Monday, December 24, 2007

what does the hobby *really* want?

Awhile back I set up some polls to get an idea of what pose people would want a saddlebred horse resin in. Suprisingly (to me) at liberty in action won (and is winning) by a landslide. I've been mulling over what to do with that information. I've been wanting to sculpt a saddlebred for years, but had always envisioned it in a showy park trot.

I guess what I am getting at is the hobby starting to be more accepting of non-performance friendly models? Is performance less popular than it once was? Or is that area of the hobby saturated and now people are looking for unusual poses and breeds?I've got a start on my saddlebred. I went with a more scientific approach to make sure I don't lose track of the underlying structure:

I'm stuck wondering what direction to take him/her in. Cantering? Goofing off? Trotting with high action? Trotting with low action (like this?):

I love this phase of the trot, but will people really buy a saddlebred in it?????? Really?


Kiko said...

As a great big performance freak, I do not see any decrease in the popularity of performance showing (at least not on in the northeast) However, there are PLENTY of performance showers who like to show outside the box, so to speak--Saddlebred, while most well known for their gaited stuff are capable of doing PLENTY of other things,and a low action trot would STILL be performance friendly for a lot of stuff, if not "traditionally" so.

Personally, I am not much of a gaited horse person, but I might be inclined to tag on a cantering saddlebred--there already ARE at least 2 very well done high action trot ASBs (Dozen Roses and Haught Aire) and I think another one would get a little lost. There isn't a cantering saddleseat horse out there really (some folks do use your Khemosabi, but that is about it)

Hobbyists in general get a locked in with breeds and poses that they forget that in the real world horses are more flexible. I had what I am sure was a reining horse at one point (he did some entertaining things when accidentally cued) that I turned into a pretty fun combined training horse (that spin thing was just awesome on the stadium jumping phase, too!)

This is just a great big IMHO too--do what the sculpture suggests to you. Because people vote on something or say they want it doesn't necessarily translate into sales (although I suspect you won't have any problem, based on your work's past performance!) and sometimes the hobby doesn't always make smart choices--a sculpture should not be by committee!

Sin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kit said...

I am not a performance shower really, but am a gaited horse fan. I think folks forget that a gaited horse can do a lot of the same things a "regular" horse can. I've barrel raced (successfully) a Tennessee Walker before (and had a blast doing it). I would love to see a fun canter, or general goofing off. Might just have to save my pennies and buy it too! :D

dragonsrockfarm said...


What about an ASB just moseying along? Walking with his/her head and neck relaxed? You know, like "headed back to the stable after leadline with the little tyke still up there"?

There does really need to be more cantering ASB's (that are done well) and MORE mares of any breed!!

Mant happy nickers!

Alicia said...

I've always been fond of this pose, and have wanted to remake something to match it:

I'm also liking a walk, something you would see in country pleasure/western classes. Not head dipped, just more relaxed instead of the full on "boing!"

Alicia said...

Grr. I moved the pic to my photobucket account for easier access:

Anonymous said...

As an ASB person myself, I'd go with the canter. Of course you have to decide what canter you want. A country/pleasure canter or the high action canter as seen in the gaited classes. I'd love to see a high action canter but that's just my taste. And...if you want to make sure the structure is correct - get on the Saddlebred Model Horse list and ask them their advice and critiques. Several people on that list own ASB's and are quite picky on correct structure. Very few resins have made the cut as a nice ASB. Haute Aire would be one that has a standing ovation.

Anonymous said...

My answer to your question about whether the hobby doesn't care so much about a horse being good for performance, is: They don't care so much. I think performance showing is becoming another place where you need a lot of money invested to compete well, and some people are turning away from it.

I think the resin and customized halter scene wants "gorgeous equine" now. I'm seeing a lot of windswept manes and tails and not-on-the-bit headsets! Lovely, free, not-perfect-performance-gait sculptures and customs are selling. Look at "Stormwatch": his resin sales were unprecedented in price/quantity I think and he's not a performance horse at all. Just my observation!