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Emma of White Hall
When I received Pat's nomination of her bright chestnut mare, Emma of White Hall, I was thrilled! Emma is a Suffolk Draft Horse - a rare breed that I had never had the opportunity to paint.
I did some research on the breed and found Equinest, a horse oriented website (whose slogan I love: "100% Horse Crap"). They have a page listing "Horses in Critical Danger of Extinction" and also descriptive pages about each breed. Suffolk Punch was featured near the top:
As an artist, I love the fact that the breed is always sorrel, but there are seven recognized shades! The website's photo showing a headshot of the Suffork Punch could easily be Emma! She had that kind, gentle nature, that appears in the online photo.
Emma's owner Pat, who was recovering from a back injury, enlisted the help of her non-horsey husband Bruce to urge Emma to trot and canter around her pasture. I think Emma much preferred me to take photos of her posing standing still or eating grass! She looked great moving or standing still!
Pat, Bruce and Emma of White Hall
Tiffany is a beautiful Arabian mare who was rescued at the age of 24, and has found a loving person, Sarah, to watch over her. Tiffany was nominated by another of her fans, Joan, who wrote: Tiffany is a "red-haired 'princess' whose eyes sparkle when she is outside in the sunshine--trotting around the pasture as if floating on air. Her eyes flash with pride and her very long, red mane and tail float effortlessly behind her like a beautiful veil floating in the wind."
Tiffany was shining example of a gorgeous Arabian! I'm so glad she is adored by all at her new home at the rescue stable.
Tiffany and Sarah
Sparkles is a 10 year old Appaloosa mare that is adored by her owner, Laurie, and Laurie's two cute sons, Lex and Wyatt. They were all three so enthused to show me Sparkles. I have to include their photo here:
Laurie's nomination of Sparkles was so sweet. Here's what she wrote:
"Sparkles came to us by way of a young girl who had raised her from day one. This young lady was going to vet school; her father had become ill and she needed to sell Sparkles. When asked how Sparkles got her name, I was was told because she sparkles in the field. When out with other horses you can see her first, and also because of the sparkle that she puts in so many young riders' eyes whom she had taught to ride.
"The minute I saw her she put a Sparkle in my eye and in my heart. I knew I had to have her and keep giving her the wonderful life she had been given before. And now my boys are learning to ride on her. She is a joy. . . We always have people stopping to say - Wow, what a beautiful horse. Most of them around us are bays or sorrels and not that they are not beautiful in their own way, but Sparkles just stands out. She 'Sparkles'!"
Lady's flashy trot is outstanding! When I visited Carriage Lane Farms in Indiana, Evan was on hand to assist with the photo session. He calmly trotted Lady across the yard and she proudly displayed the beautiful movement that makes her such a star. Of course I loved watching her move, and prodded Evan to trot her by quite a number of times -- she's just amazing to watch!
Tom, Evan's father, arrived and together they showed us their many Haflingers. The whole family is involved with showing Haflingers! They have won many awards, including the Indiana State Fair's 6 Horse HItch class in 2008 and 2009. Lady is the lead Haflinger in their 4-6 and 8 horse hitch.
When Tom nominated Lady for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project, he explained, "Our hitch teams usually involve all geldings until we found Lady. Lady has the feminine grace and upheaded spirit that commands you look at her in the show ring or in the field.... At the American Haflinger Show in 2009 she won her halter, mare in cart and was the lead in our winning 6 and 8 horse hitch."
And Evan explained exactly how they "found" Lady. Living in Amish country, there are Amish farms nearby. One day the family was out for a drive and ended up behind an Amish buggy being pulled by Lady. The followed the buggy home and ended up buying Lady. Since then they've also purchased some of Lady's siblings from the Amish family.
Sugar is a Cremello, a rare breed that is a creamy whitish beige color, with light colored eyes and eyelashes as well. Unique and memorable, the color's name seems to perfectly describe Sugar, because she was cream colored and very mellow! That was until she started to run with her herd through her super-size pasture. Then she was a Crem-dynamo! I loved to watch her run!
Connie, who nominated Sugar, wrote, "She loves to show her true beauty in the show ring . . . however she shows her elegance and trust outside the ring when we take her trail riding. . . . She is definitely an eye catching horse. Anywhere we take her we always get comments of her beauty."
