We had a crisis at Willow Tree a couple of weeks ago. One of our younger horses, Spirit, was found down in the pasture and he couldn’t move his hind end at all. Wendy, our barn manager, got him into the indoor arena via an ingenious use of the tractor, and he stayed there in his own partitioned “hospital” section of the ring for over a week. Intensive vet care and round the clock attention from his family finally got him on his feet for the first time about four days later. That’s a long time for a horse to be down, so there was some concern about pneumonia or some other complication presenting itself. But we were lucky, and he kept on improving from that point till he was spending most of his time on his feet. He certainly lived up to his name. Just by looking at him you could tell he had the will to make it. Many tests later we still don’t know what caused him to go down, but hopefully it will turn out to be a once-only occurrence.
Spirit’s owner is a young girl named Dakota, and this Aquabord™ commission will be from a photo of the two of them last summer. Dakota’s grandmother owns Pride, whom I painted for her earlier this year. I think she was so relieved to see Spirit recovering that she wanted to have this painting in celebration of his progress. I’m not sure if she’s keeping it for herself or if she’ll be giving it to Dakota, but either way I’m going to do my very best to showcase the courage and devotion of both Spirit and Dakota.