Youth & Horses: What Does Art Have to Do With It?

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Books Encourage Children to Make Art from Their Love of Horses

by Corinne Brown

If you know a child who loves horses, chances are they love to draw them, too. That’s because all children are artists. No one has to teach them. 

I was a child who loved horses while growing up in Colorado. My parents indulged me and bought me my first horse when I was seven years old. As a kid I drew them all the time. I know firsthand that the love affair between children and horses is magical and I truly believe drawing and painting horses can bring children closer to them in special ways.

Making pictures is as old as mankind and the urge to create is natural. When drawing animals, younger children rely on their imaginations more than experience. The drawing is often an extension of who they are, not some external reality. Over time, the subjects they love most can give them all the inspiration needed to create without drawing lessons imposed by an adult. Slowly, they arrive closer to the real.

With a BFA in Art Education, I was a former junior high art teacher in a suburb of Denver for many years. In the summers, I taught children in our home. I dreamed of creating books for kids all about horses and art history with fun activities using real art materials. Not a “how to” book, but a “why not?” book. I needed a horse-loving group of kids to try out every lesson plan, so I approached a local pony club (Platte Valley, a Rocky Mountain chapter of the United States Pony Club) that met twice a month. One Sunday they gathered to ride and learn, and the other to make art with me.

We’re now on our fourth year. I’ve collected their work in two books illustrating how meaningful this process is. One child was so excited by a lesson she couldn’t wait to try it again. Her mother sent me a photo of the drawing that night. It was a home run!

Each lesson is designed to be done with some kind of adult supervision. Children 10 and up can manage the lessons on their own. Parents often sit in on the classes and make art too. We even make some to decorate the barns!

Add some art to your life. Books are available separately or as a set. Visit for purchasing information.

See this article in the July/August 2023 online edition:

July/August 2023

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