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Karen Brenner's Horse Paintings Blog


Posted March 30, 2010

Scarlet is Sherry's "other horse." You may recall the painting of Tsornin, earlier in the series. Well, Scarlet (RF Scarlet Rohara) is Tsornin's mother!

As I read Sherry's nomination of Scarlet, I immediately know this mare had to be part of the series: "Scarlet believes that she should be included in this series because according to her she IS the most beautiful horse in the world and it's about time everybody else realized it. Since she never did get that mirror in her stall that she always wanted, a nice painting of herself would be a worthy substitute, especially if it captured her queenly majesty."

Sherry continues, "... and her owner thinks she should be include because she really is a beautiful horse inside and out (although a little self-centered) and she has a super personality that shines through everything."

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.


posted by Karen Brenner

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horse painting jumper Jeremiah

Posted March 29, 2010

Jeremiah is an Irish Sport Horse that could jump over me if I duck down just a little! And I'm pretty tall. He and his owner Priscilla have cleared a fence set at 5'3" in competition!

They are a pretty famous duo! Soon after Jeremiah and Priscilla paired up in 2007, they won the Marshall & Sterling/North American League/ Washington International Classic and 14 more classics that year. They placed 5th that year in overall points and went on to compete in the Devon Horse Show in 2008.

Speaking of the Devon Horse Show, here's a video of Priscilla and Jeremiah competing in the 2009 event.

Priscilla wrote about finding Jeremiah:

"I was looking for a horse to help give me experience in the jumper classes and he was my recommendation. When I got to the farm where he had recently arrived, I was told he had been used in a few lessons, but basically he was not sellable, and no one who looked at him wanted him. He had really bad side bone and didn't even want walk sound. He had fullness in his front legs and really was miserable looking, but from the moment I saw him I wanted him. From that day I knew he needed to be mine. My trainer told me no and that no one should pay money for him, he needed to be a given away and even then the people would be lucky to find a home for him.

"So a week after I got him we started fixing his legs up. My trainer is old school and has all these strange pastes and wraps that he put on the horse and we got him relatively sound. May 2007 was my first show on him; I had him now for two weeks. His attitude and personality started changing for the better every day.

"He was not used to being outside or in the grass so when I turned him out in a field at home he had no idea what to do! After a few days he would run around the field and loved playing with a little pony I put out with him."

That was right before they won all those classics in '07.

Priscilla later found out that Jeremiah had been transported from Florida right before she got him, and during the trailer ride north he'd managed to flip over in the trailer and he had broken his tail.

Priscilla concluded, "He was a horse that no one wanted and now people know me because of him!"

And they've been competing together ever since!

Jeremiah was such an interesting horse. So calm to be such a great jumper! And I was dazzled by the super-size bit he wore. Priscilla told me her trainer had used with much success, and now was letting Priscilla use it. The large size rings enable the rider to turn the horse's whole head by controlling the check bones.

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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resuce horses painting

Shana's Rescues
Posted March 23, 2010

Like some people have a passion for collecting shoes, Shana has a passion for rescuing horses. Instead of closet full of footwear, she has a barn full of horses!

I realized Shana had a lot of horses, and loved them all, when she nominated Desert Sun for the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania project, followed by her nomination for Spongebob, for Moonlight Dance, for Sleepy Hollow's Stormy, for Reno 911, and for Maple Sugar Candy. Oh, I must not forget, Fancy's My Babygirl. And I'm not certain that included ALL her rescues!

When I arrived to take photographs, Shana's mini Spongebob greeted us at the gate. He was just adorable, and could not wait to show off! He was obviously the king of the pasture, and after Shana rounded up most of her herd and set them free in a huge pasture to run freely for photos, Spongebob was determined to be the leader! This painting above shows him strutting his stuff -- and leading the way for two of his buddies.

Miniature horse painting

Just one painting with Shana's mini Spongebob is never enough! He's just so cute! Here he's proving the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Power Wash - the quick way to clean you horse!
Posted March 22, 2010

My four horses looked like they'd just spent a day at the spa -- well, one of the really exclusive ones that offer mud baths.

Sporting a winter's worth of caked on mud, the horses happily snacked on spring grass as I energetically chipped away at the worst of the dried clay soil plastered on their furry mammoth coats on Saturday. After about half an hour of very slow progress I decided to try power washing them instead.

Am I the only horse owner who has never power washed a horse before? Hey, it works! Well, I actually didn't use the super strong, "take the paint of your house power" spray setting on a power washer.... more like the "hose the grime off your car" pressure with a garden hose and nozzle.

I started with the calmest horse and found that if I just sprayed his ankles, he sort of liked it! Slowly moving up his legs, he patiently stood still. I adjusted the nozzle to a slightly more soothing "blasting shower" setting and did his back and neck, and totally skipped his head (yes, I'm such a nice horse "mom").

