Feb. 1 2012–A Painting a Day

Painting 1Painting 1—Feb 1, 2012

Here we go—my first endeavor into the February Painting a Day Project.  My first painting is…….a horse– but more specifically, the eye, bridle and forelock/foretop (bangs).  I really enjoy painting the little detailed studies of horses, especially the eyes.  They tell so much about the personality of the animal and it’s mood.  When looking for a new horse, most people look for one with a “kind eye”—meaning one that is calm, alert, and quiet.  This little painting is actually of my daughter’s filly while I worked on her training.  She’s a pretty trusting soul but I definitely had to work to earn that trust and respect.

Horse trainers pay a lot of attention to a horse’s eyes—today’s trainers as well as trainers from long, long ago.  Clinton Anderson, a current, well known trainer has a saying, “Two eyes are always better than two heels.”  What this means is that if you want the horse’s attention and respect, he needs to give you two eyes…..he needs to look at you and give you full attention.  Think of it as you telling your child something, normally….if they’re not looking at you, they’re not listening.

Jesse Beery, a famous horse trainer from the 1800’s, talked a lot about the eyes of the horse. Even that long ago, he knew about the horse’s eyes. Beery discovered there were four different disposition types of a horse. Certain characteristics of the eyes would tell you much about the horse’s personality and how much work it would be to train the horse.  Beery said “Where type #2 will allow you to do all the work, type 3 will do all the work for you. You only need to control its movements.”  In short, the eyes are the mirror of the horse’s mind. Quiet eyes indicate quietness and sincerity. Quick and lively eye indicate vivacity. Restless eyes turning in all directions indicate suspicion and show the horse is studying all around him and may perhaps be preparing some freak of self will. Turbid eyes indicate fear or anger.

Information taken from the following sources:





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