Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #279 Alder Hill Farm Rescue's Frost

"Frost as a foal"
5 by 7 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
For the next few days I will be painting for Alder Hill Farm. As you may already know the Rescue in Missouri has well over 100 horses to care for in various stages of training and adoption. Included are a number of Mustangs.  Alder Hill Farm was formed as a non-profit in 2004 when Leslie and Craig Maxwell decided that their life's work would be to rescue horses. They stepped into it as a full time mission when they found themselves saving 64 appaloosa and paint foals that were bi products of premarin production. Among those foals were 5 half mustangs who's dam's were used in production.  Tonight's painting reference was taken from the archive of those premarin foals. This is Frost as a baby.  Frost is available for adoption at AFH pending application approval.You can read the rest of the Alder Hill Farm story and learn more about what they do by going to

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this painting and subsequent prints will go to Alder Hill Farm

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #278 Kathy Mahan's Winsome Rose

"Winsome Rose"
4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartin Artist
In Kathy's own words:
"Rose is an '01 Curly mare from the zeroed out Silver Peak HMA.  The Demele's bred Curlies they captured in the mustang herds to their ranch stock, because in very harsh winters the Curly horses are the only horses that survived. Silver Peak is a tough HMA with very cold temps. It was zeroed out once in 97, a few years later a few horses were seen there, and by 06 the herd that had developed was predominately Curly. Despite their rarity & ability to survive even in harsh winters, BLM chose to gather every horse and remove them.  Rose was estimated to be 5 when she was gathered in 06. 
Rose was pretty beat up in the BLM corrals, and one of the things that drew me to her was the sadness I saw in her eyes. Forlorn was the word that came to mind when tried to describe her to my friend over the phone.  Winsome was the next word, because she was so beautiful, even when lost in sadness at the loss of her freedom."

Kathy's reference of Winsome Rose was of the first time she touched her.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #277 Kathy Mahan's Simple Tryst of Fate

"Tryst of Fate"
5 by 7 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
In Kathy Mahan's own words:

"It's hard to choose one picture of her. She's getting so big, but her baby pics are some of my favorites.
 Then when she was 2 months she went through a bunch of color changes, during one of them she went chocolate brown .   She was born with her mothers firm sense of self worth, and strong will. She refused to be touched for over 2 months after she arrived, even though her mom was very gentle and friendly, who had delivered her at 8:30 am on a Saturday morning in full view of my neighbors, and any car driving down my street. She not only stopped traffic when she was born, people would come by to see her again, and tell me about being there to see her born. One man that came by 2 weeks after, told me he saw her foaling and rushed home to get his daughter.

She is a confident, playful, young mare (just turned 3 1/2) who LOVES attention, and will tickle you with her nose if you are neglecting her itchy places, or not kissing her nose. Many people stop to say she is beautiful, and everyone who has played with her asks if I would consider selling her. I didn't want her mom to be pregnant, really didn't. I was saying NO! when the vet was saying Yes! as he read the report. (he actually did a fist pump! then pointed his finger at me and said that is a nice mare, be happy)  I tried to give her away 100 times? before she arrived, but once she was here... I'd never owned a paint, didn't care for blue eyed ones.. So I dubbed her my Simple Tryst of Fate."

Artist's note: Of the estimated 5,000 plus mares of breeding age taken off the range each year, it is not unusual for the mares to be in foal and nursing  when gathered. Any mare over 18 months of age can produce a foal with in 10 months of the round up. When you adopt during that period of time it is quite possible to receive a mare that will deliver a foal after adoption. It is very important for adopters to understand that while most of these horses are wild and never handled except the most necessary of vet care, when they are adopted, it is still the responsibility of the adopter to provide care for the mare and pending foal. Most of the trainers and adopters I know of, begin working with their adopted horses the very day they arrive at their new home. It is important to go through the gentling process as soon as possible in case during the delivery something goes wrong and the mare or new foal must have help. While it is rare that something does go wrong, if it does, for the safty of the horses, yourself, and the veterinarian, it is imperative that the mare be safe to handle if at all possible.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #276 Beth Mahan's Chester

Chester's story as told by Kathy Mahan :
This one is another tough one, because we LOVE our Chester. My redhead picked him out, cried to have him in fact. (he was an attempt to rescue a 3 striker in 2/05 after Congress had passed the 3 strikes rider, but BLM hadn't figured out how to implement it yet.

