Back to work

Mom and daughter getting long and short legs in sync!

Mom and daughter getting long and short legs in sync!

Having finally shaken off the malaise of the holidays, I was able to finish this latest Aquabord™ which I had started before Christmas. It’s another scene from the many that I shot of Charm and her filly Reva. Since I last painted one in this series, I actually got to ride Charm quite a few times in my lessons. She’s quite a character, definitely a mare with a few opinions, but as long as I got it together enough to insist that it was really me who was in charge, we got along great.

She’s a lovely, correct Hanoverian mare with an amazing ground-covering stride. Watching her from the ground, you would never guess that. But once astride, her trot makes the unprepared rider really sit up and take notice (that rider would be me, of course). Once I got used to her, we were able to fly about the ring with what the dressage folks call “throughness” and “self-carriage”–meaning that the horse is carrying the rider forward with impulsion from behind and a strong, elevated back while maintaining a steady but not pulling contact on the bit. I learned a lot from her in those few lessons; mainly I learned what is missing from the other horses I ride! I also improved several techniques to encourage this type of carriage in those same horses. They’re all different, and their deficiencies have distinct causes so naturally the remedies sometimes have to be different depending on the horse. This is the “art” of becoming a rider rather than a passenger–being able to determine by the feel of the ride what it is that each individual horse needs from the rider. As my trainer loves to say, the rider must ask the horse “how can I help you today?” instead of the other way around! Then, if the rider pays sufficient attention, the horse magically becomes the teacher. Neat!

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in Aquabord, art, horses and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Back to work

  1. Deb Reda says:

    How did you like Charm? She is Windstorm’s older sister. Different stallion, two years older, stallion was a “G” line, a tough stallion, a bit, and was tall, but Charm was a first foal for Darn Lucky. Windstorm was a second foal, same sized stallion but very different lineage, equally tough or tougher. Windstorm is different from Charm in temperament. I hope to be well enough to finally come and ride now.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. It’s great to get on a horse that knows more about proper riding than you do, isn’t Alli? Sometimes you can get a better education from these critters than a human instructor.


    • Alli Farkas says:

      I ride several physically “broken” horses (my own among them) and am constantly amazed at how perhaps two of them can have the same apparent problem but different causes, thus having to be ridden differently to fix the deficiency. It’s really a surprise to climb aboard one who has all (or at least most) of the parts working properly! Then I say to myself, oh, so THAT’s how it’s supposed to be! They are all wonderful teachers!


  3. i’ve enjoyed looking at more of your work and have enjoyed my visit! i was forever drawing and riding horses when i was growing up. i admire you for sticking with the subject matter and hope that the equestrian world beats a path to your door and takes a number for your commission work! one of my loves is precolumbian art, and i’ve enjoyed a radical change in painting styles. like you, i love it, and am so blessed that it’s been received well. i’m itching, however,to paint a few traditional watercolors..
    have fun painting!


  4. artscottnet says:

    I’d think it a true privilege to spend time Charm and Reva, they’re beautiful and so is your work. I’m enjoying your posts and your inspirational art, thank you. ~Scott


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