Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Scotch Bar Lochinvar"

My horse, Scottie

My horse, Scottie, turned thirty a few days ago. That is a remarkable achievement for a horse, and considering how gravely ill Scottie was just two and a half years ago, it is doubly remarkable. 

The picture above is one I took when Scottie was almost five. It has always been one of my favorites. In fact, I created a drawing based on it and then had limited edition reproductions made of that. See below. 

"Scotch Bar Lochinvar" pencil drawing of a horse
After a thirty year absence from the horse world, I started taking riding lessons in my forties and bought Scottie a short six weeks later. The first day walking into that horse barn, I had such a strong feeling of coming home that I knew right then and there that I was meant to be in that world and vowed never to abandon it again. The sights, sounds and smells of that barn and the horses were all familiar, burned into my psyche from the years spent in barns as a youngster and a deep passion for horses for as far back as I can remember. 

At that time I was a middle aged woman who was trying to conquer my fear of riding and a life long shame of being what I considered then to be a coward. It was a huge step for me; a make it or break it one. If it didn't work out, I would have lost nothing, but if it did I had the world to gain. I was lucky to find the perfect trainer to take me on that journey, one who understood my fears and guided me gently along the way with no admonishments to Cowboy Up or Just Do It. That was the last thing I needed to be told. 

Scottie, it turned out, was my lesson horse. Scottie was a four year old, slightly green, unregistered Quarter Horse (which is a story in itself). But his temperament was such that he was being used for lessons by the trainer. He was a perfect match for me, and as it turned out, he was for sale!

I made a deal with my husband, and Scottie was mine! Little did my husband realize the consequences of his wife's passion, but he has been supportive all through the years.

Buying Scottie was just the beginning of immersion into the world of horses, and it led to my first ever horse portrait and the beginning of my career as an equine artist. So, in a big way I owe it all to Scottie and my trainer, Lisa, who helped me overcome my fears; not completely but enough to live in the horse world as an owner/rider and to meld my two life passions: horses and art. 

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