Friday, December 26, 2014

A New Painting Horse

As some of you may recall, I had the idea earlier this year to try to teach Otoelene to paint. 
 Although she is a calm and easy going horse, she never really took to the project.  I couldn't really get past the part of getting her to hold the paint brush in her mouth long enough to do anything with it.  Then it struck me that Wrangler may be the better painting prospect.
 He has been for sale for several months now with no real interest yet.  His one bad habit is chewing on the lead rope.  He is very mouthy, always trying to bite something or pick it up in his mouth.  What better habit to start with than that.   I was just getting ready to turn him out after riding him the day it dawned on me to try him at this project.  I gave him the paint brush and he wouldn't give it back.  The next lesson I tacked a piece of paper to a bulletin board, loaded the paint brush up with blue paint and showed him the paper.
 He took several swipes at the paper until the paint brush broke.  I had a seconded one in the tack room and ran to get it.  Wrangler had pulled the paper off the board and had it in his mouth by the time I got back, thus the hole.  I made the circle to the left to get him started but all the rest is Wrangler.
 I got a fresh sheet of paper and this is what he did before he got bored.  He had a couple of days off at Christmas and today I gave it another try.  I think he likes the brush with just some padding instead of the one I taped to a stick.  I'm still trying to work out the kinks.  I've also added tape around the edges of the paper instead of tacks.  I had to get a magnet to find them in the sand after Wrangler pulled the paper off the first time.
Here's a clip of the start of his second lesson.  So far I have just been giving him praise and no treats.  Most of the videos that I have watched of other painting horses have the owners giving treats.  I might have to resort to that but so far I think he is doing good just to be interested in the paper.
Here is his third painting.  He managed to get a bite out of it while I was standing there.  (That could be his signature)  With progress like this I might need to buy some good paints and canvas next.

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