Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Thoroughbred Horse Portrait

Anyone who knows me knows this horse portrait painting had to be coming.  It is a portrait of a horse I have been riding and leasing for 2 years.  He is an Off-Track Thoroughbred (OTTB) that ended racing many years ago and was retrained as a dressage horse somewhere along his journey.   His name is Truckee Tudor.

I met Truckee as a lesson horse when I decided to try riding again after a 30 year hiatus.  (It still sounds crazy to hear that in my head!).  I had been introduced to dressage for a short time back then and really enjoyed it, so that is what I wanted to learn.  He was a great teacher from the first day.

Truckee and I grew closer.  His use for lessons declined as arthritis developed so he could no longer jump, which is what all the "lesson kids" wanted to do, and I was the only one interested in dressage.  His owner offered me to lease him, so 2 days a week he was mine and the rest of the time I shared him off and on with others.  Eventually, it got to be pretty much just him and me and our focus changed.  He developed heaves and masts that are possible cancer, so no longer up to the demands of other riders.  We still had fun together, even on days when we could only walk or I didn't ride at all.

Truckee is a smart, sensitive 17-yr-old guy, set in his ways and assertive that things should be done correctly (according to him).  He was well-trained to the level of dressage that he knows and would show me how things should be done or let me know when I messed up.  He gave approval, or not, on just about everything I did with him, not just riding.  It was rewarding when I made him happy.  Due to circumstances he recently moved away and out of my life.  I am happy to have this portrait painting to keep his memory warm in my heart.

If you are an artist you will probably understand when I say I started this painting all wrong.  And because of that I struggled with it to the end.  It was on and off of my easel for months.  I have to laugh and say Truckee gave me a hard time with this just as he sometimes liked to give me a hard time in my other lessons.  Always a great teacher - Thanks for everything Truckee Tudor.

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