A disabled horse is making the most of retired life and has taken up painting in order to raise money for veterans.
When Nancy Powers learned that her horse, Tuck, suffered from degenerating ligaments in his hind legs, she knew that his riding career would be over. Tuck, a show Quarter Horse, was officially retired. But Powers knew that she would need to come up with another way to interact with and entertain her now disabled horse.
Powers noticed that Tuck liked to pick up objects in his mouth, so she decided to see if he would like painting. The process took time; Powers began by rewarding Huck for holding a brush between his teeth. With practice, Tuck was able to hold a brush for longer periods of time, and then progressed to targeting an area on a sketch pad.
With some practice, Tuck learned to paint.
Here's a look at Tuck's first painting attempt.
Tuck learned to paint so well, in fact, that today he is known as the Painting Horse of the West. Tuck's paintings use three or four colors, and he paints using bold brush strokes. Powers creates a background color on the canvas, and then Tuck adds his own personal style.
To date, Tuck has completed about 100 paintings. Buyers have paid between $50 and $150 for the paintings, but Powers isn't making money off of her horse's talents. Instead, Powers donates 50% of the proceeds from each painting to Ride for Joy, an Idaho-based therapeutic equine center for veterans.
The other half of the proceeds go toward buying more painting supplies so that Huck can complete his paintings.
To date, Tuck's paintings have generated about $3,500 for Ride for Joy. The program has been able to help 15 veterans.
What isn't there to love about this arrangement? Tuck gets some entertainment and mental stimulation, art and horse lovers get beautiful artwork for their homes, and veterans get to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of being with horses. It seems absolutely perfect.
Be sure to visit Tuck's Facebook page for more information.
All images: Tuck the Painting Horse of the West via Facebook
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