My horses’ works of art: If not an original, why not go for a print?

Here is a painting that Cheyenne did and it sold not long after she did it.  This painting was started was when I was doing a painting demonstration for the Salt Lake County Fair.  So Gypsy did make a few strokes on it but the majority of the painting was done by Cheyenne.  I put it up on Facebook and it sold rather quickly.

I love the blues and orange colors in this painting, but blue and orange are complementary colors on the color wheel.

What does this painting make you think of?  I think of beautiful gardens with colors that really grab people’s attention when they see such beautiful shades.  Or I love to see such beauty in the mountains on the trails, again this lets all of us know how beautiful God’s creation is in nature.  We get a glimpse of God in nature, in our animals, and even in our loved ones.

Even though this painting is sold you can get prints from this painting.  There are just plain prints on nice thick stock card or on ready-to-hang thick board with hangers on it.  They’re in different sizes and shapes.  Along with these prints or paintings you get free photo prints of the actual artist painting.

Please feel free to comment about what you think about these paintings and let me know if you would be interested in a print.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a



My horses’ works of art: Where does the ‘Fantasy’ come from?

With all that I do in training my horses — when it comes to regular riding, or doing tricks, or painting pictures — I sometimes find myself amazed.  Where does this bond with these animals and our unique ability to communicate come from?

I have a thought on this, and some people might not agree on this but then others might agree with me.

I was raised in a Christian home, and I’ve believed in a Supreme Being my entire life.  At times, I’ve had thoughts that maybe I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing with my horses, that any money I spend towards their care, feeding and boarding should be put toward other things my family needs.  The thoughts come when times are really tight financially.  But then my husband will talk it through with me, remind me how unhappy I’d be without them, and encourage me to continue using my God-given abilities.

Gypsy just has to get that last stroke in with the brush. (Photos by Randy Kroll)

Gypsy just has to get that last stroke in with the brush. (Photos by Randy Kroll)

Part of what I do with my horses when I perform with them in front of an audience is meant to show that special relationship between humans and horses that I believe was designed by God.  We can communicate with each other in a special way, if we want to take the time to learn how.  I believe that’s what God wants me to do, to show that special relationship, communication, and caring for His creatures.

The last painting I’m featuring this week is particularly an example of that.

This is a painting that was one of the first ever done by Cheyenne, and I call this “Cheyenne’s Fantasy”  because it looks like it is any horse’s dream to live where there is happiness.  Trees, water, green grass, and the hidden part of this painting is a companion.

If you examine it closely, you can see a horse head hidden in the middle of this painting, facing toward the right.  To be completely honest, I had no idea there was a horse head in this painting until another art instructor showed me the horse head, which was utterly surprising to me.  Even along the top of the painting there is a red etching of a horse form that I noticed that is another reminder that horses love the companionship of other horses.

Cheyenne shows her painting skills.

Cheyenne shows her painting skills.

As an artist myself, it was a dream of mine to teach my horses to paint especially after seeing Metro the painting ex-racehorse.  So as there is no book on instructing how to teach a horse to paint, I had to try to devise a plan myself.  It took about 8 months to get Cheyenne to take the dripping brush, full of paint, from my hand and put some marks on the board.  However, it took the use of another horse to truly motivate Cheyenne to paint.  Gypsy is my other horse and she watched Cheyenne and me from the sidelines teaching Cheyenne to paint.  In her own way Gypsy let me know that she wanted to paint as well.  I have written a book to tell the story the way I saw it unfold in front of me.  I love this story of my two horses that played out so beautifully, letting us all know that horses as well as other animals can learn things from each other if they want to.

Gypsy has taught Cheyenne to be a better artist herself by observation and how much I praised her. This caused Cheyenne to try her best at it and become a better artist herself.

I would love to share this story with whoever would love to read it and let others know how much horses and other critters can reason and understand things.  It is a story that is unique all its own.  Please share and encourage others to share as well.

Please feel free to comment.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a/en/product/id/193619120

Cheyenne's Fantasy

My horses’ works of art: Gypsy’s ‘Iris Dream’

Here is another painting done by Gypsy.  This one makes me think of pretty pastel colors, and I like to call it “Iris Dream”  This one is a smaller painting and I am willing to mark it for less.

Gypsy loves to paint because she naturally tosses her head up and down like a normal Arabian mare.  She is a very hyper horse, and it shows in her paintings.  I have to either tie a rope on the brush or keep bending over and retrieving the brush from the dust.

Thank you for reading about my horses’ paintings this week.  There’s still another day to come.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a/en/product/id/230526586

Iris Dream Gypsy

My horses’ works of art: Cheyenne’s ‘Flower Garden’

Here is a painting that Cheyenne did that resembles a beautiful flower garden.  Flower gardens can provide a way to help people relax.  However, gardens are also ways that horses can trample and eat some unique tasting foods.  There are flowers that are harmful to horses, but this is a little humor of horses trampling and eating from people’s gardens,  Horses love it, but people … well, not so fun.

