The Magic of a Horse.
Whenever I get stuck, frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, and otherwise unhappy, there is one thing that is guaranteed to make me feel better. My horse Patriot. I am beyond fortunate to even own a horse, such a magnificent animal, let alone the kind eye'd beauty I have. Two of the main communication tools have are their eyes and ears. Watching the flick of a horses ears can convey a whole plethora of information. The shape and how relaxed an eye are can show a horses mood and how they feel, you want a horse with a kind eye, once you've met one you know what that means. Their eyes and ears are such important tools in learning about horses and how they work so it was very important to me to do this piece. If you know my horse you know these pieces belong to him, his ears his and that eye that I've stared into so many times. My Mother In Law (to be) ended up buying these paintings and I'm so thankful I'll get to see them on a regular basis still, though I have the muse and I'd much rather take in the joy of the real thing! So here's the story of my Patriot and some pictures of from our lives from his birth to now!
The spring of my junior year in high school, a week before summer started, our mare Amy a 14hh grey Arabian/ Pinto gave birth to a perfect black and white stud colt on 5/31/2004 ,Memorial Day. We had checked every day and the morning of June 1st we saw the new addition to our herd.
My horse Dakota had recently gone lame with ringbone, (an arthritic, bony growth about the hoof that renders a horse pretty much useless) retired to a life of grooming and attention at a local boys home. I had been using my dad's horse Tuffy, a beautiful medicine hat Paint with blue eyes and a temper. I was determined to barrel race with Tuff and we did pretty well together, I was just as hard headed as he was and ended up a decent pair.
Amy kept the colt out and away for three days, on the third day with a bucket of grain she finally let him meet me. I walked out and squatted down as Amy was eating, he slowly came around her side and to meet this strange two legged creature. The second I touched his velvety coat I was enamored of him. This beautiful boy was to be mine. It took about a week to figure out what he would be named and after a lot of trials names he was named Poseidon's True Patriot.
I was out there everyday, laying in the pasture next to him as he soaked up the summer sun, growing every day. He was a wild, fun and wicked smart. He could untie him self in record time and get out of most fences. He tested my patience and we learned so much from each other. I couldn't wait for him to get old enough to start under saddle I know we'd be an unstoppable pair as we were already inseparable. When he was two I had him branded with my Great Grandfather's Brand VK- and registered under my name. It was in every way official, he was mine forever.
The years have passed and we've had many adventures. He was wonderful to start under saddle, we had a few wrecks over the years but, he's been patient and kind. From the year I started him I took him to Kids N' Cowboys an annual event at the NILE Stock Show and Rodeo to give children with cancer horseback rides. It gives them a freedom and joy that makes fills my heart with such pride that I can take my horse and share him with them. I moved to Washington State to work on a dude ranch as a trail guide and wrangler, Patriot came with me. I moved to Wyoming and he came there too. We enjoy riding Western and English and improving our bond with each ride. He does what I ask and we ride very frequently, Eastern Montana is our playground and we're always exploring. He wasn't my first horse and he won't be my last horse but he is that one horse, that very special horse that I'll have as he ages, hopefully teaching my children to ride turning into a pasture statement until he can no longer stay on this earth. I have a shoe I pulled from his hoof tattooed around my elbow, the bit I started him in down my forearm and a the image of his likeness on my foot. Horses will always be a huge part of my life. Patriot, though, has been a milestone a life block that I've built and been shaped around and such a huge piece of my heart and who I am.