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Rated: 13+ · Essay · Arts · #2233856
A study in expressing color through an item of Digital Art
Illustration for Horse Dreams Story

Sometimes I drift off to sleep and see things that are only in my dream.
Digital Art by Jim Brubaker

Horse Dreams

(a study in colors)

         I believe God, for some reason known only to him, gave us wretched humans two kindred species to be our friends. More than we deserve, dogs and horses help us be our better selves. They tolerate us, work with us, play with us, even love us. I have been without a dog for several years and miss her terribly. I’ve had only one brief experience with horses, but that’s all it took; I could love horses too. Maybe my dog convinced God to give me this little adventure.

         My habit is to spend my late afternoons on my porch with a bourbon, a cigar, reading material, and writing tools. The brilliant sunlight glistening from the ice cubes brings the bourbon's mahogany color to life, while the cigar's tawny brown soothes the soul. I look forward to this sensory delight almost every day.

         Today was special. Giant cumulus clouds in wedding-veil white stood proudly against the sapphire blue sky. The falling sun painted the sky with a mural of medallion yellow, carrot orange, and blush red. Colors were rising and falling by the second as I watched.

         From the horizon, as if coming from the sun itself, climbing high into the sky, trotted a parade of horses. Single file they came; each prancing and tossing its head; each with a flowing mane, flaring nostrils, and flashing eyes; each a splendid example of its breed.

         A blood bay Hackney led the parade, representing the storied history of English carriage horses.

         Then came a Schwarzwälder Fuchs with a dark silver dapple coat and a light mane and tail. This horse originated in the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

         A chestnut Frederiksborg followed with its flaxen colored mane and tail. The alabaster white markings on his face and legs shone brightly in the sunlight. The Frederiksborg is the oldest horse breed in Denmark.

         Trotting out of the sun, a Cayuse Indian Pony, roan in color, proudly carried the history of the early American frontier. Although the settlers called most horses raised by the American Indians "cayuse ponies," the Cayuse Indian Pony of the Northwest is a distinct breed.

         Large patches of onyx black and polar white marked the Piebald Pinto trotting up from the horizon. There are two recognized Pinto color patterns: 1) Tobiano – appears to be white with large spots of color, and 2) Overo appears to be a colored horse with jagged white markings.

         Following the Pinto came the American Paint. Color patterns differentiate the American Paint Horse. Each horse has a unique combination of white and any one of the colors of the equine rainbow: black, bay, brown, chestnut, dun, grulla, sorrel, palomino, gray, or roan.

         Next in the parade was a grulla colored Tarpan. His body a smoky gray, with the face and legs being darker than the body. The mane and tail flaxen, but dark in the center where the dorsal stripe passes through. Descended from the wild Tarpan at a forest in Bialowieza, today, this breed is sometimes referred to as the Polish Primitive Horse.

         Spots and splashes of color made the Appaloosa easily recognizable. Humans have recognized and appreciated the Appaloosa throughout history. As far back as 20,000 years ago, Ancient cave drawings depicted spotted horses, as do detailed images in Asian and 17th-century Chinese art. The Spanish introduced these horses to North America as they explored the American continents.

         A magnificent chestnut roan Clydesdale with four milk-white socks to the knees and hocks, sporting a well-defined blaze on his face, brought up the end of my parade. The Clydesdale is a breed of heavy draft horse developed in and deriving its name from Scotland's district where it was founded. Its type was evolved by the farmers of Lanarkshire, through which the River Clyde flows. The old name for Lanarkshire is Clydesdale. Alas, he was not pulling a Budweiser wagon.

         The western horizon had lost its sun and was now a plum purple shot through with pink. The parade was over; the sun had set; my glass was empty, and my cigar was well past the last third. As I rose to go into my house, I glanced to the north. There, in the darkening sky, Pegasus winked at me.


Word count: 705
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