Faraetaildreams Art


I was born in Phoenix, raised in the Arizona heat, and to survive the blistering summers I spent a lot of time inside. I was one of those kids that constantly drew on everything. What I drew were always horses. Sometimes they had wings, sometimes they had horns. I was the 'weird horse girl' in elementary school, and by middle school, had learned to hide the drawing and the obsession with all things horse. 

I have been involved with horses my entire life, and have worked professionally as a groom, barn manager, and assisted a few trainers along the way. I've worked with quarter horses, thoroughbreds, appaloosas, gaited horses (paso fino horses), ponies, arabs, and a variety in between. My passion is split between a good cow horse that can get down and dirty with a calf, and the fine stepping paso fino. My 'perfect' barn would be split evenly in half with the cows/cow horses on one side, and the paso's on the other.

Through elementary and middle school, I was lucky enough to be the owner to two wonderful geldings who each taught me very different things. One taught me the importance of NOT SCREAMING while running hell-bent for leather through some very heavily treed woods after spooking at something that really should NOT have caused a full on run away horse. (really, I'm not kidding). He'd spook and take off randomly and the behavior was not improving after several months of re-training. Great way to quickly learn how to stop a run away horse at 9 years of age, I'm tellin' ya. 

The other gelding was a lesson in patience, and almost the exact opposite problem. One gelding loved to go a little too much, this guy didn't like to go faster than a lazy walk! Kid spurs, bats, kicking, butt slapping - nothing phased this old packer. He was gonna go his speed, and that was it unless you figured out his 'button' :). See, he was a seasoned OTTB, and during his retraining the wise trainer gave him a verbal command that would get him moving his feet faster than a shuffle. He did this so that the horse would be considered more 'safe' to ride after being on the track. (Ok, this was over 20 years ago, and the horse himself was in his early 20's at that point.)

During high school, the family wasn't able to afford a horse for me,  so I just rode everyone else's horses. My high school best friend was an aspiring trainer herself, and during our junior year purchased a unbroke 2 year old qh filly and broke her out over the course of the next year. 

Around the start of my junior year I discovered Paso Finos after my mother showed me an ad she'd found in a small local paper looking for barn/stall help for a Paso boarding, breeding, and training facility in exchange for lessons. It was a few weeks before my 16th birthday, and I was the youngest person out of 6 people that responded. 3 years later I had long outlasted those other 5 people, as well as many others to come and go after them! By the time I was a senior in High School I was acting assistant manager (the owner of the facility being the 'manager'). Then the summer after graduation I moved into the ranch house to be the on property manager while the owner traveled with her family all summer through early fall. The horses included the owner's personal horses - with 2 stallions on the property as well.

I was solely and completely responsible for 20 horses and their daily care 7 days a week - a pretty hefty burden for a teenager! However I was up to the task, and am proud to say not one horse got sick, had an injury, or had any disasters during the entire summer. I left that fall under severe protest from the owner to attend college full time.

I  chose to Attend a local community college that offered an AA Certificate/Degree in Equine Science.  However, life got in the way and I ended dropping out of the program about halfway through. That was the last time I was involved with horses for about 8 years. 

I got back into horses professionally about 2004 or so. Another newspaper ad, another barn needing help. I had not even put a halter on a horse in 8 years, and yet somehow managed to remember enough to not only not get me killed, but impressed my prospective bosses so much they actually hired me :P. That barn focused on Pleasure type Quarter Horses, Youth events, a small number of Halter Horses, and problem horses of all ages and breeds. My title was "Groom" but some days I literally lunged a list of horses that was 8-10 deep. (That makes for a very long day in the round pen, by the way.)

That job taught me how to REALLY handle and read a horse. Being in a solid fenced 80 foot round pen is a very interesting experience when put in there with a halter stallion who a) has not been let out of his stall in days, b) is fed the highest fat, corn, and protein diet possible for maximum bulk, and c) inherited his sire's notoriously RANK temperament. What it also did for me was fine tune how I worked with a horse like that and actually be able to control, teach, and handle a horse that would rather run you over and not look twice behind him than work. it also taught me how to show groom a horse from start to finish in the minimum amount of time possible :)> 

I got to be very, very good at not just round penning a horse, but at really understanding every nuance of their expression, body language, ear twitches, eye rolls.... etc. I had at my disposal literally about 40 horses, with a percentage of those horses turning over into new horses, to bring into the round pen and learn from. 

I should also mention that the bulk of the 'ground manners' training was my responsibility to instill before the trainers started working with the horse. They asked for a 2 week acclimation period where I was to work with the horses, determine how good their ground manners were, and fix whatever problems there were. I was expected to do this without the assistance of the trainers and in a manner where the horses never got hurt, traumatized, or worse. I'm proud to say that every horse that was put in my hands for a ground manner refresher course left my hands a perfectly behaved horse on the ground, lead, and in every other type of situation I could think of - all without any injuries, blood, or major disasters. Or without lip chains. We did have horses in the barn that were NOT my responsibility to work with that had horrible ground manners - they unfortunately were all the halter horses we had in the barn. 

I loved the horses, loved traveling to the shows, even didn't mind the long hours - but what I DID mind was the politics in the barn, the two-faced backstabbing from the trainers themselves, and the underhanded, dirty way the treated their clients AND my co-worker and I. Leaving that barn was easy, but was under some unhappy circumstances. 

