Pure Joy ~ The Inspiration of Horses and Healing

“Pure Joy” Horse Painting by Kim McElroy Custom Prints available here

“Pure Joy”

“I saw a child who couldn’t walk, sit on a horse, laugh and talk…
I saw a child who could only crawl, mount a horse and sit up tall.
I saw a child born into strife, take up and hold the reins of life.
And that same child was heard to say,
Thank God for showing me the way.”

~ John Anthony Davis

in 1996 Professional’s Choice products commissioned me to create a work of art as a fundraiser for North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now called PATH).  My inspiration was to depict the magical connection between a child and a horse – without a wheelchair or other indications that the child was anything but perfect, so the focus would be on the individual rather than his or her disability.  I had a mental picture of something to do with a child’s hands on the horse’s face.  One day, while looking at a booklet Professional’s Choice had published of a story and photo contest, I found the perfect photo of a little girl hugging the face of a horse. This child did not have a disability, but It was exactly the image I needed to express what I wanted to convey. To me what is most profound is the love and peace that is clearly expressed on the horse’s face.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Kim, It is refreshing to read about someone realizing she did not really know enough when she began her journey with horses. As someone who continues to learn more every day after working with horses for over 50 years I get frustrated when people who have never owned or sometimes never even been around horses think they can just take a horse home and it will all work out. As you learned the hard way, that is not always true. Finding reliable professionals to work with can be difficult also. If you can work with people who are licensed or “certified” that is a good place to start. However since most of us are informed consumers about many other aspects of our lives, be an informed consumer about who you hire to work with you and your horse. Certifications from the people who did the training may not be the best place to find the help you seek. If you just have to complete a course to get the certification it does not mean much. Look for National Certifying bodies who require a significant amount of training and time in practice and who have a good standing in the horse community. A few that come to mind are: PATH International , The Certifying Board of Equine Interaction Professionals, Massachusetts is the only state which licenses Riding Instructors, The American Veterinary Assn, The Animal Chiropractic Assn. If your gut tells you what a professional is suggesting is wrong – trust your gut.

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