Inspiration Is Everywhere….
But apparently horses provide alot of it for “horse girls”.
The first “Spirit Horse” I made for Sharon was in 1998. She and Chris were living in Texas at the time which was the first time we’d lived more than 30 minutes apart and this was (gasp) before Facebook existed. Upon reflection, I probably wanted to send “barn spirit” to a horse girl that was away from her horses. So this one, actually entitled “Dream Catcher” carries the symbolism of both of the Arabian stallions Mike and I were fortunate enough to own and train—Ibn Mabrouk and Empyrean.
Then, as now, I gather most of the decorative elements from what I have laying around. And in the case of this one creation—as with most of “my” projects—Mike had to get involved to help pull of my vision. This first Team Trox Spirit Horse would never have existed without Mike to cut out the shape for me. First he created the template from a silhouette of a photo of Empyrean galloping in a Liberty Class at the Estes Park Arabian Horse Show. To actually make it he had to settle for a scrap of plywood left over from repairing barn walls. Which while it really fit the “spirit part” perfectly ultimately led to this being one of the most fragile of all of the ones we’ve made.
I vividly remember making this, Mike and I sitting across from each other with the entire kitchen table turned into (no surprise here) a studio space. Hot glue guns were involved as was metallic spray paint. And Mike going outside to grab more baling wire and yucca spines. Stray earrings found a home as well as a piece of Brook's old show bridle. Before I began to write this post I asked Sharon if she could remember what year we gave this first spirit horse to her and asked her to look on the back side of it to see if I signed and dated it. Alas, I had not, but by process of elimination we’ve figured out it was 1998. I remembered that I had three “message scrolls” but couldn't remember what I'd chosen to include so I had Sharon send me photos and having read the first one, I truly did laugh out loud at my 1998 self and at how some things just never change!
Hope you like the horse.
I guess he could be called a “Spirit Horse”, but I like “Dream Catcher” better!
I borrowed themes from all over for the symbolism and pretty much did whatever I wanted (note, this isn’t just still true today, but I’m more bold about it). In Celtic lore I think the spirals symbolize eternal cycles and that works for me, but in the case of my horses I think it has more to do with how many circles it takes to finish training one and that when they’re getting kind of finished they can do a lope or canter spiral.
I think that several cultures would attach an amulet or charm to a horse’s mane, so I decided to include a “Medicine Bag” to carry a couple of messages. I couldn’t decide between two of them , so included both.