On to horse #2 - she did great too. (Oh, did I mention giving horse #1 a dish full of grain as a reward when his hosing was complete. Of course Horse #2 - my best eater - had noticed!)

Now on to horse #3 - AKA the Giant Horse - who doesn't even like fly spray applied to a cloth being gently patted on her face, let alone a spray bottle. So extra caution was necessary. It did not go well at first, but the fence post she was tied to is still in the ground - but not for lack of trying on her part to uproot it. Concentrating on spraying just her ankles for a long time was key. She eventually relaxed enough that I could spray her legs and part of her body and neck.

Horse #4 - the Andalusian. Do I have to say more?? After some very fancy Spanish style rearing and bucking she simply Piaffed as I sprayed off the accumulated dirt.

One job done!

And off they went to roll in the wet muddy pasture....

posted by Karen Brenner

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Where's the Zapp in my Electric Fence???
Posted March 19, 2010

Tuesday my smallest pasture was almost dry enough to let my horses out to eat some of that delicious spring grass that they've been lovingly staring at for weeks. Yes, hoof prints were inevitable. And craziness as well. There was sure to be bucking, rearing, running and sliding. I'm glad my husband was at work and did not witness that all of that when I opened the gate! But the four horses quickly settled down to the serious business of nibbling.

After about 15 minutes one of the Quarter Horses tried the grass on the other side of the fence, calmly sticking her head through the electrified rope wires. Hmmm. Why is she not getting shocked I wondered as I walked over and told her to get her head back inside the fence. Being the brave person that I am, I tentatively tapped the wire. No sting. No tingle. Nothing.

The "add on" white rope fence pasture never had as strong a current as the high tensile, so I went over to that "real" wire section of the fence and quickly, lightly tapped that. No current there either. There was a problem. So I made the hike around the pastures looking for loose insulators, etc. Nothing seemed out of place.

Even though a weak light was flashing on the old fence charger, I decided I needed a new fencer. So yesterday I bought a new fencer and hooked it up. Plugged it in. And VERY carefully tapped the wire. Nothing. I mean NOTHING happened.

I walked the fence again twice and found no problems.

I'd purchased a small roll of underground wire to redo a connection under the newer gate, so I hooked it up to wires on either side of the gate to check to see if that was where the short occurred. No.

I brought out an extension cord and hooked the fencer up to the power in the house instead of the plug on the fence post. Nothing worked.

So I Googled "electric fence doesn't work" and studied lots of reasons. None seemed appropriate.

So I disconnected the new fencer. And I hooked up the old fencer. Amazingly -- no, actually unamazingly --- it still did not work.

I could not figure this out.

As a last ditch effort to solve this perplexing problem, I took my new roll of wire and hooked one end to the fencer and the other to the fence. Nothing.

Then I hooked the new wire to the ground wire post on the fencer and to one of the ground posts. ZAPPPP! Boy I've never been happy to be zapped with electric before -- But I was this time!

Upon closer inspection I noticed the connectors on the three grounding rods were half buried in the dirt. Over the years that soil must have built up. I Googled that, and found that the connectors are supposed to be removed and cleaned every year! And they were certainly not supposed to be buried in the dirt. I got a shovel, wire brush and screw driver and started working on cleaning the connectors. They did clean up nicely! And the power is ON!!!

I'm going to have the horses test the white rope fence this afternoon!

posted by Karen Brenner

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Posted March 15, 2010

Token is your not your ordinary Quarter Horse. He's a special Quarter Horse. Sure he has those classic Quarter Horse good looks that all the other breeds envy, but he's much more than good looking. Token belongs to Kathleen's son Bret, and Kathleen nominated Token for the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania because he is an extraordinary horse.

Here's what Kathleen wrote:

"My son has been riding since he was two years old (with me of course). The first horse we had was a mare, very tame and great with kids. She died one terrible October day and neither of us could go into the barn for a long time.

"I never thought we would find another horse like her. My sister and mother saw an advertisement in the paper for a horse for sale and encouraged me to go look at it. We did and although he was a bit smaller than what I was looking for or used to, Token fit the bill. My niece was also with us and she rode him first, then I jumped on to see if Token would ride double. Amazingly he did and was so gentle we couldn't believe it.

"Why this is so important is because my son has autism. We needed a special horse for him to be independent. We needed a horse that could trail ride so my son could ride with his cousins in a natural and fun manner.

"Token has been a blessing to all of us. Although he is hard to catch, he is a great ride and a great horse for any kid, but especially for my son. My son Bret is now sixteen and this horse has allowed him to have a very normal life on the farm. As you know, it is a rare find for a horse this gentle!"