Dakota, who shows Sugar in 4-H pleasure classes was on hand to help me get some neat photographs of his mount. I really liked the action shots, and chose this pose because it captures Sugar's graceful power. I really enjoyed painting her Cremello color with pale jewel tones.
Sugar and Dakota
Kina's Whisper of Dawn
Kina's Whisper of Dawn is a dream come true for Kim and Nan, sisters who breed their Paint mare to the famous Friesian stallion Jorret. She's a perfect combination of the two breeds with wonderful flowing mane and tail and a bright colorful coat.
Kim wrote, "Whisper's name is very special - Kina's is both of our names [Kim & Nan] and then her name had to start with a W to follow the Friesian registry [WXYZ]. We just did that for fun. Then Whisper was born two weeks early so when I went out to feed early one morning she surprised me. I couldn't believe my eyes. She was standing in the field - Whisper of Dawn."
Whisper posed by Kim's hollyhocks and classical deep red country barn. Then Kim turned her loose in the nearby pasture, where Whisper breezed around moving smoothly and softly - almost like a whisper on the wind.
Whisper and Kim
DC and Desmond
Karlene loves her Kripple K Klydes Clydesdales, but forced to choose one to nominate for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project, she chose Plowridge Farms Desmond. Desmond, a 13 year old Chocolate bay gelding, has been part of Karlene's family since he was 6 months old. Karlene wrote, "I bought him out of the kill auction at Shippessee. I was too late to get his mother. He is a true 'gentle giant.' My son showed him in 4-H and now he is going to go back to 4-H with my granddaughter. We call him our space cadet, as every now and then he takes to listening to the little voice in his head and he will scare himself."
Her friend, Diane, nominated another of Karlene's herd -- DC, who is a little chestnut mini. Karlene sent DC's story: "He was a 22-hand high Belgium but his former owners washed him in hot water. He shrunk, so when we bought him we changed his name to Dry Clean Only [DC]." That story always make me smile!!!
I thought it would be interesting to paint the pair together, and Karlene and her family kindly had them pose for photos side by side as they grazed on the family's lawn.
DC and Desmond
FWF Magic Marker
Cheryl brought Magic Marker out of the barn and instantly he turned on the charm! This colorful chestnut and white Pinto stallion is so flashy with his bright coat and high stepping trot. It was exciting to get to photograph him at his home farm.
Magic Marker is 73% Arabian, which gives him a very athletic, yet refined, look. When Cheryl nominated Magic Marker for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project she wrote that he was "currently leading the nation in High Point Halter . . . although he is really NOT a halter type horse. I believe the judges select him over other horses in his class due to his unique pattern and eye appeal, plus his way of showing."
And being an ex-art teacher of course I love his "artsy" name - Magic Marker!
Magic Marker's intricate Pinto pattern made him a challenge to paint. I wanted to capture his high spirited nature and his beauty. I had "finished" his painting, but was not happy with the results. Then, at a family reunion, I found out my Italian ancestors are from the same family line as the famous artist Titian! I started studying his work, and I especially liked his use of black, a color I very rarely use. I decided to try it out on Magic Marker's painting, and I love the results! I think I'll be using more black in the future. And I'll be blogging about my new favorite artist/relative Titian in the future too!
Cheryl emailed me recently to let me know Magic Marker was named 2009 Year End High Point Pleasure Type Stallion on the Pinto circuit! Congratulations!!
Magic Marker and Cheryl
Rishona is a beautiful Friesian/Drum blue roan mare. She's so unique with her big draft-style, curvilinear body made elegant with that Friesian blood. Of course, her most unique quality is her dramatic blue roan coloring. I was amazed by how lovely she was as she trotted, with her dramatically high step, around her pen, that Friesian hair a-flowing.
Her owner, Carol, has had Rishona for six years, purchasing her from Flying W Farms when she was just a 4 month old filly. Carol has three other Friesian sporthorses -- all unique! It was so fun to visit and see the crosses!
But Rishona was the queen of the herd!
Rishona and Carol
Castleberry Kaleidoscope, AKA Odie, patiently watched from behind his gate as Sommertime Razzmatazz posed for photos (see previous her story and painting below). He knew his owner Mark would charm Odie into the Beautiful Horses of Indiana, even though he wasn't on the "list." Plus who could resist a horse as adorable as Odie - he looked like such a character patiently waiting his "turn." Well, I could not resist. . . . I buckled and asked Sharon and Mark to let Odie out in the pasture so I could get a few shots of him before I left.
