Usually, I paint horses en Plein air on Saturday mornings, but we had a welcome rain today. So, I took the opportunity to paint a small horse portrait in the Studio. This oil painting has a very intimate feel to it, and the cool colors in the coat are very subtle. The sky color is subdued, much as it was outside as I painted it. The horse in this painting is my Palomino, Adobe, who has been through allot this year. (Sarcoids, cancer, an eye infection and a hoof abscess) I hope that the bond I have for him comes through in this small portrait.
The Horsemanship Connection. I have been thinking about the process of making the right thing obvious when teaching a horse something new. The best example I could think of was teaching Comanche to pick his feet up. When I got him, at 15 months old, he did not know how to pick his feet up. I wanted to set him up to succeed, and teach him as much as I could. So, I taught him to back up one step at a time. I then picked up the foot that was poised to come off the ground next. This way his weight was already shifted onto his other three legs and he is set up to balance. Comanche is willing to pick up his feet for me without being pulled, pushed or jerked around. I know this concept of release will also translate into requests to pick up his feet while under saddle.