Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ups and Downs

“Scruffy” my horse, Scottie, losing his winter coat

Last week was quite an exciting one for me. First off, I finished up the taxes and delivered all the papers to the accountant. That’s always a source of great relief!

Then the following day I met with a local artist whom I hope to work with for a while to help me with my artistic skills. I’ve been feeling rather lost for quite a while now with my art, knowing that I could be doing much better but not knowing where to start or what to do to move forward. It occured to me that working with a more advanced artist might be just the thing I needed; someone to point the way and help guide me along.

I brought several paintings to this first meeting, including the one hour ones, and he critiqued each one of them, pointing out how I could have improved them and what was done well. I was grateful to hear him say, “You obviously have a lot of talent” and “You don’t need ‘remedial’ lessons” and finally “I’m certain that I can help you to improve the quality of your work”. I left floating on Cloud Nine and look forward to meeting with him again. He studied in Florence as a young man and also spent several months at that time sketching horses at a nearby equestrian center. So, he “knows” horses probably better than the average artist who is not an equine artist.

This week didn’t start out so well. On Monday the vet came to adjust my horse, Scottie, and one of the other horses. I quickly discovered that my horse was very lame in the left front leg and was very reluctant to walk. Remembering how good he was with me when I hurt my knee two years ago, I let him take his time walking from the pasture to the barn and figuring out how to turn around in the barn aisle with the least amount of pain.

The vet couldn’t find anything obviously wrong, like a soul bruise or injured muscle, but he was very tight in the neck and shoulders. She concluded that most likely he was stiff from the icy footing outside and/or from the arthritis in his neck causing pain down his leg. We gave him some bute and put him back outside. On the good side, his back and pelvis were still in good alignment, so we’ve definitely made progress on that front at least.

Yesterday I went out to the barn to check on Scott and was very glad to see that he was in less pain but still limping. I led him around the indoor for a while to see if he would walk out of the limp. It got less but didn’t go away completely. Then I turned him loose to see what he would do. Instead of just standing still not wanting to move or standing by the door wanting to go out, he followed me around as I shot some photos. After some massage and stretches, I put him back out and headed home, my mind a little more at ease.

I haven’t made arrangements to meet with the artist again but will do that soon. I need to figure out what I want from these sessions and he needs to let me know how much he’s going to charge. I’ll keep you posted.


Judith A. Johnson said...

Scottie looks SO much like the snow portrait you did of him- I'd recognize him anywhere!

Karen Thumm said...

Yes, that's a very characteristic pose for him. I hadn't thought about the similarity to the painting, but you're right, Judy.