Odie was ready! He came barreling out into the pasture, kicking up his heels, racing full steam ahead around the enclosure. He looked so good, I knew I'd have to do his painting along with Razz's. So here it is!
Sharon had included another "Mark" story -- this time with Odie's nomination. It seems like Mark was up on a ladder fixing the barn roof one day, when Odie came along and knocked the ladder over! Mark was stranded on the roof for hours until Sharon returned home from work and could rescue him.
Dainty and petite, Welsh Ponies have always amazed me, so when Sharon nominated Sommertime Razzmatazz, I jumped at the chance to get to meet this four-year-old mare.
Of course, Sharon's description of Razzmatazz was enticing as well. She wrote, "Razzmatazz is one of the most gentle ponies I know. She has large black eyes, beautiful with her gray face, black forelock and mane."
Sharon explained that the ponies were bred for mining and were very docile -- perfect for children.
Sharon shared a delightful story about her childhood Welsh pony, Star, and her husband, Mark -- who we got to meet on our trip through Indiana. I'd like to share it with you:
"Sommertime Razzmatazz is the culmination of a childhood dream come full circle. Growing up with that 'one in a million' Welsh pony permanently etched a love for horses in my heart. The opportunity to once again acquire a Welsh pony came into being shortly after the 'empty nest syndrome' hit home.
"Convincing my husband was the biggest obstacle. Although Mark is an avid animal lover, a 50's baby boomer who grew up on Fury, My Friend Flick, and Bonanza, he was skeptical of my abilities to handle a horse 'at my age' . . . Actually, I think Mark was afraid of a recurring childhood nightmare.
"Mark and I have known each other forever, as we grew up less than a mile apart. One day, Mark arrived at our home close to lunchtime. Mark was invited to join us, but detesting rice, he waited outside with his gnawing hunger. The boredom and temptation to play cowboy proved too much for Mark, as he eyed my Welsh pony, Star, patiently waiting in the corral for my return.
"Now Star and I shared a special bond. She was my best friend and, according to Star, I belonged to her. So Star was rather insulted when this overly-enthused greenhorn jumped on board and yelled 'Giddy-up!' And giddy-up she did.
"Star tried every trick she knew to get rid of this greenhorn hanging onto her mane, his legs squeezed tight around her ribs. (Mark did not know this means RUN.) She couldn't scrape him off, couldn't clothesline him on the head gate, so at a full gallop she aimed for the water trough and made a screeching stop. Kerr-splash! Success! Mark swears Star was grinning as she regally trotted off, head held high, tail waving like a flag."
After meeting Mark, I think he was probably grinning too! He adores the family's ponies and entertained us with more pony stories while we visited.
White Silk Stockings
White Silk Stockings is a flashy mare! She lit up the pasture as trotted happily through the grass, seeming to put an extra bounce in her step just for the camera!
Cheryl, who nominated this half-Arabian, half-Saddlebred mare, wrote, "She has displayed the type of personality that SOOOOO many people have NO idea about. Calm, willing and easy to be around; a true representative of her breed, with kindness not only in her eyes, but within her soul!"
Cheryl and White Silk Stockings
FWF Bostons MS TuSpotz is TuSpotz' registered name. She is a beautiful 12-year-old Arab/Paint mare with great movement.
In her nomination, Teresa (TuSpotz' owner Bryttani's mother) wrote, "[TuSpotz's] white lower lip with a small brown spot on the edge would make you think she forgot to wipe her mouth after eating, so it matched her 11 year old owner."
She also wrote, "Although TuSpotz is trained in English and Western riding, her light prancy trot glides across the ring as if to tell the other horses she is the prettiest of them all. Oh, don't let her beauty fool you, as one of the lead horses in a herd of 18, she is one tough gal who has endured playing and fighting and has the scars to prove it.
"Although her rider is now 17 and still reluctant to jump higher than 2 ft 3 inches, TuSpotz loves the thrill and gets excited when she sees the jumps. TuSpotz understands Bryttani's reluctance but will still be sure to sneak in a higher jump than necessary just to show she can do it. And at the end of the ride she will usually nuzzle up, scratch her nose against your back or shoulder as if to say, 'Thank you, it was great today.'"
Bryttani and TuSpotz
There are many more paintings to see!