Friday, March 28, 2008

More Carousel horse art.

Here's a round eyed carousel horse for you! He's pretty much finished but I might do a couple more touch ups on him.

Carousel horses make me happy. I've always wanted one in my living room. I figured in my previous house, I'd have one in the living room, and put it on a gold pipe that lead to gears down in the basement. Then I'd ride the horse and my kids could sit on a seat downstairs and pedal so I could go up and down...just like on the carousel. I know my kids would have loved it. ha.

Now I don't have a basement so I guess I won't try this idea any time soon.

We spent a portion of this day removing the plumbing from my studio. We won't have running water to that house, because of Flood Control regulations. There isn't much room under it even though we still have the axles on the trailer house. And the wind was blowing.

There's something about me, you might as well know, I don't stop, until I hear the word "Whoa!" One of the ties we had under the house had slid and I needed to throw some gravel out of the way to get it back where it belonged. Poor Robert. He was down wind of me, laying on his back, under the house! He hollered, "Hey!" then I heard some choking and spitting and then he hollered, "Donna!" and tried to say a few more things, then finally he remembered who he was talking to and he yelled, "Whoa!"

I was so busy digging, I didn't realize all the dust from my efforts were choking him! His face was black from dirt and his teeth looked really white.

This story about whoa, also reminded me of a horse I once rode behind Split Mountain. His name was Murphy and I've done many paintings of him.

My uncle was dying of cancer and I went to see him. Many years before, he'd promised to take me riding behind Split Mountain. So when I got to his house, he told the hired man to saddle up the horses, and take me up behind Split. My aunt, my cousins, my daughter, the hired man, and I went on this venture.

My uncle's horse was named Barney. He wasn't a nice horse-my uncle always liked riding a bronc. Since my uncle was to ill to ride, he told us to put the fencing tools on Barney and use him for a pack horse. Barney hated being lead along, and he "REALLY" hated those pliers, nails, and hammers that jiggled and made noise on his back.

For some reason, Barney behaved himself all the way up the mountain, all along the trail to the glacier lake at the foot of the Rocky Mountain Front and half way down to the ranch. We'd relaxed and got sloppy. All of us were riding down the trail with Barney in the rear. How stupid.

When he exploded, he bucked his way through the middle of all of us. We were in the center of a quaking aspen thicket. When Barney blew by Murphy and I, Murphy came apart. I could feel tree limbs knocking against my head, and saw a blur of horses, and people spreading out through the trees.

I thought Murphy, being as chubby as he was, wouldn't have so much energy! But he had no intention of stopping...I told him, "Whoa....WHOA ... WHOA and WHOA!" Finally, I remembered who's horse he was, he belonged to my Uncle Bill, a rough neck old cowboy who loved riding broncs...I figured I'd better talk to Murphy in language he understood and I hollered "Whoa you SOB!" Murphy planted his feet like a gentleman. And it was just in time, I must say, for I was beginning to come undone.

I rode another horse one day who didn't Whoa when she should have. I was on a trail ride with maybe 150 people. I was riding a paint mare named Peep. She was a great horse, but herd bound to her mate. At one point in the ride, we came upon a grove of pine trees and all the men began to head for those trees. Most of the women kind of tied up their horses and politely turned their backs. I was about to do the same, when my friend Jim, owner of Peep, headed his horse in the direction of the other men. Peep decided she wanted to go with her pasture mate. I fought her off for a while, and learned she didn't know the meaning of Whoa, then she took off bucking down through the draw and up the other side. As she came down through the draw, I decided I didn't want to burst into that grove of trees without warning those men, so I yelled, "Wait for me, Jim, I'm coming too!"

You can imagine they never forgot me. It was one of my most embarrassing moments!

Donna Ridgway
More carousel horse art here