This is Smarty. He's been painted by children. Real paint. Real children. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I thought Regina's post about painting a white jeep with her toddler was a bit outlandish. But I think horse painting beats even that as a one-of-a-kind children's art activity.
And even more unusual? Smarty seemed to like being painted.
Here he is, at the beginning of the painting session. As a white horse, he's the perfect blank canvas. The kids used Crayola washable fingerpaints and foam brushes (with a few handprints here and there).
This art activity was part of a birthday party for Maia's friend Delia (painting the horse's face, above) this past weekend. It was a horse party and I knew the kids would be riding horses, but didn't know they'd be painting them!
Vicki, the owner of Smarty (and Crosswind Farms), who has been riding since she was three, says that Smarty likes being painted. And he certainly didn't seem to mind it. Maybe it feels good to him—like getting your hair done or when I lie on the sofa and half nap while the kids get out their doctor kit and check my blood pressure and put bandaids on pretend booboos.
Maia and the other kids loved painting him!
Here's a very colorful Smarty being led away after the painting session for some rest time and eventual washing (which he's not quite as crazy about, apparently).
Have you ever heard of such a thing? I hadn't but when I mentioned the horse painting on twitter a couple days ago, Quinn said she painted her horse as a zebra once for a horse costume show. Don't go painting a horse, though, just because you saw the idea here. Most horses probably wouldn't like it as much and you might get bitten or kicked.
As an aside, I've never seen a birthday party where the children were so absolutely content. My experience with children's birthday parties is that the fun is mixed in with a good dose of craziness. But for three hours, these kids were happy and calm (for the most part) as they painted, groomed, and rode horses. I think this is partly because the kids were enthralled with the horses and partly because Vicky was amazing with both the kids and the horses. For anyone in the Asheville area who is interested, she offers riding lessons as well as a children's summer camp (Crosswind Farms, 828-333-3011).