Then, some 12 years after I walked out of the Paso Fino Barn, I walked back in. I wasn't looking to be hired back, I was actually there to look at a mare being offered for lease. Long story short, I went back to work for that barn once more, but the second time around was about as different as it could get. Throw in the addition of a live-in Trainer that I was assisting, 90 hour weeks for literally a few dollars an hour, and an owner that had grown more demanding as years had gone past - and It was a recipe for disaster. I did lease the mare I had gone to look at - even ended up purchasing her legally - but when things went bad with the job, she got caught in the crossfire, and I was essentially banned from entering the property again. I was forced to cancel the paid transport to the new barn (also pre-paid two months advance in cash) and was told that the mare would not be leaving the property with me. Local city police weren't able to help as it was a civil matter on private property and my only recourse was to fight in court. 

So I went to court, and asked about filing the case. I was informed that the fees for filing would be close to a grand! as the fees were based on the value of the item being sued for. As the value of the mare was in the mid four finger range, the fees were a LOT more than I had anticipated. As I was already out more than $600 between the lost board money and transport fees, there was no way I could afford those fees - even on a delayed payment plan. Nor can one ask in small claims court for court fees to be covered by the other person - it was a strike out no matter what. 

I was basically forced to leave my mare with her, and she is still there, a year and some months later. 

(Anyone know of a good laywer? ha.) So thats the kinda brief history of my horse life. 

Artistically, things also had stopped completely for a very long time after high school while I got married and had 2 kids. I picked up a part time job at a local Joanne's (Fabric and craft supplies) on a team to set up the new store prior to opening to the public that resulted in my being hired permanently on the front end team. Soon after the store opened, I was promoted to a head cashier position, and eventually made the guest service desk my specialty. I wanted more though, and within the first year started                                                                                                                 running children's art classes, birthday parties, store product demonstrations, and other various odd seminars and events. During the summers would be the Kids Summer Craft Camps - imagine 15-20 kids all painting at the same time! (The thought is enough to give most parents a heart attack on the spot, I Know. I LOVED it.)

That brought the art bug back out in me, and soon was exploring everything I could. One of the early store product demo's was a greeting card with a stamped image in polymer clay on the front. I had NEVER worked with Polymer clay before, and when creating the different versions of the product examples provided by the vendor, completely fell in love with the medium. 

Since then I have successfully created and sold jewelry items, christmas and other holiday ornaments, figurines, pendants, animal sculptures, and fantasy sculpts. While searching for new projects online, I stumbled across the incredible world of OOAK Polymer Art Dolls, and that led me on a search to see what else was out there in Fantasy Art. 

But how did I find myself in model horses? What horse crazed young girl doesn't have a breyer or two in her room to play with? I certainly did - though as a child I had no knowledge of people that painted them, and moved legs and ears and heads. I found out about that from a co-worker while working in a quarter horse show barn that had collected breyer horses. That night I went home and started searching online.

I thought it was really cool that people did that, but I was too immersed in my Polymer clay at the time, and didn't make the leap mentally that I could transfer my sculpting skills learned with the poly clay to the model horses. 

It wasn't until late last year, after a year long hiatus from sculpting from both burn out and environmental factors like lack of space, that I decided to try something new. The model horses called to me, and I started researching the how's, what's, who's, and everything else I could find. 

So here I am. Prepping and learning to Pastel the Plastic Pony. I am constantly learning and pushing myself to new challenges, new skills, and accomplish more than I ever dreamed I could. 

As for other information, I have two St. Bernard/Collie mixed dogs and 2 cats - one of whom is currently sacked out on my lap as I type this. 

I work a junky retail part time "real job" and am the leader of a Brownie Girl Scout Troop. I watch CSI (all of em), The Event, Chase, Survivor, Dancing With The Stars (Jen Gray is gonna win Season 11!), Hoarders, and can probably recite the entire first season's episodes each of iCarly, Spongebob Squarepants, and Victorious by heart if tortured enough. 

Odd yet Fun Fact:  My son and my ex's birthdays are 2 days apart, my daughter's birthday is only 3 days before my own. :)

I have read the Harry Potter Book Series at least 5 times all the way through since book seven was released, and each time a new movie comes out, it is tradition for my son and I (and now my daughter) to go see it opening weekend - this is because book four was being released the same day as he was born :). I love Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" Series - I've read those books all the way through the series at least twice now since her latest "Echo In the Bone" was relased. I've also read Rick Riordian's "The Last Olympian Series" and loved it, all of the "Wicked" books, Twilight, and every Black Stallion book ever published. This is just a short list of course - other books devoured and loved would be The Earth's Children Series (FINALLY THE LAST BOOK FOR AYLA AND JONDALAR WILL BE RELEASED MARCH 2011!!!!), Ann Rice Books, Dan Brown, Steven King, and literally hundreds of others that I have forgotten the names and authors of. 

Currently I am making my way through S. King's "Dark Tower" Books - and I'm just starting Volume III (10/22/10) so nobody tell me what happens!

I'm sure there's lots more I could mention, but why bore everyone? :D

Beth Cain

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