Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #261 Happy Mustang Dolly

Dolly,  Jessica Bishop's daughter's first Mustang.

5 by 5 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
In Jessica's words: "This is "Dolly" my daughter's 3 year old Sheepshead HMA filly. "Dolly" was the winner of the first Oregon Teens and Mustangs Youth and Yearling Challenge in 2009. We acquired her as a reassignment for $25! Shelby, my daughter, had just lost her two riding mules in the last two years and was too heart broken to be passionate about equines anymore. Until...we saw this beautiful yearling. She fell in love and begged me for her. I had $25 in my pocket and my friend had a horse trailer at the event and offered to bring her home. Shelby has done all the training on this filly and medallioned at Linn County Fair 2011 in her first year under saddle routine which included three perfectly executed flying lead changes."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #260 Happy Mustang Rasin

Shawna Maddox's Rasin

5 by 5 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
 Rasin is Shawna Maddox's  bay/blue roan gelding. He  is 3. Shawna and her husband adopted him in April of 2011.  Rasin is Warm Springs HMA in Eastern Oregon. Shawna said "We have been working with him and he is coming along wonderfully! I have about 10 rides on him now( as of November 2011). He has never bucked or resisted training at all."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #259 Happy Mustang Kiss The Spot

Beth Mahan's Kiss That Spot.

"Kiss That Spot"
4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
  In Beth's own words: "He got his name because he has a big snip, that is the spot where we kiss all of our horses. He is my 2011 Extreme Mustang Makeover, Norco Trail Challenge Horse. He is from Twin Peaks HMA (on the CA side). He was captured August 11th, 2010, I picked him up from Litchfield, CA February 2011."

Beth also said he has an adorable personality that she just couldn't let him go when it was time to adopt. "He is the kind of horse that eats his supplements by licking them out of my hand"

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #258 Happy Mustang Symphony Soloist

Kathy Hodges Mahan's Happy Mustang Symphony Soloist from Twin Peaks HMA
"Symphony Soloist "
5 by 5 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #256 Happy Mustang Scout

Andrea Adler's Scout.

4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Baby Scout was a surprise package that  arrived after Andrea adopted his mother. Because he was born after adoption he doesn't have a BLM brand on his neck. Even though Scout doesn't sport the brand, he is a Mustang because both his parents were wild horses. Only those horses that are managed by the BLM are branded after capture before they are adopted. Generally, those babies that are born after capture  in a BLM facility are branded as well. Once they are adopted the BLM no longer manages them. His mothers adoption a few months before his birth meant that he doesn't have the brand, however, Scout still has the unique history as being a true Mustang.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #253 Happy Mustang Valentina

4 x 6 inches Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist
Virginia Curtis-Threadgill's Mustang Valentina from Stinkwater HMA in Oregon

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #252 Happy Mustang Boomer

Jan Herendeen's Boomer

Boomer as a Youngster
4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist
 In Jan's own words:
"I named my colt Boomer.  He was quick to learn that I was his friend.  In the next several years, I attended several colt starting clinics in the area by Buck Brannaman and Bryan Neubert.   I have attended colt clinics before, but didn't pay close attention to the colt class; I didn't think I would ever start a horse of my own.  I also read everything on training and working with wild horses that I could find.  After watching some of the experts work with colts, I had a better idea of what I wanted from mine.  Boomer is a willing student; he has never kicked or struck at me with his feet.  He never attempted to use his mouth in aggression towards me.  I have been very careful to never give my horse a reason to feel like he must defend himself from me.  When Boomer was a year old, he was gelded.  He trusted me enough to let me bathe the inside of his hind legs for a week after surgery without a flinch. 

It wasn't long before Boomer was leading, backing, side passing, picking up all four feet and standing tied.  Flags, tarps and saddle came next.   When it was finally time to take our first ride, he took it all in stride. 
As for me, I couldn't hold back the tears.
Mustangs have so much to give to you, once you earn their trust. It is an honor to be trusted by an animal that at one time had so much fear.  I am very guarded about that trust and I feel that I have a great responsibility to make sure that anyone else that handles my horse, never ever betrays the trust he has put in me.

Boomer was captured in McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area, east of Cody Wy.  I live about an hour from there.  Because I live so close, I started searching for pictures of him prior to his capture.  After a 2 year search I finally found someone who had taken pictures of Boomer with his mother before he was captured.  Boomer's mother turned out to be a very distinct black and white pinto.  Knowing who his mother was, I was able to find the stallion she was with a year before he was born.  This horse is probably Boomer's sire.  I found a photograph in a book about Mustangs with Boomer's mother as a yearling with his grandmother.  After contacting the photographer, I found a picture of Boomer's Uncle, the younger brother of his mother.  I never thought there would be a traceable family tree on a mustang....but sometimes there is.  It has been an amazing journey."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #251Happy Mustang TJ Clibborn's Choke

TJ's Clibborn's  Choke
8 by 10 inches  Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Choke was one of the Top ten finalists on -America's Favorite Trail Horse - ridden and trained by  Aussie Legend TJ Clibborn
(ACTHA) You can read more about the pair and see photos of their  adventure by liking Choke's page on Facebook:

Reference photography by Emily Peak

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In Memory of Davy Greasewood ...

