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Swanson used a diagram from her vocational school, Equinology, to help with the placement of the outlines, but the horse had a lot to do with it too.
"The painting's fun . outlining not so much," she said.
"On this horse there are a lot of smaller muscles," she said.
the horse walks around after being painted. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff)Swanson, a certified equine body worker, spent four hours painting one of Ned's four layers of muscle as part of her training for more advanced certifications.
me they saw the muscles working in different ways," Miller said.
Equine body worker massages horses
Tommy, a horse she painted the week before, had larger gams. There was no rhyme or reason to the colors. Swanson just picked those she liked once the painstaking work of outlining was done.
Riders at the stable and training center on Eden Plains Road were wowed by the colorful display. One rider jumped off his horse to get a better look. Georg Lehmann posted photos he took of Tommy's painting session on the family business website and got a flurry of response. A close up photo of Tommy was compared to art.
"That surprises me. That is amazing the trust they develop."
Swanson was pleased the 13 year old, award winning show horse was patient with her work. Still, it isn't something most horses would stand for.
Videos of Miller riding Tommy will help the rider as much as the horse, Swanson said. And for Swanson, it's a chance to highlight the information she already has on the horse.
Ned and Tommy were popular attractions at Lehmann Stables in Brentwood. Both horses were quite a vision as their rainbow flanks graced riding areas for a few hours after their paint jobs. The chalk paint only lasts a few hours, even Wallet Lv Man with the help of a bit of hair spray.
"I think it's going to improve his quality of life forever," she said.
"People said, 'That one would be great on the wall,' " Lehmann said, adding he was impressed that both horses were so patient during their makeovers.
dozens of muscles on Ned.
Body workers like Swanson work with veterinarians and riders to help identify issues and then massage the animal to relieve pain and improve performance. Competition horses, elderly horses, or those with injuries or pain benefit from the treatments.
"If it wasn't for my class, I would not be doing this. I'm not an artist at all," the 18 year old Swanson proclaimed as she dipped large chalk pieces into water and filled in the outline of Lv Mm Agenda
She added that Swanson's work with Tommy has improved him as a mount by making him a more comfortable, happy horse.
"She can go home and see the muscles activate," Swanson said. But also, "I got to see where he's lagging, so when I go to work on him I see where I need to work on him.".
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Painting the muscles helped Swanson gain a better understanding of the nuances and individual differences in horse anatomy. It also drew a bit of attention.
Tommy's owner, Janelle Miller of Brentwood, said riding her painted horse helped her understand a bit about his particular issues. Tommy is a 17 year old rescue horse.
Robin Swanson, 19, of Brentwood, outlines her thoroughbred horse named "Ned" with paint chalk, Friday, May 11, 2012, at Lehmann Stables in Brentwood, Calif. Swanson, who is going to Equinology school to study horse body work, paints horses so their owners can see their muscles move when Louis Vuitton Epi
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