updates to the website, including a much nicer menu (at least I think so). I changed the images around to better reflect the season, updated the sales page to be a little more user friendly, and a bit less cramped, added some more information about all the things we do....
Oh, and I've been doing pictures and videos out the wazoo! For those who know Quagga, that's him with his new person. When my mentor Sig (Sigrid Ricco, RIP) owned Quagga, he was a lady's horse to the end. On her death, I "inherited" him, and he decided that Jae is his new person. He has Jae very well trained, and always tends to show better, and behave better for Jae. Don't get me wrong, he loves just about any one with a scratch or a cookie, but Jae is special for him.
So, when I did all that webpage stuff, I realized how many horses I still need to update. Never mind that I only have 5 horses officially for sale (I always have a few others that I'll sell into the PERFECT home) but that I need to update pictures and videos of most of those horses, AND I don't have enough information out there about my breeding herd. Oh my.
I need to get a page for each of the boys, with more information, more pictures, a video, and some examples of their foals (where applicable. Scorch doesn't have any on the ground yet). My plan is to get that done next week. So wish me luck, and expect a lot of eye candy to be coming through the blog.
Once the boys are done, I'm on to the lesson horse page. Every one wants to see what you have out there for them to ride, right? And my lesson horses deserve the credit they work for. From Keeley through Diesel, we have horses of all levels and sizes, and I want to make sure that clients can see what's offered, as well as have a link to use when bragging to their friends (doesn't every rider want to brag about the horse they ride... or is that just me?).
Now that probably sounds like pretty good thinking to most people, right? But it sure doesn't sound like as much work as it is! First, I'm anything BUT a web designer. Yeah, I designed the look of my site, but coding it? HA! That's been fun. Good thing for me, that Jae IS a web designer. BAD thing for me, that he feels it is important for me to have a basic understanding of what I'm doing.
I know I've mentioned this before, but it can never be said enough. In order to get 5 good pictures, I take around 300 images. I crop, I tweak, and I cry at how close so many of them are to exactly what I want. Perfect stance but the horse closed its eyes. Lovely movement, but its ears are back making it look mean. For personal use, those things don't matter, but how many of you would bother going to meet a horse with ears pinned in all of the pictures?
Of course, some of my horses are more photogenic then others. Look at the eye candy the other day. Scorch is a total camera hog! Seems that Quagga, one of my other stallions, is the same way. Phoenix loves the camera, but Tori - the bay here - not so much. Ishka, my mom's younger horse took 100 pictures to get a single decent image.
But, a good photo shoot makes it so worth it! I mean look at this boy!
I also managed to get a couple of videos done. I actually like making videos, even though I'm not all that good about it. Tori's video was pretty easy. She was a simple cut, paste, add music type of thing. I had good long clips of her moving, I had good lighting and the filly stayed where I could actually get a video of her (you know, in front of me!).
So then I started working on Phoenix's video. Ok, truth be told I started on it first, but didn't like it, so took a break. I went back to it after a day, removed 90% of my work, and decided that I didn't care if I could see people in the shots. I ended up with this:
All in all, I'm pleased with it. Granted, I don't expect to sell these horses until they are started under saddle, as the market's pretty tough in a drought striken area, but at least I'm keeping up with it all.
What I am thrilled about though, are the pictures of Quagga, and how AMAZING they turned out. He is a hard horse to make pretty, simply because he IS white. Lighting is horrible with him. Stains are a constant problem. And yet he's such a wonderful horse, just put together like a dream, that it seems so wrong to publish images of him that show him as less then perfect. I guess this is a lot of my problem with keeping up with my webpage. I hate sending out pictures of the horses that just don't do them justice.
So. Sales horses - DONE. Stallion images 2/3rds done. Stallion videos - well, I got the filming done for Quagga, but need to edit it, and find that boy a song! (I'm hoping to use A Whiter Shade of Pale). Next week...... more eye candy!
A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses
I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.