Tonight instead of doing a painting for the Mustang A Day Challenge I decided to talk about the passing of one of the Great Band Stallions of the Sand Wash Basin HMA.  His death has touched the hearts of many people and brought to light a serious issue facing all of the wild horses and wild animals on the open ranges. Some of the details are a bit graphic; however, the photos are not.

Davy Greasewood Print from Original Painting
by LindaLMartinArtist
Davy Greasewood was Challenge Painting #20

Image of wire beside the Sand Wash Basin HMA
entrence. This is a wake-up call for all
Animal Rights activists and Horse Advocates
throughout the USA. These photos
by photographer Jim Weston
are typical of trash  and  abandoned wire
that  is spread all across the
Wild Horse Management
areas throughout the West.
Some of this wire has been
there for generations.
I decided that instead of painting a mustang tonight that I would share some of the documentation Photos by Jim Westin from the Range in Colorado.  This week one of my favorite band stallions from Sand Wash Basin HMA was found gravely injured. Photo documenters familiar and frequent to the horses reported the problem to the local BLM office. There were photos and a video that were put up on line so show the severity of the injury. The stallion was in obvious pain and could not put any weight on it. In my opinion had the horse gone down he would not have been able to get himself back up again. From the photographs I saw the injury also seemed to be reoccurring and ongoing so it couldn’t heal properly. There also seemed to be a large amount of what horsemen call proud flesh was surrounding the wound. Normally an injury to a leg would heal relatively fast.  But this one wasn’t healing.

Wire mixed in with nylon or plastic string is a lethal
combination to free roaming wild life on the range.
Photo by Jim Weston 
As soon as  it was discovered that  that the band stallion Davy Greasewood was in trouble, it was arranged for several vets to take a look at the issue.  According to a friend of mine, The BLM vet and crew went out on Tuesday January 10th and assessed the situation. Due to the condition of the horse, who had lost a lot of weight (according to the photos I saw) and the severity of the injury that wouldn’t heal, They decided that euthanasia was the best course. They also brought the horse’s body back to the vet office to find out why the injury wouldn’t heal. What they found was a 15 inch piece of wire wrapped around his leg. Each step he took would have been excruciating. And each step would have re-injured his leg. The metal embedded in the horses leg would have acted like shrapnel and would never have healed.

All types of wire are represented out on the range. This tangle is of barbed
wire. Random wire laying around and abandonded  might not have
been seen by a grazing horse at certain times of the year or at night
because of its dark color. Photo by Jim Weston 

  Being tangled in wire does not just hurt horses; it hurts all forms of wild life and domestic animals. Please it is time to get down and dirty and put on your work gloves and get out your wire cutters and adopt a range and go get this stuff cleaned up so we dont have any more tragedies like we did with Davy Greasewood. Protesting and letter writing has its place but the well being of our wild horses is really what its all about. If your local HMA doesn't have a private group, then form one or go down to your local BLM office and volunteer with your friends. If you are too far away there are also things that you can do to help support those that can go.

Personally, I have designed this T-shirt specifically to raise awareness about this problem. I will donate a portion of my royalty toward helping get the wire off the Sand Wash Basin HMA. Please do what you can.

My Tshirt Design to promote awareness of the abandonded wire issue on
the ranges and wildlife preserves. You can help!
Order your t-shirt here: http://www.zazzle.com/you_can_help_t_shirt_in_memory_of_davy_greasewood-235717741791877529

   Just to make you aware:

This wire isn’t the fault of the BLM so no sense blaming them. This wire was left behind by old ranches and homesteads.  Due to budget cuts there really hasn’t been any extra funds for infrastructure or trash dump removal. They didn’t put the wire there.  To be perfectly fair many times because the wire is hidden in little ravines or even buried no one even knows its there unless the wind rain or snow reveals it through erosion.

Keep in mind that in large rural areas where there was no trash pickup and no landfills each homestead or ranch had to do whatever they could to deal with their fence trash. A lot of times farmers, ranchers and homesteaders simply left the falling down fences in place and put up the new fence right along side of it. Other times they would roll it up and pile it into piles and just abandon it or  put a fence around it to keep the livestock out of it.

We have areas here in Virginia where there are dump sites on old farms and all throughout  the East Coast that look just like I have described so this didn’t just happen in the west. Before you go out and disparage anyone who lived out there before  our generation remember they did the best they could with what they had and probably didn’t know that it would cause trouble for us, generations later.

Please also don’t blame the  photographers and documenters for this either. Its also not the fault of advocates who go out and photograph. Every photographer I know of has gone out of their way to pick up trash, including wire whenever they came across it on the range. Its just a matter of conscience and a matter of compassion for the horses and wildlife that live there so they do it without thinking and just to make it a better place.

