This is our "Zen" Elm tree, rising up majestically in the middle of the open prairie. Last year, about this time I painted a large original watercolor very similar to this scene here, excepting that in my painting there are no horses and we are viewing the tree looking north instead of northwest, and the sky is more dramatic (which it really was on the day I took my reference photo). I'm pasting the digital image of the painting here for you to see.
This painting captured the attention of one of the local ladies in Gore Bay even before I had it matted or framed. She was good about waiting for me to compose a verse to accompany it (which I do with all my watercolors because--with the exception of the rock paintings--my work is the combination of painting, poetry and calligraphy). With the sale of this "Zen Elm" painting I was able to cover three months rent on my studio as well as provide the herd with several bags of breakfast oats and purchase a nice bottle of wine to celebrate with Kevin at dinnertime. To be able to work every day at a "job" I love and have it provide for those whom I love is something I am exceptionally grateful for.
But you are not here to look at art, you are here to look at horses! Let's enjoy some moving footage of the foals playing. First up we have Interessado trying to get a bit of a game going with Animado. Animado is now six months old. Interessado is just a handful of days over two months, but full of big-boy rambunctiousness.
This next video clip shows us one of the intense sparring games that Mistral likes to get Altamiro involved in. Even at twenty-seven, showing a bit of stiffness in his hindquarters (likely do to the ignorance of my competition dressage riding years ago), Mistral likes to show off. And what a vocalizer this Arabian gelding is! I can tell you, when you are walking through the woods and hear this sound--it sets one to worrying that some horse is getting killed. More than once I've run out to where this equine roaring is coming from only to come onto a scene of peacefully grazing horses...much as you'll see when you reach the end of this clip. It's always amazing to me how quickly these horses erupt into wild games and just as quickly, like the flick of a light switch, shut down the energy and drop their heads to graze.
What I appreciate so much about Altamiro is his natural capacity to lower his hindquarters, with good flexion of all his joints, making for wonderful collection and an excellent posture from which to spring up and outward as his projects himself towards the sport of sending the dogs off running.
I'll wrap up this journal entry today with a more subdued photo, that I love for its subtle colors, and of course, for the focused look on Animado's whole body.