Bret is so fortunate to have not only Token, but a mother like Kathleen, and a spacious country setting in which to enjoy riding! This painting of Token has one of my favorite backgrounds -- tall meadow grass blowing gently in the breeze and a lovely shade tree to give respite on those hot Pennsylvania summer days.


Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Cierra La Creme
Posted March 11, 2010

Cierra La Creme is a Quarter Horse/Arabian cross nicknamed Barbie. The reason for her nickname is very clear when you meet her! She's a beautiful blond just like the famous doll.

Jennifer's mom, Julie, nominated Barbie for the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania project. Here's her story:

"What first attracted our daughter Jennifer to Cierra La Creme (also known as Barbie) was Barbie's striking beauty. Jennifer was looking for a slender, english--looking horse to use for 4H. Having very recently lost her beloved Arabian mare, Ruby, it was an emotional and difficult search for a new horse. When Jennifer saw Barbie it seemed to be love at first sight. Barbie is a 4 year old palomino quarter horse/Arab cross, with a deep golden body and beautiful flowing blond mane and tail. Her mane is nearly 18 inches long! She looks like a 'Barbie-doll horse,' which is how she got her name.

"It didn't take Jenn long to decide that this was the horse for her. Barbie was green-broke when we got her, but she had a calm temperament and was the friendliest horse we have ever met! Working with a young horse proved to be a challenge (Ruby was 28 when we lost her), and some days it seemed that things were never going to click between Jenn and Barbie. I believe that it was bittersweet for Jenn; she wanted so badly to have another Ruby but was quickly realizing that was not going to happen.

"But through Jenn's persistence and determination, she and Barbie have become a wonderful team, and I think they are destined for a great future together."

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Sullys Hollywood and Holly Berry
Posted March 9, 2010

Who could pass up an opportunity to photograph and Appaloosa named Dottie, whose owner claims has "the most beautiful tri-colored face with the sweetest disposition..." Add to that the promise of a foal at her side. Dottie and her filly, Holly Berry, were classic Appaloosas. Oh, so lovely!

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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Bo's Shadowfax
Posted March 3, 2010

Bo's Shadowfax has lots of nicknames. His super-creative owner, Gay, listed them: "Bo, Bo-Bo, Bo-ster, Bodle-ee-odo, and Bo-job." I can really relate, because my horses all have lots of nicknames too! And my new puppy never will learn her real name, because I'm always calling Pup-ski, Pipie, Pumpkin, or some other crazy name. (Piper is her real name.)

Speaking of creative, did I mention Gay and her husband Edgar have a huge Swine Chef statue in their yard? See photos below. (I think the message, "No Pork Served Here," is in honor of their pot bellied pig.) I wish I would have also got photos of the giant life-sized dinosaur sculpture in front of the house. Gay -- was it you with the two toilet planters marking the entrance of your drive? [Note: Special landmarks such as these should always be included in the directions to your home... and hopefully are recorded on the "Street View" drive by clip on Google Maps.] Here's that pig:

Anyways... a normal painting of Bo just didn't seem right for his creative family! So this painting is just a bit on the wild side.

Gay's description of Bo is so sweet, I have to share most of it with you:

"Bo prefers the company of people to his pasture mates or his pot-bellied pig friends. When my husband repairs fence, Bo is 'helping,' his head over Edgar's shoulder, one huge eyeball on the portable drill. He also helps me, his human mom, undress in the barn, grabbing my winter scarf and lifting my hood off my coat. . . . On the trail by himself with only his mom on his back, he's only a bit scared. When he sees a big turkey, his ears perk, his eyeballs widen until the creature shrieks and disappears into the woods. When Bo has company, such as when Edgar rides the bicycle on rth golf cart or walks beside him, he's much braver under saddle and can even keep his cool with rumbling garbage trucks passing by. Of course, in the ring he's a perfect gentleman, his mane and tail flying in degree turns. He especially likes when Tony the cat admires him from the top fence rail."

Gay writes that Bo is also the poster boy for Straight Arrow's whitening shampoos. His white parts were glowing when I visited!

Gay adds, "just like the pop hit, Bo surely thinks, 'I'm too handsome for my hide.'"

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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nowy - gray quarter horse

Posted March 2, 2010

Snowy's owner Amanda was assisting with the photo shoot where I was taking pictures of Boomer, RF Scarlet Rohara, Ravenhill Tsornin and Dottie. She mentioned how pretty her Quarter Horse was, and since I had some extra time in my schedule (unheard of!!!) Amanda turned Snowy out in the arena and I started snapping pictures! Snowy was quite photogenic! And loved running around!

So please welcome the newest addition to the Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania--Snowy!

Here's a link to more paintings in the Pennsylvania series: Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania.

posted by Karen Brenner

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I love this! you did such a wonderful job painting this picture of snowy! - Amanda



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Karen Brenner is passionate
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