Monday, March 14, 2011

Steens HMA Week " Dibs" Challenge Painting #66

Today's Challenge Painting is of a young Steens bachelor stallion. He was named Dibs by the daughter of this week's guest blogger Tracey Westbury.  

5 by 7 Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist

" When we made our first trip to the South Steens in the winter of 2008, we encountered the Hollywood Herd, and among them were two pinto colts who appeared to be long yearlings.  Katie stood quietly, and patiently made her way up into their space.  One colt stayed completely relaxed and continued grazing until she was 10-15' from him, at which time he simply turned and walked away.  She was determined to adopt him if he was among those gathered the following year.  She called Dibs.

When the South Steens was gathered in '09, Dibs was among them.  We spotted his photo in a friend's online album about a month after the gather.  We contacted the BLM, knowing that we'd be down for their special adoption event in February, but were told that Dibs was not there.  He was good looking enough, they felt, that he should be returned to the mountain.

Dibs and  Katie
in 2010
photos and references used by permission
copyright2010 Tracey Westbury

Katie was heartsick.  She knows what a rough life it can be for horses out there, and she didn't want to see Dibs hurt in battle, or worse, starving as an old, aged stallion in years to come.  When that day comes, it will be incredibly difficult for her.  But now, in the meantime, she's able to make trips with me to the South Steens to see 'her' wild horse.  In August of 2010 we found Dibs grazing with a bachelor herd.  He was grown up and filled out!  Katie again quietly made her way toward him, choosing her steps carefully as he grazed.  She'd stop and take a photo or two, then continue to approach.  Eventually, she was there.  The big pinto stood and posed for her, then turned his head to look at her.  As she stood looking into his eyes, he turned and faced up.  It was no more than a moment, and Katie took a step backward, 'releasing' him, and they both walked back into their respective worlds."

Tracey Westbury operates Mustang U, a non-profit for the purpose of helping make older gathered mustangs easier to adopt. You can read more about her work on her blog.

You can read more about the Steens on Mustang A Day Challenge News:

Paintings from the Steens HMA Week are available for sale. Each painting will be 5 by 7 inch watercolor offered for $45.00 each. A portion of each sale will go to Mustang U.  If you have a special  Steens horse that you would like to commission for the project please contact me through my facebook page:

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful horse, beautiful rendering Linda! Enjoy reading the background info too!