Monday, 21 June 2010

Horses and Ponies

I promised I'd continue the post before last and let you in on what we found in a field, just after we left the Garden Centre. So here they are!

Foal Mousepad mousepad
Foal Mousepad by helikettle
Design customized mouse pads online at

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.


Ulla Hennig said...

Those shire horses are wonderful creatures! I love horses, and I once did a bit of riding, but living in a big city like Berlin makes it difficult to take it up again.

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Yes, I do actually quite like Shire Horses! To me they are more visually attractive because their sturdy legs and feet (?) seem to give them more balance. I've seen some paintings of racehorses where their legs look far too spindly to carry their weight - though of course I know they can!

Michele said...

Oh, I am with you on the horses. I got bitten by one once as a child. I am scared of cows too. In my home town we have long horned cattle on the water meadows, they are stunning to look at but every time I walk past the impressive horns which curve out several feet I shake in my shoes... People have actually been gored too, but only because they were dumb enough to tease the cattle. Not me I keep my distance!

JudyAdamsonArtandDesign said...

Glad I'm not the only one, Michele! Though when I was looking for the one and only photo of me on a pony, I came across one of me as a student actually feeding a cow some grass! (NB The cow was sitting down!)