Sport Horse Fan stuff

Looking for Zare? Click here for Episode 44!

Last July I got attend the Great Meadow International–a three star 2 day event. The riders from the US Equestrian Olympic Team, plus a couple other country team members, were using it as a prep for the Olympics. It was so much fun to watch riders and horses that good compete.

I dragged Zorro’s DSLR around all weekend and have a few hundred pictures, as you can imagine. I’m rather proud of myself for picking just a few favorites. They are impressions, hoping to capture the speed, guts, and precision of the most impressive team sport there is (no, really, how many other teams contain a 1000 lb beast of prey who doesn’t speak the same language?).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy them. They are available for purchase as prints, framed prints, and a variety of other things at www.redbubble.com and www.society6.com/

gutsnspeedframe
Guts and Speed
precisionframe
Precision
sport-horse-concentrationframe
Concentration

Fire horse

Looking for Zare? Click here for Episode 44!

I kind of love this tee shirt, if I do say so myself. It’s super soft (it’s the new tri-blend shirt at Redbubble) and a little roomy for a relaxed fit.I like it’s looks with the sleeves cuffed, but I have not the gift of making them stay cuffed.

You can get your own here, if you like: https://www.redbubble.com/people/ravenslanding/collections/469418-elemental-horses

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Water Horse

When I set out to draw something in particular these days, I end up browsing Pinterest for reference pictures, and end up working off of one or two. I never used to work from pictures, but I’m finding it really helps me improve; learn how to draw new things, new angles. Also, searching for Mustangs is a lot of fun. There are some great pictures out there, and I’m starting to recognize the iconic stallions of the various herds around the west (just search for Picasso the Mustang–or Cloud, for an even more famous name–and if you want wild horses in water, search for the Salt River Wild Horses of Arizona.)

So, here is the progression of the water horse, from pencil to ink to t-shirt. This was draw taking inspiration from one of the Salt River Wild Horses, (you can find some of my inspiration on this Pinterest board)

 

 

 Add water:

 

Add eyes:

Scan, clean up, and add to Redbubble.

Voila!

Hook

This is Hook, rendered in ink and ink pencil. Every now and then I indulge and throw myself into drawing a horse. Alright, fine, perhaps it happens often.

In my mind, he is somewhere between a Lusitano and an Arabian in build and carriage.

Hook

13-Hook, Line, and Sinker

Galhara was a coastal city that had never been known for its horses—but I had. From childhood I spent as much time with them as I could, and had been known to do really stupid things like wander off and climb on any horse I met in the field. I did not differentiate between trained or untrained. If I wanted to ride a horse I convinced it to let me—usually with nothing more than a rope and patience. Some horses were easier than others, but they all obliged eventually. I, of course, had no idea this wasn’t normal until I was older and people started petitioning the king to let me to help them with their difficult animals.

The Head Groom’s monster was a spectacle in motion with a glossy black coat and a smart eye. He blustered along, tossing his head and threatening to rear every couple steps, barely restrained by the young groom trying to lead him into the corral. He was a fairly young horse—probably five or six years of age—with a well-shaped, muscular body and natural pride in each floating step. And you got an eyeful, too, because once the groom got him into the corral he pulled free and bolted. The other grooms rushed to close the gate—and the hapless handler climbed over it. Leaving me in the corral with a horse who obviously didn’t want to be around people.

“He was shipped here with a couple other horses because the marquis was looking to add some black to his stock,” explained the Head Groom. “None of the lot came with manners at all. We’ve not saddle broken a single one, on account of their wildness, and he’s the worst of them. He’s snapped quite a number of ropes around here—and nearly some hands, too.”

I nodded, keeping my eyes on the horse. Easy enough to believe. Especially two feet of broken lead rope hanging off the horse’s halter. He tore around the circular paddock with his head up, blowing hard at the people on the fence line. He was trying to ignore me, but kept flicking a curious ear in my direction almost in spite of himself. When the black broke stride I’d flap my arms and he’d pick up pace again. We might spend our hour doing this alone, I thought ruefully. I willed myself to forget about time and focus on the colt. Occasionally I’d dart ahead him to make him change his direction—which he didn’t totally appreciate—but mostly I waited. The black was stubborn and brave—they would be good qualities eventually, but for now they kept him running at a steady pace around and around the pen. I hoped he wouldn’t decide to make a day of it. I would feel the miles before he would, and I was already tired. I thoroughly lost track of time—it was just me and the circling black horse—forever in a contest of authority.

Before I expected it, he dropped his head. His jaw relaxed and his flicking ear settled on me attentively.

“That’s it, I’m not going to hurt you,” abruptly I turned away from him, and waited some more. He stopped running the moment I turned away and I listened to him come up behind me at a cautious walk. After a moment’s consideration, he came close and puffed out a breath by my ear. I swiveled and reached a hand to rub his face. He shuddered, but stayed put.

I took a step away from him and he followed. Hooked. I smiled and took a few more steps. He kept following. I stopped and rubbed his forehead again. He sighed heavily, as if the weight of a thousand fat men was slipping off him. “I’ll call you Hook,” I told him.

He didn’t object.

He didn’t object to the saddle and bridle either, nor the rider—though he gave me some extremely skeptical looks. When I slid off his back, Ayglos and the Head Groom entered the round pen.

The Head Groom looked stunned. “If I didn’t know the horse, and didn’t watch you the whole time, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

I patted Hook. “How long did that take?” I asked, pretty sure it was two or three hours of work—at least—could have been all day for all I knew.

“An hour exactly,” replied Ayglos with a lopsided grin.

“Really?”

The Head Groom wiped his forehead. “Really…” He looked the horse up and down. “I guess he’s yours.”

If we didn’t need a horse so badly, the mourning in the groom’s voice would have persuaded me to give my prize back. But Hook was mine, now. The Groom would have to deal with the wrath of the marquis himself if there was wrath to be had.

I stuffed my hands in my pockets. “Have anyone else I can take off your hands?”

By the time Ayglos and I were headed back up the road I’d claimed two more of the useless money eaters from the farm; an impish donkey I’d dubbed Line, for the dorsal stripe and the cross bar on his back, and an aging draft who at this point simply needed to be named Sinker. I wasn’t sure why the Groom was parting with the draft, but it was easy enough to imagine why he would let go the devilish donkey—I overheard something about unlocking all doors and gates.

I rode Hook, Ayglos rode Sinker, and Line trotted along behind us, gamely keeping up with the larger horses. It was late morning, by now, but hopefully our success would convince the others to forgive us the delay. Particularly Namal.

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