Horus, the Horse Mania Horse

By Horse Mania Artist Shirley Gentry – Special to WegWag!

Friday, May 28, 2010: This afternoon Charlie and I were able to pick up Horus, the life size fiberglass horse model I will be painting for the LexArts public art project in Lexington, Kentucky. His name, “Horus”, comes from the ancient Egyptian painted designs he will bear upon completion. Horus was an important god in the Egyptian culture, and was known for his spirit of order and stability, which are badly needed in this household at the moment. The proper name for the painted statue is “Egyptian Treasure”.

Horse Mania Horse

At the LexArts pickup point, Horus is mummy-wrapped in protective horse clothing for the next leg of his journey.

We were supposed to pick up the statue on Monday, April 12. I was excited, packed and ready to go. The afternoon before pickup I received a phone call from Tony Aros of LexArts, telling me not all the horses had been received from the manufacturer, and that mine would be available at a later date. After almost seven weeks of telling myself that there is nothing to do but accept things I cannot change, breathing deeply, and grinding my teeth to stumps as I slept, the phone call came. It was time to pick up Horus at Lorillard Lofts on Price Avenue in Lexington.

Seven weeks ago I had considered various shipping options to transport Horus. The obvious one was to put the fiberglass horse into our two-horse

trailer. Since the statue is molded with an extended forefoot and tail flowing out behind, he is too long to fit standing in a single stall. The center partition would need to be removed, and Horus would have to ride at a slant, diagonally, across the trailer, lacking the support of the center divider to provide stability. The divider had previously been removed to accommodate the claustrophobic nature of my mare, Lily, who apparently agrees with studies of equine behavior that state horses naturally prefer to riding in trailers on a diagonal slant, rather than facing straight forward. Lily can lean on a wall or spread her legs and to brace herself while traveling. Horus can not.

horse mania horse picture 2

Horus Loaded like he'd been doing it his whole life

Four bales of hay were put in the trailer to chock Horus into place. Then I added a halter and lead ropes to crosstie his head at the manger and installed

some pieces of baling twine along the trailer wall so I could add some ropes around his body, tie them to the trailer wall and stabilize his top-heavy form to prevent shifting and possibly snapping a leg. Protective padding of the statue seemed prudent, and heaven knows there are plenty of available materials in the barn. I added a soft fleece body blanket, a heavier padded nylon blanket, a set of four fur-lined shipping boot that protect his legs from

hoof to well over his hocks and knees, race track blinkers to protect his eyes, and a padded hood that covers his neck and most of his face. Rumors to the contrary, I did not pack a hay net or poll protector, correctly assuming Horus would neither be hungry nor rear up in the trailer. The broom was already in the trailer, but we did not need it.

At the appointed hour, 1:00 Friday, May 28, husband Charlie and I pulled the trailer into the Lorillard Lofts parking lot. Four artists were there to pick up our horses, following the signing of our contracts. The others put their horses into the beds of pickups, legs poking out, and one was strapped to a flat-bed truck.

Tony helped us remove the horse from the warehouse shipping bay, handling him with the degree of expertise practice brings. Our plans for loading Horus were complicated somewhat by the fact that Charlie recently dislocated his shoulder and is wearing a sling and arm immobilizer. Horus stood well for the blanketing and boots, and gave us no trouble loading, but did need to take advantage of all the extra space the diagonal slant load gave.  His extended forefoot went all the way to the front of the stall space, and his tail to the door. Hay bales, ropes, crossties were all put in place, the doors shut and away we went.

The original plan was for Horus’ next stop to be at the body shop for a black base coat. Due to the Friday afternoon pickup, his appointment is scheduled for next week. With the three-day weekend, I decided that he would layover at our farm, rather than sit in the parking lot of the body shop. The plan is to take him in on Tuesday, June 1. Horus is supposed to be returned to LexArts on June 15, and needs another trip to the body shop for a clear coat before that. And the clock is ticking….

Horus shipped to the farm well, and is awaiting his appointment at the body shop for a black base coat.

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One Response to “Horus, the Horse Mania Horse”

  1. Hi Shirley! How about an update on Horus?? I’d love to know how he turned out!

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