Tuesday, August 18, 2015

AKF Project: Bonnie

When I was just starting out, I had a different horse most lessons. It alternated between Fancy and Penny. Penny was another excellent mare who died of cancer shortly after I started riding, about six months in I believe. After Penny passed I rode Bonnie. Penny was that horse every one learned to canter on, but I didn't get the opportunity. So I got to ride Bonnie. We had our differences at first but soon we developed a great relationship. Bonnie was a middle-aged arabian mare who was pretty nice to the kids.
 I remember when I tried to canter the first time, the ring was packed and I was so nervous. Bonnie didm't pick up her canter which scared me. Remember, I was only eight! Finally we picked up a few strides before my trainer said enough was enough.
 The next lesson I achieved a good canter on her and remember how much I enjoyed the gait. I rode Bonnie in a show that spring and we got a first place as well, but I was the only the one in my class.
 Bonnie was a one of a kind mare, she was the type that didn't argue or get mad when you made a mistake. She was very sweet and even had a few foals. I didn't learn about her foals until later but it didn't surprise me, Bonnie was very motherly. One of her foals, Gunner, still lives at AKF and is a goofy horse. He is always a pleasure to visit.
 Sadly on December 26, 2010, Bonnie passed away from colic. I was heart broken, this horse was amazing to me. I remember crying for a week because she was dead. I still miss Bonnie to this day and think of her a lot. I remember a lot of things about her, like how hard she was to bridle and that she had a little bit of sass to her.
 To bring her model to life was no easy task, she was a very dark black bay. In person you can see the model's subtle highlights and I added streaks of brown to her hair. While Bonnie didn't really have more color in her mane than black, I wanted to paint her the way I want to remember her. She took lots of layers and shading to get her perfect. I really think she is a true representation of the wonderful arabian mare I love.
After Bonnie's passing I went on to ride one of the most important horses ever, to be continued...