What am I trying to accomplish with my art?
It has always been my goal to capture the essence of the horse with minimal lines. I use art as a zen meditation, a way to bring myself into the moment and feel the spirit of the horse. Riding Rovandio while I paint is the perfect opportunity for me to express that. I believe that dressage is an artform in itself and to ride a horse with minimal aids holds the same value to me as painting with minimal brushstrokes. They are one in the same and to bring them together in this way is very special to me.
Where is my riding studio?
I am very lucky to board at Isaac Royal Farm which is next door to where I live in Dover-Foxcroft, ME. The indoor arena is beautifully painted because we used to have equestrian theater events annually with quadrilles, music and costumes. It is the perfect setting to paint from horseback! It took me awhile to figure out where to set up my canvas, how high to hang it securely, and how I would access the paints. My techniques will continue to evolve over time and I am excited to test out some new ideas.
Does Rovandio enjoy painting?
Rovandio, aka "Rovy" is a very special, intelligent horse. His entire life has been full of love, trust and security. He hardly ever spooks at anything and he quickly understands what is expected of him. The first day I showed him the canvas and the table I had set up with all the painting tools he was a little surprised but bravely checked it all out and I was able to ride and paint right away. He has learned to stop parallel to the table so I can replenish my brush and sometimes he will even grab a paintbrush off the table in his mouth!
Why am I riding bareback?
I ride Rovy in a Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle every day in training and also when performing. He prefers to be bitless and I am happy that he is comfortable. I also think he is more comfortable without a saddle as well, it is easier for me to feel his muscles and movement using the bareback pad. It also helps me be in the moment with him as we create art together. I believe that less is more and if I can ride my horse without a bit or saddle than why not?