I grew up in a family who cowboys in the Big Bend desert area. Going back several generations horses , saddles and lariats have been the tools of the trade. My grandfather was quite the cowboy along with his brothers and most of my fathers side of the family. We love horses and the whole cowboy tradition of the working horse and his regalia. I learned to ride a horse at a very early age, with some guidance from my fathers uncles. I love horses. I think the horse, as an art subject, is pure beauty and a never ending subject to study. There is no feeling like being on the back of a horse. It's good Medicine.
One day when I was visiting my brother, he asked, "why did you lose the sudden interest in horse riding growing up? I've never understood". A subject that was within myself a personal battle but had a simple answer. Art. I had a passion for drawing. Although I loved riding, I'd rather stay home and draw. I had a love for horse riding and still do, more now than growing up but Id rather draw. My brother had the same conflict. He chose the horse and I a pencil.
But paths we both chose wasn't the right or wrong answer for either of us. We all do sacrifice but at the end we are doing what we both love and continue to do so. Years ago I helped my brother saddle a young mare for the first time. I payed attention to details, took notes and observed. I was very proud to see my younger brother work. His love for riding is more than a hobby its a passion. I could see it in his eyes. His sureness and comfort was admirable, always learning something new everyday. Art like any other thing is a never ending process, with horses it's no different.
His passion for horses led to leather smithing (I'm waiting for my saddle... ahem) and finally to his career as a farrier. All very similar to how an artist would go from drawing to painting and even to sculpture. He studied and apprenticed under a master farrier to became an excellent farrier himself. He gathered the tools of his trade for trimming hooves, hammers and a shoeing anvil, that I had no idea was different than a blacksmiths anvil. I even had no idea there was such a thing as 'corrective' shoeing. I occasionally accompany him to watch him work and be the "hand me that tool guy" or "hold this file", I have no problem, its all a small documentary for me, all entertainment, when the heat allows you to enjoy the show. Shoeing is hard work, but he loves it and I can tell by the work he does. Seeing him fire up the forge and the cliche of the nails in his mouth is a very cool to me. Sparks flying off the anvil, who doesn't like that? He prides himself on his work. His art. His eye keen to detail. How a horse walks, how he stands all details that he carefully studies individually and most importantly with care and love. This is his art , his passion.Passions we both love, art and horses. A decision led us on completely different paths, but our passions keep fueling what we love. He still draws, I still ride, we both now teach each other, not a bad deal at the end of the day.