Saturday, September 3, 2011

Challenge Painting #184: Oliver

Lona Patton's Oliver
"Oliver At Play"
5 by 5 inches Watercolor
Oliver is a 16 hand, 15 year old Salt Wells HMA mustang gelding out of WY. 

Oliver's Story in Lona's Words:

“ He was captured at age two and went to an adopter in Pinedale, WY where he experienced some scary situations from her husband, like being roped to the ground on several occasions, blind folded and ear bit while some teens hired to mend fence thought they would cowboy break him, being caught and kicked off the property shortly after saddling him...Oliver then ran loose on thousands of acres with other horses for 8 years, never truly being gentled, much less saddle broke. 

He had developed a severe fear of saddles and ropes, and when the woman adopter got divorced, she had to give up Oliver. He went to another home with a good friend of mine for a little over a year, maybe two,  but were unable to train him or get past his highly reactive horsenality due to his past. 

Her (now ex) husband made her get rid of him.  Rather than take him to auction where he surely would have been bought up by kill buyers for slaughter, she chose to give him to me, with my promise that he would have a forever home and never again suffer from abuse or threat of going to slaughter. That was in 2005.
For the next few years, we (my daughter and I) worked with him on many of his issues, overcoming his fear of ropes, learning to lead and load in a trailer, learning to trust. It was a long road, and several times, I almost gave up hope to be quite honest.  My husband was getting a bit perturbed  with me having and feeding an unrideable horse.

Then in 2009, I met Ken's wife DeeDee.  I watched Ken work with a wild one during a demo at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse adoption.  I decided then and there that I would hire Ken McNabb to train my big beautiful boy. He had the MUSTANG experience that Oliver would need, as well as a kind and gentle hand with horses, and had strong Christian values, which are important to me. “

Ken McNabb  and his apprentice Cody Black gave Oliver the patience and time he needed to over  come his fears and learn to trust again. Oliver’s training went so well that Oliver was even the grand finale of Ken's mustang series in his training show on RFD-TV last April.  Oliver returned to Lona and her family of mustangs and has shown himself to be bright intelligent and  a very willing and useful horse. 

You can read more of Oliver's Story here:!/note.php?note_id=417715051770&id=100000171522583&ref=mf


  1. Thank you SO much Linda for all you do for the Mustangs! I absolutely love all of your beautiful paintings!

  2. You are very welcome, Mustang Blue. I am happy to do it. I love horses and I love Mustangs. =0))