4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
She gave him to her daddy, who had so much faith in this horse.  He was starting him under saddle, said he was going to ride him Search & Rescue with the Sheriffs Posse, then be Beth's horse again.  He got 3 rides in, then suffered a mild stroke. While in the hospital he suffered a catastrophic stroke and died. One of our last good days together (Beth and I played hookie) he rode Chester for the first time.  For awhile we just let Chester be, and loved him. It's still hard for both of us to have him gone when he is in training. It's been almost 5 years since John died but Chester is a huge reminder of Beth's last good memories  with her dad.

Chester is from Nevada Wild Horse Range. Kathy and Beth adopted him 7 years ago, this month.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #274 Kiger Stallion Chevez

"Kiger Chevez"
6 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
By Guest Blogger Andi Harmon
Chavez is a 1991 Kiger stallion. He was gathered in 1996 and adopted. His adopter used an “old” method of gentling; he snubbed him to a post for a week, untying and leading him to water and food several times a day. It didn’t work. Chavez was then turned loose in the pen. To get trimmed and vaccinated, he was roped and laid down, and drugged. 6 years later, in 2002, my late husband and I were asked to try to work with him, as his owner was frustrated at not being able to handle him.
We had Chavez for about 3 months. He allowed my husband to lead him some, pet him some and ate out of my husband’s hands. But he was terrified of his owner. So we spent some time searching for a suitable home for him. We found some people who lived in southern Oregon on a large ranch with some Mustang mares. They bought him and turned him out on a few thousand acres.
Photo of Chevez provided by Andi Harmon
and used by permission
Fast forward 10 years. Info on Chavez over the years has been sketchy. Then I get an email from Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs. She had been contacted by someone who pulled a BLM branded Mustang off a southbound truck. She said he was a Kiger stallion and looked like he just came off the range. I asked for photos.
OMG! It was Chavez! I was sure of it but looked thru my photos from 10 years ago to be certain. He’s older, thinner and rougher looking but I was 99.99% certain it was Chavez. He couldn’t be handled so we couldn’t get a good look at the brand but the markings matched up.
I started emailing and calling people. I knew Chavez had little options; if he were to go to a sanctuary, he would have to be gelded. At 21 years old, and with a long history of being drugged and it not working well on him, I knew it would likely kill him. So either I find a suitable place for him to live out his days as a stallion or he’s put down. It would be the only humane thing and I would not allow this fine horse to be passed around and mishandled ever again. A bullet would be more humane, but obviously the last option. There wasn’t a lot of time to get this done.
Photo of Chevez provided by Andi Harmon
and used by permission
Thanks to the wonderful ladies at our BLM office, a home was found! Kim Kellogg, who is a superb handler and a Kiger person, agreed to take him. She has a way with the older ones and a genuine knack for stallions. PERFECT!

Kim picked up Chavez at the rescue that pulled him from the Mexico-bound truck, about a 10-11+ hour drive one way for her. She stayed overnight in Powell Butte and I and a friend drove over to see him. I *had* to see him.
Chavez is about 100 lbs underweight, in need of some muscle tone, deworming and such but mentally, he is still soft and kind. I took a couple hundred photos of him and watched him and Kim “dance”; she will have him gentle, foot broke and probably saddle broke in no time! I am beyond thrilled at this outcome for Chavez and eternally grateful for all the wonderful folks that made this happen. I will look forward to this final, exciting chapter in Chavez’s life, as he settles into the home he’ll spend the rest of his years at. Thank you Kim, Darla, Ramona, Patti and everyone else!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #273 Warm Springs Mule

Wild Mule from the Warm Springs HMA in Oregon. 

Warm Springs Mule
5 by 5 inches Watercolor
In a recent conversation with some friends in Facebook we were talking about wild Burros and Mules and different aspects of their territory, capture and training. Traditionally they have mostly been found in areas that were historically surrounding some of the mining areas. They were thought to have been released when old mines played out or their independent loner miner's passed away leaving them to fend for themselves.

One person related stories of how because of their strict territorial nature the miners also used donkeys as "guard dogs" as well as companions and beasts of burden.  Most of the wild burros are found in California and Nevada. On occasion because of the wild mustangs running in the same locations a wild mule is discovered. Unfortunately wild mules present a problem. "According to one person the are so smart that to bring adult mules into captivity creates a situation where the mule is both unhappy and hard to train." Those that are not suitable for training tend to lead miserable lives in captivity. This maybe because of their independent nature and their strong sense of self-sufficiency. Wild mules tend to be more bonded and loyal to one person and do not take change or multiple owners with a great deal of adaptation.

Yet it is this special brand of  loyalty that can make a wild mule a life long friend of the person who partners with it. The important thing is to capture the wild mule young enough to be able to build that bond. They are rarely seen so it is not always possible in the scheme of things to get the timing right. The general consensus among horsemen is that possibly because mules are hybrids, meaning from a jack donkey and a mare horse, that as they can not reproduce, perhaps it is the kindest thing to leave them in the wild.  It would be left to a special sort of trainer to have the time and patience to train one of these unique creatures; that could be a life long journey.

