Author Archives: dawndi

About dawndi

I've been a very happy film producer (commercial and long format) for over 20 years. But, the horses have always been foremost in my heart... Currently I live on a small ranch in California with my wonderful husband, 13 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats and various woodland creatures. Life is good!

WESTERN & EQUINE ARTISTS, not what you see everyday…!

For me, an artists’ rendering is another way of showing admiration and love for the subject.  They pour their soul, remarkable talent and valuable time into their work because they are inspired from some creative place deep inside and I love that!  So, I’ve picked a few of my personal favs to share with you.


I happened upon David Bjurstrom at a Western Art Fair somewhere in Oregon.  His booth stopped me in my tracks.  I would have bought every piece there if I had had enough money.  He uses pencil, shading and detail.  Love it.  I bought one piece.

The next year, I went back to the same Fair and made a beeline to his booth.  There he sat, drawing from a photograph.  I asked if what he was drawing was for sale.  It was.  So, I purchased it before he was done and then I sat and watched him for as long as I could before he gave me “that look”.  OK OK.  I left and came back at the end of the show to pick it up.  David, I think, was a bit sad that he had sold it because it came out so well.  But, he gave it to me and I love it!  (pictured here – the hand and horn)

I go to his website and drool over the Original pieces… Someday, I will purchase another.  But for now, I moon over my lovely gems every day.  They sit on a wall in my bedroom and I smile every single time they catch my eye.  Thank you, David.


I found this artist when flipping through COWBOYS AND INDIANS magazine.  His colors just wowed me and I had to go to his website!  I love mixed media, I love creative uses of recycled household items and I love joy in artwork.

When I build my barn with the big sitting room complete with fireplace, post and beam interior and wet bar, I can totally see adding some of this whimsy in there.

And, what I really like is that he took the Painted Pony thing to another level.  I don’t own any painted ponies but I am aware of them and see them often.  So, when I went to Dave’s website and saw them there, I was taken aback since they seem so mainstream.  However, upon letting go of my narrow view, I actually looked at the designs and thought they were the coolest painted ponies I had ever seen.  Bravo!

I guess, for me, when I look at this work, I think of taking Route 66 somewhere.   I think of this kind of work hanging in one of the revamped and ultra cool pop art diners along the way.  Or maybe in a hip game room somewhere in an Aspen Ranch.  Or, on the wall at a fab Dude Ranch that has wonderful bathrooms and showers. Dunno.  But, I would like to be sharing the creative inspirations behind the work with the artist.


I stumbled upon Elin while at the DRAFT HORSE CLASSIC here in Grass Valley (a great event but another story for another day).  Elin was one of the featured artists because she has lovely pieces of draft horses.

What I love about Elin’s work is the effortless emotion that comes through.  Also, the use of color is unusual and for me, gripping.  I also find it very generous of her that she offers her Original works at such obtainable prices.  I know that she is very prolific so I guess she just loves to spread the love around!

Anyway, if you go to her website, you can click on several equine categories.  She has drafts, mules, zebras, loose horses, hunt horses, race horses, farm animals, dogs/cats… so much!

I don’t usually go for oils as much as I like other mediums.  But, I really am drawn to her use of the brushes and color.  I can “feel” what is happening in these paintings.  I have my eye on a few from her website!


Leslie lives very near me here in Grass Valley.  I didn’t know she lived near me until I saw her at a gathering.  She adores her horses!  And, you know, it shows in her unique perspective.

What caught my attention was her series of Draft Horses. You cannot help but notice her bold use of color and out-of -the-box stylization.  Leslie’s work caught on like wildfire with galleries, card manufacturers, and collectors. But, Leslie still finds time to do special commissions — her interpretation of clients’ beloved pets.  Leslie captures the individual personality and adds that to the whimsy.  It is great to see work with a smile built in…


Caly’s work is very colorful and whimsical but the shapes are accurate.  I have two of her pieces here.  I found her at an Art Fair and just fell in love with an image of cows.  It cracks me up.  I have it in my kitchen.  I also have barnyard chickens.  They are beautiful and brighten our hallway.  Check out her website and see what I mean.  I am partial to “Kissy-Face”, the pig.  Thank you Caly!

There are tons more artists that I love… but I don’t want to push my tastes on you all.  I just wanted to stroll through the valley of artistry.  I would love to be able to draw my horses… and to be able to sing.  Maybe in another life!  ;)

Do you have a Western or Equine artist that you collect?  I’d like to hear all about it!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

The Flies are Comin’ – Go Garlic! Plus other Powdered Wonders!


People are always doubtful when I say that Garlic keeps the pests away… I don’t understand why.  It works!  I have been using it for 7 Spring/Summers.  We have 13 horses here and cows across the road.  Flies happen.  But, Garlic really, really, really cuts down on the action.

I have tried a few brands.  For me, (again, no affiliation) I prefer garlic from SPRINGTIME, INC.  They call it “Bug Off Garlic” and it is aptly named.  I wait for the sales (there is one going on now…) and I purchase several tubs at once (cheaper).  I also like to get the freebies and if you order certain amounts, you can get more for free.  I love that!

Anyway, I give them all one scoop on their supplements in the morning.  I do it in the morning because the horses need the immediate extra strength boost during the day.  I think the garlic hits their system after about a half hour and lasts most of the day.  It is just like when you eat a heavily garlic’d dinner.  It stays with you.  It stays with them, too.  I won’t say that the flies, biting things and mosquitoes go away completely, but they go away a lot.  In fact, there are some horses that do so well with it that they don’t wear fly masks anymore.  Wow!

Start them out with a little bit and then gradually work up to one scoop.  Mine love it now and will stick their noses into the garlic bucket if I let them.  Anyway, your horses will be perfumed with the scent of garlic, for sure.  And, yes, other riders might notice it.  I often hear, “Anyone smell pizza around here?  Weird…”.  I just smile.

*Garlic works best as a fly repellent in conjunction with Predators.  I wrote about them in Post 2/10/10.


The other wonder product I wanted to tell you about is Equion.  I have been using it for 10 years, at least.  It does wonders for coats and hooves.  My trainer cannot believe how gorgeous my horses’ coats are when they arrive to his place.  Ha!  I love that!  And, their feet are strong like bull.

Equion is easy to purchase, is delivered fast and it works!  Add one scoop to the grain/pellets daily and you are done.


And, I also wanted to say that I tried Mare Magic last Spring.  I was quite dubious. But, someone I trusted told me to try it on my fidgety mare.  I did.  She was visibly less fidgety.  Then I tried it on my very nasty-during-heat mare.  It helped!  So, then I tried it on my Icy because she is a very busy (read, too busy – makes me crazy!) and it gave her more focus.  OK, I’m sold.  I definitely use it during heavy heat cycles for the mares.  I really think it helps.  Someone told me that I could order the basic ingredient online at a major health food store.  But, I haven’t done that.  I just go down to the large feedstore in town and purchase it there.  It does last quite a while.  On a side note, they say it helps geldings, too.  I have yet to try that.

So, there you have it!  Powdered Wonders!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!