NOTE: It is with sadness, fulfillment, and gratitude that on June 24, 2019 we had to let Lady go to continue her journey unbound by earthly ties. She lived to be 31 years old and up to her last breath she was calling the shots. She met her fate that day with grace, courage, and dignity. This was the final lesson she gave me and I will remember it forever. Thank you Lady for your wisdom and trust. – Kit
Life is full of changes. That is what makes it hard and what makes it interesting. In October, 2005 my husband announced, “I am going to get a horse”. Little did I know at that time, what had been a great life was just about to get more complicated, more emotional, messier, more painful, and infinitely richer than it had been in some time. I realized that in life dreams do come true.
As a child I rode on a small brown horse named Friday at Mr. Alexander’s riding stables in Kingsville, Texas. I truly believed I could look deeply into Friday’s eyes and we could share thoughts and feelings. As a young girl every Saturday I watched Roy Rogers, My Friend Flika, and Fury on television. While I liked the stories, I was much more interested in watching Roy ride Trigger at break-neck speed with a relaxed hand. I wanted to have a horse who thought of me as its best friend.
I have had the great fortune to fall in love several times over the course of my life – spouse, children, grandchildren and some really great dogs have each carved a special place in my heart. On January 5, 2006 I fell in love again. This time it was with a gray mare Quarter Horse named Lady Azure Quick. At last at the age of 50-something my childhood dream had come true. I had a horse to call my own. What I didn’t realize was the complicated journey I would be required to take to become this horse’s best friend.
As in any journey one must understand that to experience the journey completely there must be a shared communication. Now that I had my horse I needed to learn how to communicate with her. To hope to have a relationship with these noble animals without knowing how they communicate with one another is to hope for the impossible. In learning to communicate with her I came to realize I was learning more about myself than about Lady.
It is this process of learning how to be with horses that I use to inspire my equine art. When I do my art, I want to tap into that shared communication I mentioned. I believe what makes my painting and drawing of horses unique is that I am trying to connect with the common ground between human and horse. I am increasingly interested in the way horses relate to each other or have experiences that make me recognize I have had the same experiences or the same feelings. That is one part of this horse-human relationship thing that intrigues me. For example, last summer I watched Lady and her pasture mate Buddy groom each other for about forty-five minutes. It was such a privilege to see the affection these two horses had for each other as they continually went from side to side, and neck to back. I was watching something so personal. Sadly Buddy died a short time later. This is something we humans have gone through, too. This experience inspired me to create a work of art called Saying Good-bye. You will see this art on my website.
I am a retired professor of art having taught at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Texas for 25 years.