A special thanks to Andi Harmon for  the use of the  wild mule photography from her archives. A portion of the sale of this painting  will go to Mustang U in Washington State.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #270 Tiffany's Sulsa and Her Mom

"Salsa and Mom"
5 by7 inches watercolor
by LindaLMartin Artist
Salsa is a 29 year old Mustang from Warm Springs. Tiffany purchased her with daughter Fantasy Salsa is the bay and her daughter is the gray. According to Tiffany Salsa was bred to a Kiger Stallion just prior to purchase. Salsa now lives the life of relaxation, never trained to ride, yet according to Tiffany, Salsa has impeccable ground manners. Tiffany has owned Salsa for 10 years. Fantasy is Tiffany's riding horse and they have a wonderful working bond.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #269 Middleburg Humane Foundation's Mustang Sally

5 by 7 Inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Sally. Photo Courtesy of the
Middleburg Humane Foundation
Sally came to the Middleburg Humane Foundation in 2009. She was a surrender. Since being there, she has given the Equine Rescue  Program Manager, Anja Schattschneider a great opportunity to learn about wild horses in America.  The first thing they did was look up Sally's brand and discovered that she was from New Mexico. They were able to call the field office there to confirm that she was titled.  They also found that Sally was born in the facility there.

Sally is started in the parelli training method, however, needs to have some experience.  She is still a bit shy. She is 7 years old. As of my last contact with Anja, there was a pending adopter intersted in her. It is my hope that she has found a useful and loved life with her new  home.  

The Middleburg Humane Foundation is located in Marshall, Virginia. They are a  5o1-c3 non-profit.  They adopt to qualified adopters with in a 50 mile radius of their location. Companion animals and horses are their focus but any animal is welcome.You can read more at

Photo Courtesy of the
Middleburg Humane Foundation

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #268 Alder Hill Farm Rescue's baby Branson

"Rest Time"
Branson's Little Davy G
A.K.A Branson
5 by7 inches Watercolor
By LindaLMartinArtist
Signed Prints are Available
Earlier this week I hosted a small format art auction on my Facebook Art Page to help raise money for the needs of Alder Hill Farm Rescue in Missouri. As of 5pm all of the items sold however we did fall a bit short of our goal. Then someone requested that I do a second painting of little Branson  and she would buy it as she had missed the auction entirely.

If you would like a 8.5 by 11 inch print of this little darling mustang foal  please email me at  If you would like to know more about Alder Hill Farm or see some of the ready to adopt horses you can link in to them  here:

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #267 Brooke Rhodes' Mustang, Reyes

4 by 6 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
February 9th’s Challenge painting is a beautiful young Stink Water HMA, Oregon Mustang. His name is Reyes and he is  just coming 2 years old.  17 year old Brooke Rhodes was assigned this  little guy for the 2011  Washington Youth Program. He and Brooke came in first in the competition. She completely trained Reyes on her own to the level of his age. Included were walk, trot and lope in hand, feet care, trailer loading, grooming , obstacle courses and of course  standing for judging. The idea was to build a partnership on the ground that could later turn into  a working relationship under saddle.

Brooke says Reyes is very funny and playful. She has a big pink ball that he loves to kick around. At first Brooke wasn’t going to keep Reyes because she already has two other horses. But as often happens , the young trainer fell in love with the horse and decided to keep him.
Brooke is on her High School equestrian team and competes with Reyes on in hand trail competition and in hand obstacle relay.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #265 Ursaula Davis' Luna Jul

"Luna Jul"
4 by 6 inches  Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist

Luna is from from Coyote Lakes, Oregon. She is  6.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #264 Larissa Jacquez's Tuton

4 by 6 inches watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
This is really cool. Just before Christmas photographer Natalie Slawson emailed me after I gave a call for mustangs to paint in Facebook's Happy Mustangs page. Natalie wanted to surprise her friend Larissa Jacquez by having her horses included in the Mustang A Day Challenge. They wear the brand and they are beautiful. So when Larissa sees these and messages me  with more information I will update their posts with where they are from and their stories.  Tonights is the first of 4 paintings from these mustangs. I will be doing three watercolors and then one painting of all four of her horses later in the spring from photos provided by Natalie. Thanks Natalie for your contribution to the Mustang A Day Challenge.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mustang A Day Challenge Painting #263 Life Unexpected from Honey the Branson Mustang

Life Unexpected: The Birth of  Branson Mustang Honey’s foal.

