The Horsemasters by Don Stanford

This horse story is based on real life, in particular, the daily chores of caring for horses at a riding school in Great Britain. I never read this title as a child, but discovered it recently and loved it!

1957 Funk & Wagnalls first edition hardcover
1957 Funk and Wagnalls first edition

The majority of horse books for children and young adults tend to glamorize horse ownership. There are exceptions, of course, but few books really dig into the sheer work that owning a horse entails and this is what I loved here. Details like feeding the horse on time, keeping it groomed, cleaning its stall, its tack and treating its ailments are often only casually mentioned or completely ignored in other books. But it’s just these tidbits that bring home what owning a horse might be like.

Basing his fictional tale on the very real Porlock Vale Equestrian Centre in Great Britain, Mr. Stanford gives us chapter after chapter of mucking out, cleaning yards, grooming, treating horse ailments, having falls and other riding incidents, and creates a wonderfully entertaining read from the everyday life of a student!

Continue reading “The Horsemasters by Don Stanford”

Blog updates and sales tactics . . .

Resources update

The resources page now lists assorted model horse Facebook groups, some clinky oriented, some more general hobby. Some other links have been updated or fixed.

I’ve added the new email list CeramicAnimalCollectors that will replace Breakables when Yahoogroups closes on December 15th.

I’ve also listed the brand new PonyBytes online showing site, this looks like a super way for showholders to hold online shows!

Sales tactics

On sales, while I do plan to continue using the Horse Book Auction Facebook page, I may list some titles here first as a perk for blog subscribers. Paul Brown illustrated books come to mind, perhaps also popular Dorothy Lyons or Patsey Gray titles. The Horse Books- For Sale Facebook page could also be utilized.

For figurines, listing stays the same for now, here first, then elsewhere. But that is subject to change if it proves cumbersome.

There could be exceptions. Yesterday I sold a mini unpainted resin because I saw a Facebook post in search of just that piece! I wasn’t expecting it, but there ya go! I need to de-clutter my house, in case I must do spine surgery. So, if an easy sale presents, so be it.

Going into the cold months, I’m not expecting to do a lot with figurine sales, perhaps a few smaller items. The current plan is to concentrate on whipping my bookshelves into shape as I read through titles!

My spine on steroids . . . a tailbone tale

After two months of physical therapy in summer of 2019, my doctor wanted to get an MRI on my lower back. The results came in late October of the same year.

“The good news is that your spine is stable and you probably won’t wake up paralyzed some morning.”

My doctor’s first words, verbatim.

As I’d been worrying about that little matter, that was somewhat of a relief to hear!

“The bad news is you have degenerative disk disease with one disk virtually obliterated, another in bad shape, a bulging disk, spinal stenosis and multiple pinched nerves. You’re in for it.”

His next words or close enough . . .
Continue reading “My spine on steroids . . . a tailbone tale”

Farewell, Yahoogroups!

I know I haven’t posted in over a year, but more on the why of that later.

Meanwhile, the end of an era is coming. Yahoogroups, host to a variety of model horse email lists, is closing its doors on December 15, 2020.

If you are a member of a Yahoogroup, you may wish to check and see if the group is migrating or closing down. And if you are a list owner, it is time to decide if you wish to preserve your list.

For those looking for hobby connections via email, some of the email lists have moved to Groups.io though not always with the same name.

It appears that most hobby interaction online has long gone the Facebook route. I’m not entirely happy about that, but as I do have an account, I can pop in and out to see what’s up in the hobby as I’m able.

My resources page has been updated and links to all Yahoogroups have been removed.

Best 50 cents spent ever!

You have to understand, I grew up in a simple time (1960s), and worse, I read TONS of my dad’s childhood books set in an even simpler time (mid-1920s). So today, coming home from physical therapy I spotted two young enterprising girls with a LEMONADE STAND! I haven’t seen such a thing in AGES!

We live on a steep hill. There’s very little in the way of foot traffic here. I’m afraid the two girls haven’t learned the lesson about location, location, location. On the other hand, it’s possible what little foot traffic does pass could be thirsty. So maybe it will work out for them after all!

