Sunday, September 26, 2010
Reference photo bonanza!
Here goes - 468 pictures, yikes! No editing! http://www.artbymorgen.com/galleries/Benson_Mule_Days_2010/album/ I decided to post nearly all of my photos taken at Benson Mule Days parade and rodeo for a number of reasons. One being that I know a lot of horse art collectors tend to be (like me) limited to certain breeds/styles of riding… and forget that there are a whole segment of people out there we will never see in magazines, books or much else. People who use their horses for work such as hunting or tree moving. The vast majority of horse owning Americans who you hear of on statistics, see on demographics (if you look at these sorts of things), but tend to assume are uncommon. It was rather fun to see they are more common in a much greater variety – and nothing can bring them out than an event I guess that’s horse friendly and free to be in! :) Part of the photo essay's purpose is to share how totally overwhelming the VOLUME of horses there was too!
Now I thought also long and hard about cleaning up this album to be more "politically correct" – and decided for all kinds of reasons to leave it as exactly how I saw it.. some people are not following textbook horsemanship shall we say? The rules of the parade required riders to be clothed - it was casual and literally a free for all 'anything goes' as I understand it. You just DON'T get to see this in this volume so I thought it only fair to show it all. I didn’t catch much misbehavior on film because I wasn’t trying to much – I also don’t like to see it per say (upset horses). That said, I think of this merely as a photo essay. Frankly most photos contain interesting tidbits that are helpful to me … please keep in mind that the most helpful of pictures to me are not always the most aesthetically attractive ones. In fact even in choosing live horses to help you sculpt, it’s nice to have a more gaunt one about – think of how some Akel Teke horses could be used for moving, living breathing anatomy lessons! In the past I’ve found leaner horses can help me discern where the top of the scapula is at various points of forelimb movement – with the help of a saintly older horse who lets me walk alongside his shoulder poking and prodding and holding a getting a “feel” for that odd swivel thing it does! (It moves very much like an oar stroke does - try it, go get a less beefy horse and walk along side feeling how it moves on all 3 planes!). Anyhow all hail the saintly older horses. That said, I can’t look at horses beyond a certain point of skinny – all these posts people make of starved terribly emaciated horses – good god please do NOT send me those.. they give me nightmares. I’ve adopted horses and I’ve placed horses. I’ve donated when I can to horse rescues all kinds of things – I do what I can when I can… But wow yeah, I wouldn’t be able to work if I started getting wrapped up in tragedy like this all the time so those are not helpful artistically in any way to me.
Anyhow, and so you’ll see a lot of wahoos and crazy things here – a few show how very close I came to getting trampled even though I was behind a pole or next to a car I hoped would be more imposing than I. ;)
The MULES and donkey varieties were an absolute delight to me. And of course that was my reason for attending in the first place. I’ve made albums like this one (GLEEP ALBUM) of how donkeys have different anatomy from horses to the extent of missing chestnuts sometimes.. and funny little sheath vestigial teats. For a sculptor who has to sculpt every area – and a donkey owner sure might know if that’s wrong (horse shaped chestnuts again for example)… these albums are for my own as well as anyone else’s benefit. What really struck me is just how MULES though can vary so very very much… their hooves might be horse like on one, clubby on the next – there’s a driving team where you can really see that for example. There’s one seriously handsome (to me) wedge headed gaited mule that was a TWH x Mammoth Jack offspring, he’s standing with the fellow in pictures # S6300214. Check out his feet! (:-o He was just the coolest thing – I’m so sad that they only paused for a short period of time by us, I had so many more questions for his owner! :D (I would love to have a gaited mule).
Carts and carriages and some interesting tack shots for friends who make tack… then some rodeo excitement. I never realized how BIG and BEEFY those “pickup” horses can be (pick up ones being used to catch mustangs especially – they need to withstand serious bumping and then take on a 2nd rider)… there’s a pinto one in those that’s definitely a draft cross. & this is totally something Hazel should be doing in performance classes – >she’s galloping – >some poor bronc rider could be leaping on her!! :) But no seriously, there was all kinds of new tack I’ve never seen before too. And NO it ‘s not because I ride dressage primarily (I had a couple western saddles these past few years – not just a cheapy synthetic – a nice roughout Cook – sure I can’t afford the show tack)… but ANYHOW, I digress… The horse’s build in image S6300628 for instance was my primary focus, but in that pic you can sorta see this crazy split ear romel type style I’ve never seen before – the split comes down to just next to the eye. It’s a neat new tack look is all – I’m not sure if it’s adjusted right, but my tack making friends may be interested in these sorts of things so I post it all. Their eyes for such details are a LOT keener of course. :)
So I think that’s enough babble about it all. I really could go on and on about the many things that fascinated me… remember that where I come from everything is chestnut, bay, dark bay and maybe grey. The random appy and pinto thrown in now and then. I could practically tell you how many gaited horses live in my old county! :D Around here there’s nothing but gaited horses of rainbow colors and dernit! It’s exciting to me! :D So yeah, I photographed EVERYTHING – and especially anything walking gaited…because you so rarely see this online except in competition dressed up (flat or not)… all these horses that get used for hunting? No one is out there photographing them! :)
Anyhow, and well, I say so at the top but feel free to ask me for any photo larger. Hope ya like most of it! All 40 megabytes of it – eek eh! :D