Branson's Little Davy G
a.k.a. BRANSON
5 by 7 inches Watercolor
by Artist Linda L Martin
It has been a real emotional roller coaster these past few weeks.  With the death by euthanasia of a welled loved Band Stallion, Davy Greasewood out on the Sand Wash Basin and the growing animosity between people on either sides of the “horse slaughter issue” and combined with civil unrest and economic insecurity throughout the country,  everyone has pretty much gone a little nuts with worry and uncertainty.  Not to mention the emergency closings of a number of well established equine rescues that are in crisis because of underfunding, then add to it last week s theft of 12 large round bales of hay from Alder Farm II, the sanctuary location of Alder Hill’s rescue.

Then much to my surprise yesterday evening I get a call from the farm manager  at Alder Hill Farm Rescue. “ Linda, we all agreed; we want you to name the new foal.”  Honestly, I was so moved. I’ve been meager, yet consistent in my efforts to help them raise money for over two years. It was all I could do to keep from crying at the honor of it. He related the events leading up to Honey’s foaling .

A Little Background:

Honey is the little mustang mare that I wrote about last spring. She and her two mustang brothers had been semi-abandoned by their owners when they could no longer manage to care for them. Every day the lead stallion would take the three of them out to pasture in an abandoned 200plus acre development site. There was lush grass, lots of cover and water, so the horses were blissful in their existence until they were discovered.

The area was canvassed and no owner could be found. Since the weather was so bad last year, a local woman put hay out for them. But there was a great danger in that the end of the property nearest the major highway leading to Branson was not fenced.  The decision was made that since the horses could not be caught that they must be euthanized to prevent them from endangering the public. Several local landowners offered to shoot them. At that point, in a last ditch effort to save the horses someone called in Alder Hill Farm. You can read about the dramatic rescue earlier in the blog starting with painting # 91    The story is in three parts.
The Birth:
 Ok so here is the rest of the story. Alder Hill Farm not only found the owner of the mustangs, they also made a purchase exception to prevent a long drawn out court battle and brought the horses to Alder Hill. The first thing that they did was geld the two stallions and send Honey for a pregnancy test. She  was indeed in foal. Since it was by one of her full brothers, the decision was made to terminate the pregnancy. The action was taken and Honey was brought home and her training began. She was just started under saddle when  they began to suspect that the little mare was still in foal. Another trip to the vet and the Little Branson Filly was indeed in foal and expected to have her little one sometime in the late fall or early winter.  So a month  after I thought he would be here the little fellow arrived  January 31st 2012 at approximately 4:30 am At Alder Hill Farm in Missouri. He is a perfectly formed foal, healthy in every way.

The Rest of the Story and the Name:

Now there is a little more to the story that most people don’t know. I’m not going to mention names to protect their privacy; however, the woman who discovered the 3 Branson Mustangs and fed them hay through the winter, also has ties to the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses, as her daughter used to live in Colorado near them and they would all go horse watching together when the woman visited.

So when Honey’s little bay foal  was born I wasn’t sure if he had a star like Davy Greasewood; but if he did, it would be cool too … then I remembered the way most people name their mustangs in EMM (Extreme Mustang Makorver)competition is to name them from the place they are from. And since the three  second generation BLM mustangs were named from Branson, I was thinking that  Branson would be the perfect name for him.  But as I was looking at his little picture barely an hour old.. I knew what his name should be.. Branson’s Little Davy G.  Branson for short. Branson is a mighty big name to grow into, however, Branson’s Little Davy G is an even bigger legacy.

Davy G, also known as Greasewood or Davy Greasewood, is the stallion we loved and lost from the Sand Wash Basin HMA due to an injury suffered from being tangled in wire. You can read about that here:

The New Little Life

Now, let me share with you what I was of Branson’s personality. He is bold, independent, inquisitive, demanding and loves to eat and does so vigorously.  When they haltered his mom to lead them into the barn he took off running in the opposite direction as fast as he could until she called him back. Fearless! After he had run around a bit and was ready for a nap, he laid down and rested his head on the manager's lap. He has all the survival skills of a mustang and all the gentle behavior of a bonded mustang.  And I suspect with the staff of Alder Hill Farm overseeing his education, this little colt is going to make someone a seriously nice and useful horse when he grows up.

So world and all those watching on, I give you: 

Branson’s Little Davy G
May he live a life filled with joy and happy times in the care of a forever home that appreciates his history and the legacy of his name. Live well little Branson!

Please make donations directly to Alder Hill Farm  here:
Send donations to the mailing address,
Alder Hill Farm, PO BOX 609, Stockton, MO 65785
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