The hard truth is that the wire is there and all the people who care need to be proactive in working, even with people they don’t agree with, to move that wire out of there. Even if every activist I know went out one weekend a month, it would still take years to get the miles of wire off the ranges. For Davy Greasewood’s memory and for the sake of the mustangs still out there please do what you can. Of all the issues surrounding wild horses this is the one that is most dangerous to the horses. And because of the size of the HMAs we don’t know how many animals that we don’t find that may have suffered and died.

Rest in Peace Davy Greasewood.

YOU CAN HELP Get the Old Wire off the Range
Models provided by Zazzle.com
order here:

Note: Davy Greasewood print and products are listed on Zazzle here http://www.zazzle.com/LindaLMartinArtist*  A portion of my royalty from the sale of these products will go to help document and support the  Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and for being a part of the solution by buying the products and by volunteering to help.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #249 Happy Mustang Joker

 Lona Patton's Joker from McCullough Peak HMA, Wyoming

4 by 6 Inches Watercolor
By LindaLMartinArtist
In Lona's own words: " Joker is from McCullough Peak HMA in WY, born in 1992.  I don't know his story prior to 2007 though.  He was rescued along with another BLM mustang named Cisco (Gwen Hool has Cisco now) off from a slaughter bound semi truck when it stopped in Cheyenne WY on it's way to Cavel before the closing of all US slaughter plants.  At that time, Joker's name was Raven.  Both horses went to a rescue just up the road from where I live, along with 28 of the 32 Cavel Miracle horses, who were the first horses ever to go into a slaughter plant and come out alive...but this story is about joker, not them....in the fall of 2007, the rescue folded and had to quickly find homes for any horses that had not yet found homes, Joker & Cisco were still in need of a home. 

And my then, 12 year old daughter, Mariah, was in need of a horse of her own....it was destiny :)  We went to see Joker, and try him out, and it was love at first sight between the two, so we brought Joker home to live with our other BLM mustangs.  Together, Mariah & Joker have ridden on numerous trailrides, and a few small town parades.

Joker is 15hh and built like a tank, but he prefers laid back relaxing rides and does not enjoy running much.   Now that Mariah is older, she is ready to spread her wings with a more athletic mustang and is currently training her new mustang we adopted in 2009.

Joker has recently found a new loving home where he can spend the rest of his life with Ashlee Patricelli
He is, a true Gentle Giant."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #246 Cinch of Spring Creek Basin HMA

This painting is a special memorial to the band stallion Cinch of Spring Creek Basin HMA in Colorado. During the regularly scheduled gather in the Autumn of 2011 Cinch perished. Finding himself trapped in a small enclosure he panicked and was fatally injured when he ran into a fence pannel.

One of the things that makes rounding up wild horses so controversial is that because they are wild and have no trust of man  and  no understanding of the temporary nature of  their close confinement. It is nearly impossible to predict which horses will cause injury to themselves because of the close proximity of the traps into which they are driven or how they will react to the close proximity to humans sometimes for the first time in their lives.

Humans who are not sensitive to the behavior of horses can cause the situation to become worse if they have little or no experience. A small innocent move preceived of as a threat by a  wild horse or a loud shout or agressive move by a handler can cause catostrophic results that in a domestic horse, desensitized to humans, would never repsond to. Untrained members of contractor teams or persons who have no sensitivity to the behavior of wild horses are unaware that sometimes it is their behavior not the horses that can cause a reactaion that will injure the horse. It is unfair to say that all injuries or fatalities in a round up situation are preventable but it is also unrealistic to expect anyone dealing with wild animals to not have the animals react as wild.

It takes a very knowledgeable person or staff to look after the needs of the wild animals and understand both the nature of the wild animal and the risks involved.  Yet because wild horses are so unpredictable there are some that say  it deliberately puts horses at risk to have round ups. There are others who fear for the horses if the populations are not limited on the ranges because of the amount of land it takes to sustain one horse if there is not sufficient grass or water to keep it from starving. I realize that we can not solve all the problems with wild horse management here on my blog, but I can make people aware that  ultimately what must be done is to look after the welfare of the horses in the least stressful, least invasive way while still allowing people to see them  in the wild and in some cases, own a piece of our living history that is the Wild American Mustang.

In the case of this particular horse, Cinch, there were many people who followed him and documented his life.It is especially devastating to loose such a vibrant life that inspired so many people. One such person is photographer Crystal Walker.  She spent time on the range at Spring Creek Basin in Colorado photographing and documenting  Cinch and the entire herd there. It was during her time there that she grew to love this special wild mustang horse. Crystal provided the  reference materials for this painting of Cinch. A portion of the proceeds from this painting and other collectible items will help Crystal continue her work documenting the remaining members of Cinch's herd and other wild horses around the Colorado herd management areas.

You can see Crystal's beautiful photography on her website: http://crystalwalkerphotography.zenfolio.com/

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #245 Gypsy Boone

This is Dana Kesselring's Extreme Mustang Makeover  horse Gyspsy Boone. Dana competed with her in 2010 in Nebraska.

"First Snow"
Gypsy Boone
8 by 10 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist