A Different Kind Of Painted Pony

by | 09.24.2015 | 7:00am

Nick, a 22-year-old carriage horse from Mackinac Island, Mich., has taken up a new hobby in retirement: painting.

Now living at the Danada Equestrian Center, Nick can produce six or more abstract artworks in a 20-minute session. Nick learned to paint by being plied with carrots, says Margaret Gitter, who helped teach Nick to paint.

Danada has hosted painting horses for almost 10 years; Nick is the fourth horse to paint. The project was originally designed to give older, retired horses something interesting to do. Staff later learned how much visitors enjoyed watching the horses paint, and also what a lucrative fundraiser selling the horse's paintings can be.

Nick paints three to four times a week with a 1-inch-wide brush with a foam pad taped to the brush for easy gripping. One volunteer dips the brush in paint and another hands it to Nick, who then moves the brush up and down on the paper. After about two passes, he drops the brush and looks to the right for his carrot from Gitter.

Read more about this painting dynamo at the Chicago Tribune.

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