Now I'll freely admit that I'm not a great horse or pony enthusiast - not at close quarters at any rate! Those teeth look far too powerful for my liking and as for the back legs, they terminate in some pretty scary-looking, iron-clad hooves and I always worry that the horse isn't aware of how they flail dangerously about because he can't see them! So I give them a very wide berth!
This scan of a scan of a very old photo shows me the last time I looked reasonably comfortable on horseback, (or should that be 'ponyback'?) on Ryde beach, in the Isle of Wight, next to the pier.
I'm not sure whether I'm actually smiling or whether I'm wincing with nervousness?
On one of our many riding holidays in Wales or the West Country, when the family were young, I did muster all my courage and try again. But I was expecting it to feel as if I were sitting on a nice wide, comfortable bicycle seat whereas to me it felt inherently unstable, in constant, unpredictable, wobbly motion! So I quickly dismounted and wrote it off as a bad job! Fortunately horse-riding isn't a necessary part of my daily life; though I suspect it would have made more sense of all those Sunday morning trips to the stables, with seemingly endless waits in the car for the ride to come back, if I'd been willing and able to participate!
Horses do seem to feature in a lot of famous artists' work though, from the rather formal paintings for which Stubbs is best known - which I don't much like at all - to East Anglian painter, Sir Alfred Munnings. Some of his paintings were exhibited at Norwich Castle Museum when I lived in Norwich and I loved their vibrancy, particularly in his less formal works.
I think I do best when I don't think about what I'm painting but treat everything, even a horse, as 'just' a collection of shapes and colours. These greeting cards are from pastel paintings of Shire Horses that I photographed towards the end of the day at the annual Shire Horse Rally that takes place in July in the park across the road from where I live -
They are also available as prints and posters through Zazzle and RedBubble.