Drawing From Horses

I’m horse drawing tonight before sunset in their huge fenced territory, the horse pasture. There’s a bit of daylight left, raked from behind the closest ridge in front of us. Six horses live here, Arabian and quarter horses. One is a black and white mule, the only male. He’s 37. I’m told in human years that’s 120. His name is Catfish.

One horse came over to look me in the eye. I mean literally, only 3 inches stood between our eyes, hers huge, dark and milky, inspecting mine, foreign, light and tiny.Like swimming with a whale.

They differ in mood, the horses. A couple horses were very slow to come over and meet me. The ones who did introduce themselves, they had their various ways of interaction. Some more cautious.

You think about how bored they must get but after all, these are not humans. Their desires are simple and definable. I bet their desires and their lust don’t get in the way. Their dreams and aspirations probably aren’t a concern that gets confused. Do horses even have egos? I don’t think they crave attention in general, though perhaps I’m wrong there. There was one brown Arabian who liked to pose for me. What does a horse want out of life besides soft vegetarian food, a light breeze and an agent?

I’m just glad to see these horses never picked up smoking. Not heavy drinkers either so this is good. Boredom never wreaked self-destruction for them. I can’t tell if they care about the sunset or not. All in all I’ve found these horses to be a very easy going bunch. Like me, dislike me, they don’t seem to care about me either way.

It’s very Zen of them to be so chill. For humans it is a challenge to just be. Having no opinion, pushing no preference, a person would feel disengaged or just plain dumb to have no problems to fix. We occupy ourselves with jobs and the pursuit of ideals. We suggest that having no opinion is lazy and fence riders be damned but we fail to see how often the opinions we choose are wrong. And the ones who think they are rarely wrong are more wrong than the rest!

Horses don’t seem to have opinions. Or at least they don’t bank on it. Horses are so open minded I wonder how true it’d be if I called them geniuses. I don’t think there’s ever been a horse war. A war between horses is an absurd thought.

Abstraction isn’t their game. Horses don’t do abstractions—they hate algebra for instance. Yes they told me. They don’t have much to say about art either. I learned this first hand in the pasture. The quality of my renderings made no impression but the smell of my paper interested more than one horse here so maybe genius is a loose term.

There has never been evidence of a horse God. Horses don’t go in for belief systems. There are no political parties in the equine world. There are no divisions amongst horses. You just won’t find schisms. Horse is the original pacifist. It’s going to be fun painting them. I start soon.

–Chad Sorg, July 2016, Iveson Ranch, N. Nevada


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