may hopefully cool down a little bit.  The only good thing about this  - is that the heirloom tomatoes are growing bigger than my head!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"In It 2 Win It" - Part I

Little Ira went to his very first local schooling show on Monday! Paula Post hosts the "In It 2 Win It" evening show series in Pendleton for the local exhibitors. Ira was totally amazing at his first public outing, and I totally love him. We did the halter classes and also some of the showmanship classes. We've never practiced 180 haunch turns or sidepasses before, but he did sooooooooo well! Picked it up immediately. He was extremely well mannered with the loud noises (when the crowd clapped), and seeing new spooky objects beside the arena. He was quiet when horses zinged by him in the warmup arena, and stood quietly for setting up in halter. This is going to be a very nice colt - and I am in love with him!


My old dinosaur of a computer finally crashed! I'll be without any e-mail for awhile until my husband can figure out how to set everything up onto a new computer. (I'm using his machine at the moment.) Epic bummer. A lot of my pictures have been banished forever...

Monday, June 30, 2014

"When you ride a horse, balance comes, not from freezing your legs to the saddle, but from learning to float with the movement of the horse as you ride. Each step is a dance, the rider's dance as well as
the dance of the horse." Rinpoche

Thursday, June 26, 2014

No Market

A friend sent me this link, and there is a huge ring of truth to it.  I sadly kept thinking of many Akhal Teke breeders while reading it...

Monday, June 23, 2014


BOTH of my horses can be a real pair of ratbags when I'm not looking!  Ha ha!  They laugh and make faces at the horse show judges when they think I'm not paying attention.  This probably explains some of our placings....


I finally got the photos back from the Springtime Open Show in Pasco!  (I love Adam's pictures, but sometimes you have to wait awhile to get them....)

Alongside finished bridle horses in the open western classes.

I love the light breed judges.  They tend to ask for a hand gallop in both the english and western classes, and it so SO MUCH FUN!