When I was a kid growing up on a farm, we had a very big garden and sometimes the horses would get out and get into the garden.  I do remember my dad putting an electric fence around it.  Horses learned in a speedy way to respect the electric fence.  Kids who dared to touch it learned not to touch it again either.  Even I touched it just to see what would happen if I did.  You can imagine that I didn’t touch it that often.

But getting back to this painting, “Flower Garden” — flower gardens are great for people who have a green thumb.  This painting is a 16×20, and the cost is $50 plus shipping.  You could buy it off of my Etsy account at!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a/en/product/id/193616296

I love hearing from readers and getting to see your point of view.


Flower Garden Cheyenne


My horses’ works of art: Cheyenne’s ‘Flaming Hope’

“Flaming Hope” is a painting that Cheyenne did when it was close to the Christmas season one year.  It has Christmas colors in it with varying greens and reds.  It is a nice size, 16×20.  It would look very good in a black frame to bring out the abstract colors.

The variations of the reds and greens brings out the contrasts of the two complementary colors, which is really a comfort to look at.  However, I love to be reminded of the red and green colors out in nature while hiking along mountain trails.  The Christmas colors remind us of two wonderful colors complementing each other.  Here is another way to think about it:  Christmas also represents the birth of a savior coming here as a babe to save all humanity.  So this painting can mean there is a flaming hope for humanity for the people here on Earth.

“Flaming Hope” is priced at $50 plus shipping.  You may purchase it from my Etsy account and that might help me build up more recognition on Etsy.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a/en/product/id/193613255

Thank you!

Flaming Hope Cheyenne

My horses’ works of art: Gypsy’s ‘Citrus Fruit’

Over the Christmas season, I sold about four of the paintings done by my horses.  I am very excited about the possibility of the paintings starting to get recognition.

The story of my two horse artists is unique in the fact that while one of them (Cheyenne) was learning, the other (Gypsy) wanted to try it so badly that she taught herself by watching Cheyenne while she was learning.  But I have not seen another trick that I have taught Cheyenne that Gypsy  wanted to learn as much as painting.

This week, I’ll be talking a bit in the blog about some of my horses’ paintings.

The painting I’m featuring today is called “Citrus Fruit.”  Gypsy painted this one.  I would ask other people that I know to tell me what this painting reminded them of.  A lot of comments came back about this painting resembling citrus fruit, so that is how this title came to be.  Since I am an artist myself, I wanted to use colors that will blend when the horses start sweeping new paint over as well as blending through other colors.  I had Gypsy sweep a lot of colors up on the canvas, then I encouraged a lot of brushing with a wet brush up and down the board to get the really wet, dripping effect.  My horses paint these themselves, while my job is simply to put the colors on their brushes for them.

I have found this painting to be a popular one, but it has not sold yet.  So this painting is priced at $50 plus shipping.  Along with this painting comes a beautiful 8×10 of the artist painting so there is proof of the horse painting it.

Here is a view of my Etsy account, continually being updated with new pieces.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a

And here is a link to the piece featured today.!httpswwwetsycomshopbarnyardpicasso/ch8a/en/product/id/193609399

Thanks for looking!

Citris Fruit Gypsy

My book about horses painting makes a great Christmas gift

I have been away for a while because we moved from our home of nearly 20 years into an apartment, and that took a lot of my time.  That’s another story.  But since it is now time for Christmas, I have a book that could make a great Christmas present.

book coverIt has a story line that I have experienced with my horses that I think kids — and even adults who are horse enthusiasts — would love.  It is about the time when I was so diligently teaching my one horse Cheyenne to paint.  However, off to the side was my older mare Gypsy, every day, watching this project going on involving teaching Cheyenne to hold the brush and to be able to sweep her head in different directions with the brush.  So all the time this was going on, Gypsy watched.  Finally, I got a glimpse of Gypsy starting to fuss in a way that brought me to the conclusion that maybe she wanted to paint.  Can horses learn from each other to do something?

This book is a look into that very question of how one horse inspired another horse to paint and how the senior mare ended up being a faster artist and seemed to enjoy her work more than the first artist.  But the story doesn’t end there.  There are beautiful photos of the horses (taken by my friend Randy Kroll) and I doing art and training together, and it’s beautifully designed by my talented friend Tina Crawford.  It is a story that children and adults can enjoy together, a look into my day in the life of a horse trainer/trick trainer.  I am told by people who already have bought the book that it causes them to feel as if they personally know my horses and me.

