Goodbye little Hector

This pants-wearing little gentleman left us yesterday.

He had been slowly declining for the last ten days, and his owner had to make the heartbreaking decision to help him on his way.

He’s been with her for 36 years. Yes, you read that right. THIRTY. SIX. YEARS.

He’s been with us for two years and was a huge character even when not wearing his sailor suit.

I’ll miss his squeaky bray every morning.

Run free little Hector ❤ ❤ ❤

Christmas Cards are Ready!

Between visitors, horse work, Villa Amande work and life in general, it’s been hard to settle down to finish off the doggie Christmas card series, but I’m finally there.

There are three in portrait format :

Cookie, in “Hey! That’s not your ball!”

Casey, in “This guy won’t be troubling you any more.”

and Lol, in “Nom Nom! I love my new chew!”

Then there’s one landscape format :

Bertie, in “Ouch! This stuff don’t half prickle!”

Bertie is already the best-seller – his owner ordered fifty cards! Woohoo! (and thanks, M-)

If you’d like to help a struggling artist feed her horses, you can email me on for prices and mailing quotes.

Otherwise, I hope you like my pics! I’m delighted with them and I can’t wait for the actual cards to arrive from Moo 😀

Huge thanks to all my models (I wuff ❤ you all), to the LSH for photographing, white-balancing, colour-correcting and all that good stuff. To the Youngest Daughter for holding the originals to be photographed while I was lying on the flat of my back having severely wrenched it while emptying the dishwasher (oh boy, housework is seriously risky). And finally thanks to Odile for translating the captions into French. While the French don’t have the same tradition of Christmas cards that we do in the English speaking world, it would be wrong not to have them in French too.

My expo in Apt will FINALLY go ahead this month, so I’ll be offering the cards on sale there too.


An Interesting Horse

Meet Paco.

First of all, his facial marking is not unlike that of Ross, the horse I’m currently painting.

They both seem to have a ghost on their forehead. Spooky, eh?

But that’s not the interesting part.

Paco is a Franche Montagne, or Freiburger, horse.

This is a breed I’d never heard of until he arrived at the farm. It’s a utility breed from the Jura region of Switzerland. By utility, I mean a medium-weight horse which is expected to do more than simply haul stuff, a bit like the Irish Draught, in fact.

That’s not the interesting part, either.

Physically, Paco is not unlike a light Irish Draught.

Mentally, he seems to have a sensible head on his shoulders, although he came to the farm for re-training after dumping his owner and breaking a couple of his ribs. He seems to have taken well to Equitation Ethologique, though, and his owners are pleased enough with his progress that there are rumours of him staying long-term at the farm.

We’ll see what happens.

That’s still not the interesting part.

This is the interesting part :

Can you see what I’m talking about? Yes? No?

Zoomed in :

Now can you see?

He is literally zebra striped.

The strips are not textured ie, when I run my hand over his side, I feel no lines or ridges.

They’re in the colour of his coat. And, even more intriguing, they are more evident on his right hand side. I only noticed them one day because I happened to be on his off side when the light hit him a certain way.

Of course, I googled Brindle Horses. It’s a thing, but a very rare thing.

So, Paco is a very interesting horse indeed. A breed I’d never heard of and a colour I’d never heard of.