Monday, June 27, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 3

Welcome to the exciting final installment of my explanation of yellow NAN cards! You can find part one here and part two here.

A wonderfully painted Uranus by Chris Nandell

Today, I’m focusing exclusively on workmanship. On Friday, I mentioned this is my favorite division, and I mean that both as a shower and a judge. I paint plastic ponies for a living, so this division most closely approximates the challenges I face as a painter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Top It All Off

Required Reading

Dress(age) for Success

By popular request, I’m adding a tutorial about how I sculpt the top of a dressage braid. To be honest, it’s not a topic I’ve devoted a lot of thought to in the past, but writing this has been a great chance to think about my technique, why I use it, and how I can improve.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 2

Today, I’m focusing on one of the two “yellow card” divisions currently at NAN (and a regular feature at local shows.)

Collectibility is a relatively new division in live showing. Traditionally, a model’s rarity was considered in regular breed classes. But with Breyer’s introduction of newer, more detailed, and often more accurate molds, rare vintage models were gradually being squeezed out of traditional breed classes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


After finishing such pretty necks last week, how about another pretty option to put on top of them? I covered sculpting basic long manes a few weeks ago, and it’s the prerequisite reading for today’s post.


I figured I’d class it up a bit this week and cover banded manes. Banded manes are a grooming style common in showing western pleasure, halter, and showmanship. It pops up in other weird places from time to time as well, such as Hunter Under Saddle:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Showing 101: Those Mysterious Yellow Cards, pt 1

Yellow NAN cards (officially "non-breed" cards) cover several showing arenas, so I've decided to split this post into three parts. As I did previously, parts two and three will cover common judging standards.

A collectibility winner, or a color class winner?

Friday, June 10, 2011


If Google search says it’s a real word, than it must be so.

Part 1 is here and part two is here.


Since I waxed on about it last week, I figured I’d put my Apoxie where my mouth is and resculpt a Roxy this week. But not literally because Apoxie is kinda gross tasting. Just because it’s safe to eat this stuff doesn’t mean I actually want to.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Showing 101: Live Show Quality

Pronounced L-S-Q (you will rarely hear someone say live-show-quality) this term has been used so frequently and stretched so far from it original meaning, that it’s surprising it’s still used at all. On the low end, it’s a meaningless marketing term thrown into every ad on MH$Ps. On the high end, it means 100% certified quality: stick it on the table and watch the ribbons roll in.

A few years ago, the incomparable Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig wrote a very thorough definition of what the term means to her. She is describing the pinnacle of realism and the ideal artists strive for:

Live Show Quality Guidelines

It's a great article and well worth the read. I don’t agree with all of her opinions on conformation, but this is a good example of the varied and contrasting opinions you will encounter in the world of live showing.

This is your reading assignment for the week. There won’t be a pop quiz on Monday, but I’d like talk more about workmanship next week and this article is a good starting point.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off With His Head (Necks part 2 of 3)

For a change of pace, I'm writing and posting from the lounge of Scarlett's barn. She is currently rolling and farting around the indoor arena with enthusiasm.


Last week I talked about different elements that contribute to the shape of a neck. I’m going to build off of that so I recommend checking it out if you haven’t read it already. I going to continue to babble for a little bit longer about how neck shapes (specifically movement this week) because my customizing technique requires me to have a solid understanding of the mechanics.