PT had calmed my back and hip pain with a cold ice pack affair so I figured I could make the short hike down the hill and back

I think it surprised the girls to have a customer. I experienced a some sticker shock when I saw the lemonade cost 50 cents, but hey, it was PINK lemonade. They solemnly poured a HALF a paper cup (I can see profit building in all their future enterprises!) and I took a sip, pronounced it delicious, thanked them and hiked back up to my house.

But here’s where it was all worthwhile . . . I heard a chorus of squeals and screams after I left them and these words: “First customer I ever had. . . .” and more joyous squeals!

I just sent hubby down the hill. . . .

UPDATE: Leg pain and back issue

Yesterday I had my physical therapy evaluation. The therapist thinks that I may have a bulging spinal disk issue.

So, she wants me trying to avoid: a) bending over, b) leaning, and c) twisting. Yikes! All things one does rather a lot of in daily life! And she’s not keen on me lifting anything heavy either!

BENDING OVER: The veggie drawers are at the very BOTTOM of the fridge. As I like to eat, that’s  a difficulty! Or feeding my cats. Or getting into horse and book boxes. Or taking sales and eBay photos.

LEANING: This one is a problem because of the dry eye. I can’t put drops in with my glasses on. I can’t see to put drops in unless I’m close to a mirror. 99% of all public mirrors as well as my own bathroom mirror have a sink and often a counter in front of them. Meaning I have to lean somewhat towards the mirror.

TWISTING: Can’t hardly drive without some twisting, in order not to run over someone. Really, you have to look behind you when backing out of the driveway or parking places. Just gotta.

Continue reading “UPDATE: Leg pain and back issue”

Not a leg to stand on…

Seems the last year and a half of my life has been nothing but issues! The toe problem on my right foot is ongoing, though the pain has been less. But now, I’ve got pain in my LEFT leg!

A couple weeks ago, I went to do my Monday weight workout. It seemed like a great workout! Except the day after, my entire left leg hurt. And only the left leg. It hurt in my hip, my thigh, the left side of my knee and down on into my shin.

I elected to rest it for a week. No improvement. Poor quality sleep, as pain made it difficult to nod off.

OK, if inactivity wasn’t going to help, might as well carry on! I definitely don’t want to lose the progress I’ve made with my knees! So I did another workout, going cautiously, which gave me some information, the Abductor/Adductor machine definitely hurts! But all else was OK.

I tried a pool workout two days later. Nope, that HURT! Moving the leg through water resistance was painful. I dressed, left the gym and drove straight across the street to my doctor’s. And was lucky enough to score a next day appointment.

Doc examined me, had me do a few moves like bending over and touching my toes and rotating my torso. Checked my reflexes. He thinks I may have a pinched nerve in my back! Sent me to the hospital for X-rays, THAT was painful! My leg was sounding off the whole time. Doc prescribed a short course of steroids, which took the pain away for six whole days and also physical therapy for my back. Unfortunately, the earliest PT appointment is later this month.

He said I should stay as active as I can, listening to my body. Pain’s been better since the steroids, but still painful enough that getting through a shower has me gritting my teeth. I really didn’t need anything else slowing me down….

Wrote the above last night, pain is growing, worse this morning. Ugh! Here’s hoping I can stand the pain for nearly two weeks more. If I seem slow on listing or posting, well, slow on EVERYTHING right now!

Come Down the Mountain – Vian Smith

Most fiction from the pony book genre starts with a boy or girl who desperately wants a horse. He or she usually acquires a horse. And proceeds to successfully tame, ride, show or race the horse.

Come Down the Mountain is a bit different than the norm in several ways. The most obvious is the dust jacket artwork. There’s nary a horse to be found, a quite unusual approach by the publishers!

Doubleday 1967 American hardcover edition of "Come Down the Mountain" by Vian Smith
Doubleday 1967 American edition
Continue reading “Come Down the Mountain – Vian Smith”