Friday, October 25, 2013

Heavy Drafter-O-Rama!

Fall is such a busy time for us, with country living comes extra preparations for the coming winter, and at 7200 feet in Colorado it can be quite a winter! Somehow we lucked out on firewood with both neighbors giving us some, and Todd only had to split it, so that helped a lot. 

This summer we spent less time playing and more time working, with most of the work being in the form of brush clearing and fence building. We only have 3 acres, but parts of it are pretty wild with two creek crossings with steep banks. The brush clearing project has been going on for several summers, in fact, and is ongoing. But the fence is done! Hurray! That means that for the first time in several winters the horses can just be turned out and not stuck in their corral. A major life improvement for them.

In the spring:

I am shoving more brush into the burning pile:


Todd building braces:



Wayne and Sonya helped us for a day, what great friends!



Release day! They were so happy!

Now for what you actually want to see!

In the studio a lot of progress has been made on Andre the drafter. I dare say he is one of my all time favorites, there is something so endearing about him with his expressive face, flying feathers, and plethora of wrinkles! I do not know when he will be released, I am a painfully slow sculptor and often need to set things aside to give my brain a break. But it won't be terribly long, sometime in the next few months certainly. Here are a few pics of how he looks currently:


Now being that most model horse people know a lot about breeds of horses, there are probably still a few of you thinking to yourselves that his legs are too short, or his neck is too short, or, wait, his eyes are too small, aren't they?  Andre isn't meant to depict a specific breed, but more the typical body type of several European heavy draft breeds. Here are photos of a few of these "hay fueled  tractors":

Not hairy enough in the feather department? Try this one:

Or this one:

Are they really that fleshy? This guy says yes:

Are their butts really that big? Really? Ask these well endowed individuals:


Also apparent in the photos is the relative smallness of the eyes. Horse eyes only get so big, so when an average horse is 15 hands and maybe 1200 lbs, these guys can be 16 or more hands high (heavy draft breeds aren't as tall as the leggy drafts, like Shires or modern Percherons), and 2000+ pounds, with about the same size eye as the 15 hand horse.  

I pulled these photos out of my reference folder, and don't know who all the photographers are. When using photos for sculpture reference it isn't as important than if you were doing paintings from them and need permission. I do know that many of them were from Ton van der Weerden's Flicker  A few were from equine photographer Lothar Lenz's Flicker  I am not sure about the rest, but if you want more heavy draft goodness check out this Tumbler: Hell Yeah Heavy Horses!

I love these heavy drafters and plan to do more of them, in either sculpture or painting form, in the near future.