One review from Amy Hagedorn in Arizona said, “I recently purchased ‘Teach Me To Paint: A Story of How One Horse Inspired Another Horse to Learn to Pain'” by Amy Miller as a gift.  I am very glad I did!  The book is delightful and inspiring.  Amy has captured the horses’ personality so well through her words and photos you feel so connected to Gypsy and Cheyenne. What a great book for any child in your life.”

I strongly feel that children of all ages will really enjoy this beautiful, well-designed picture book of horses enjoying creating art.

Please contact me here or email me at if you’d like a copy.

Getting the ‘barnyard Picassos’ back into practice

I’ve started having my horses paint again after a winter break.  Of course, they remember how to do it.  Through both the horses’ times at the canvas, they did very well remembering what to do.  It will be nice to see both horses start their head tossing and putting the different dazzling colors on canvas.

Gypsy shows her artistic ability.  (Photo by Randy Kroll)

Gypsy shows her artistic ability. (Photo by Randy Kroll)

Cheyenne and Gypsy both paint differently than each other.  Gypsy more often than Cheyenne tosses her head up and down, right and left.  That is why her paintings end up with nice long paint strokes.  After she does that she usually throws the brush.  I like to think that is because she doesn’t think I get enough exercise so I need to continue to stoop and get the brush back up off the ground.

Cheyenne, on the other hand, takes the brush and sweeps it along the canvas a couple of times before turning her head in my direction, hoping that I would take the brush.  Their paintings are unique, with a style all their own.  These horses are definitely mouth painters!

If anyone is interested in any of their paintings, the profits go to the care of the horses — more likely the vet care, since Gypsy is a senior horse and needs more check-ups.

Even the photos are for sale if you ever want to own one.

See their “Barnyard Picasso” work on Etsy.

Prints of Gypsy and Cheyenne's paintings made into bookmarks.

Prints of Gypsy and Cheyenne’s paintings made into bookmarks.

Resolving to build an even better relationship with horses

Since we have made resolutions for the new year, we should work hard to make those goals a reality.  Like I said before, it takes about six weeks to build a new habit.  I have made a couple of resolutions myself that I plan to make into a new habit.

Poochie (Photo by Amy Miller)

Poochie (Photo by Amy Miller)

My goal is to continue working my horses and building a great relationship with the first.  I want my working relationship to be a joy for the horses as well as myself.  So a goal of mine is to work at understanding the horses’ thinking so I can understand how they see things.  This way I can get a better understanding or how their mind works so I can have an even better relationship with them.  After all, we are a team in what we do together.  Trick horses usually live longer, happier lives simply because they enjoy what they are doing.

I am working well with Cheyenne and taking lessons to develop a better relationship with my strong-willed alpha mare.  I am learning how she thinks and feels by learning her body language.  We learn to read the body and face language of the horse and each horse is a little different, but the basic language is the same.

Another goal is to gain more understanding of the minis I work with.  There are two minis who belong to my friend Tina Crawford (who does a great job with a lot of the videos you see in my blog) that I work with and I find it to be quite enjoyable.  One of the minis is a very smart little guy and I am finding out how quickly he learns and how much he enjoys the fun of doing the tricks.  Every horse has their favorite tricks and not-so-favorite ones.  This mini, Poochie, enjoys sitting up like a puppy dog.  He will do it over and over again for a treat.

I am teaching Poochie to play basketball by first putting a jolly ball into a bucket, then I gradually teach him to go higher into a little toddler basketball hoop.  But again, my goal is to get to know minis and learn about how Poochie thinks as well as little Shmigley. They both think opposite of each other.  Poochie is not spooky of anything and Shmigley is a spooky little guy.  I am trying to help him learn to trust me so we can have a great relationship together.  So far it is working and he is starting to really love it when I go out to see them.  I mean, who wouldn’t love to get yummy treats when they do fun games with me.

These are a few of the goals I have this new year with these horses.  I will let you see a new video clip with Poochie playing bucket ball, and where he sits up.

How are you doing in your new year’s resolutions?  Feel free to let us know.

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Well, it is a new year and along with that comes resolutions.  Most people express their dreams or desires of making a better life for themselves.  But the hard part is following through on things that people must do to make it successful, such as exercising more, eating less unhealthy foods and snacks, and losing weight is a big one.

2015-graphic-horse-sunset-1500Breaking old habits is the hard thing about following through on resolutions.  Maybe a person has a habit of not exercising and finds the workout harder than they realized, so they fall back into their old habit and wait until the next new year, and the vicious cycle goes on and on of not succeeding in what we wanted to do.

I do know that if a person could keep something going for about six weeks then a new and better habit could be set and then that person usually succeeds.  However, you need to keep pushing for that goal of making it into a habit.  Having a person to encourage you is a great plan too.

My new year’s resolution is to get myself more shows with my horses as well as using the minis more and more in the shows.

Here are some videos of what the horses can do.

What are some of your resolutions?  It would be fun to share.