Horus the Horse Part 2

By Horse Mania Artist – Shirley Gentry – Special to WegWag!

Tuesday, June 1. Horus heads for the body shop and a black base coat of paint.

Charlie Gentry, Nick Gentry and Nick’s boss help unload Horus at Fortune Collision, Nicholasville, Kentucky. Politically, the boss gets the trainer’s spot at Horus’ hip, while Charlie considers loading all Horus’ clothing and padding back into the trailer.

Actually this journey began Monday night when I hauled Horus in the trailer to a residential neighborhood in Lexington to spend the night. Two neighbors approached me about the wisdom of keeping a (live) horse in an enclosed trailer overnight in front of the house. Fortunately the concerned individuals addressed this situation to me personally, and no one called the Sheriff or Humane Society. It is always good to know that people are concerned about animal welfare, whatever the species.

Horus, narrowly escaping seizure by animal control, arrived at Fortune Collision in Nicholasville, Kentucky Tuesday morning following the Memorial Day holiday. You know, it’s located at the Old Dragstrip. For those of you not from the Bluegrass area, said dragstrip has been gone for decades, replaced by an industrial park. But if you ask any local person for directions, that is exactly where they will send you.

Charlie’s son, Nick Gentry, works at the body shop and has taken an interest in Horus’ future. Nick’s specialty is painting cars. Horus was removed from the trailer, padding removed, his front feet bolted to a board (it’s that stability thing again), and carried inside for evaluation, and hopefully a quick coat of black paint so the decoration can begin. The June 15 deadline for project completion looms large.

Frowning, Nick scraped his fingernail over a “soft spot” on Horus’ white-primed fiberglass body, peeling away the primer. Skin disease? Rain rot fungus? Ringworm? Bad Bondo? Whatever it is, there are several “soft spots” that could potentially erode under the rigors of constant outdoor life, taking away with it Horus’ surface decoration. Not a good thing. As Nick pointed out, if the factory surface finish isn’t sticking to the horse, neither will any paint we apply.

We take our leave, Horus now in the hands of those that know fiberglass.

Wednesday, June 2.  Nick has spent eleven hours cleaning up Horus and re-fiberglassing his body. And more to go.

Friday, June 4. Visiting day at the body shop.

Nick inspects Horus’ “skin disease” on his back, easily scratching away the factory supplied primer.

Horus shows definite signs of Nick’s attention. The 6” scur that marred his face is gone, as are other factory rough spots. Gone are most of the primer and the “soft spots” on his left side, and some from the right. In its place is green patching compound and by his hooves a partially depleted box of sandpaper. Nick points out the improved smoothness of Horus’ body and increased definition of his features and musculature. As the “Egyptian Treasure” design is a smooth sleek look, this will enhance his finished product, and the body work is much appreciated. I point out the time constraints of the project, especially the June 15 due date. Horus needs to have his body work completed, be re-primed, sanded, painted black, sanded, turned over to me for decoration, and then returned to the body shop for a clear coat. We agree that the initial two-month timeline originally established for the project is a reasonable one. Eighteen days to create a finished painted horse stinks. Horus will spend the weekend at the shop, and I consider the wisdom of the artists who are covering their horses’ surfaces with various textured products.

Saturday, June 5. I travel to Frankfort, Kentucky for a centennial celebration of the Kentucky State Capital Building with Kentucky Horse Park employees and horses. They will represent Daniel and Rebecca Boone, wearing two costumes I have made. Actually I don’t think Rebecca spent much time texting on her IPhone while on horseback, and Daniel, portrayed by Sarah, was a man, but you go with what you got. They were much photographed and the horses petted, and people knew who the riders were representing, which is a good thing if you make costumes. We wisely loaded the horses and left well before the ten-cannon salute took place.

Earlier in the week, I took nine costumes to Central Kentucky Riding for Hope for photos with program horses and students in preparation for their annual fundraising gala. It was good to have these things behind me so that I can give Horus my full attention when he comes home for painting.

Sunday, June 06, 2010 Horus has my full attention. Panic sets in. Charlie calls Nick, who is spending his Sunday at the shop, working on Horus, rather than with his family. I can pick up Horus on Wednesday, which should give me four days to paint him, provided I do not go to my job at the Paris Stockyard on Thursday; three days if I do. He will have to go in for his clear coat on Monday, June 14. And the clock continues to tick….

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