The Babysitter

Anyone who’s had the privilege of learning to ride on an older, well-mannered and patient mount, will definitely understand the term, “Babysitter.” My babysitter was a small Paint mare by the name of Lady. My Mom, when she graduated high school, instead of buying a car with her graduation money, purchased herself a horse; Lady. By the time I came along, Lady was in her late teens and by the time I rode her, in her early twenties. The old mare put up with a lot out of me, including but certainly not limited to, riding with my tape player tied to the saddle with my leg thrown over the saddle horn, while we traveled along the road that runs by my house. Lady is who taught me how to mount up like the Lone Ranger.  In case you’re not old enough to have seen him, the LR used to mount his trusty steed, Silver, by running up behind the horse and vaulting up over his butt to land right in the saddle.  It takes a very special horse to stand rock steady while you run all out at full speed, directly into their blind spot, only to pop them flat-handed on the booty before leaping onto their back. And she stood like that through many, many attempts… So this particular project is inspired by and dedicated to my babysitter, Lady, and all the other babysitters like her.

My victi–err… base model was a G3 Stock Horse Mare.  First thing I did was decide on her position. I wanted her to have her head turned and lowered, as if she were listening to a cue from her rider, or receiving an apple from a friendly hand. So I chopped a large wedge out of her neck, leaving only a thin strip in the front where her windpipe is.

My pre-melted windpipe picture was grossly blurred, so here she is after her appointment with the lighter.

While I like this model, I also have a few problems with her… First of all, she really has a “Spirit, Stallion if the Cimarron,” feel to her, so I set about correcting it. After removing her tail and whittling away at her bubble-butt. I also reshaped her topline a bit and added a crease between her hips, as is common for stock horses. Second thing is that ugly ole head, especially with those psycho eye-whites… I refined her muzzle a bit as well as carved/resculpted her jaws. The pooky lip is in the works; putty will be added to define it a bit more.
(I keep seeing that same streak in all of my photos *grrrrr*) I need to remember to clean my speaker off!

Here’s girlie with her head tucked and neck filled in with aluminum foil and baking soda. I still have that wonky leg to fix (will prolly do that last thing) and adding the ears (this particular girl came to me without one, so I just lopped the other off). I also filed her feet a bit as I dislike the lumpy way her legs adjoin her hooves. And as I sit here studying her photo, I’ve decided that her right hind is really bugging me, especially now since her tail’s been removed. After checking it, I found out that it’s a bit shorter than the left, so now I’m seriously debating whether I want to chop it off and shorten it or not.

And after first application of putty.Still needs to have ear room sanded into her head. (Please overlook the cat hair all over her; I can never seem to get it all up)

I’m still trying to make friends with that right hind… Even from this angle, it;s hard for me to ignore, so I’m thinking tomorrow, before she gets her ears, I’ll shorten her leg at the gaskin and while I’m at it, I plan to set that leg back a bit, too.

Leave a Reply