In between projects, I’ve got a new series to paint on my own, the Endangered Series. For the next while – on my own – I’ll be painting different horses and other species that are endangered, meaning classified as either “critical” or “threatened”. I’m neither a scientist nor animal expert, but this project gives me a chance to do three things: paint a different variety of creatures and expand my drawing and painting experience (because I love to paint), learn something about the subjects I’m painting (because learning is good), pass on whatever I’m learning and maybe raise a bit of awareness. Mind you, it’s likely most people are already aware of these things… but still. Don’t take my reasons away from me. 🙂

Generally, these will be done small (2.5 x 3.5 inches) and in color, but every once in a while it might get bigger or just be sketches. I don’t know. For this project I’ll be my own Art Director, for better or worse. What is sure, is that the next piece will be an Amur Leopard.

First one is below: the Dales Pony. Depending on where you look for info, there seems to only be between 1500 and 3000 of these ponies left. I imagine that means registered ponies.

2.5 x 3.5 inches, handpainted, acrylic on personal card stock.

2.5 x 3.5 inches, handpainted, acrylic on personal card stock.

Worldwide there are now estimated to be just over 1,500 of the breed, with 87 foals born in the UK last year.

The Dales pony (3000, approx), a hardy breed native to England, was recently recategorized from “Endangered” to the more serious “Critical” status by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, an organization that helps conserve and protect native British livestock breeds. Like the Exmoor pony, many Dales ponies were used for mining, and their numbers dwindled severely during and after the World Wars.

The Dales pony is one of the United Kingdom‘s native mountain and moorland pony breeds. The breed is known for its strength, hardiness, stamina, courage, intelligence, and good disposition. The history of the modern Dales pony is strongly linked to the history of lead mining in the Dales area of England, and it was originally a working pony descended from a number of breeds. A breed registry was created in 1916, and the breed was used extensively by the British Army in both world wars. The Dales pony almost became extinct during the Second World War, but post-war conservation efforts have had some success in rebuilding the population. Today it is used for many different activities, but population numbers are still low and this has led to it being considered “critical” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and “threatened” by The Livestock Conservancy.

These very hardy ponies are ideally 14.h.h. to 14.2.h.h. Colours are predominantly black, with some brown, bay grey and, rarely, roan. White markings are allowed as a star and/or a snip, and white to the hind fetlocks, and ponies displaying more white than this are down graded to Section B. Dales Ponies are renowned for the quality of their hard, well-shaped feet and legs, which should display beautiful dense, flat bone. Their action is straight, high and true. They are good movers, really using their knees and hocks for powerful drive. They have tremendous stamina, an iron constitution, high courage and great intelligence, combined with a calm temperament. The head should be neat, showing no dish, and broad between the eyes. The muzzle is relatively small, no coarseness about the jaw and throat, and incurving pony ears. A long foretop, mane and tail of straight, silky hair, and a muscular neck of ample length for a bold outlook should be set into well-laid, sloping shoulders.

Sources: Wikipedia, Dales Pony Society, Horse Nation

#acrylic #pony #endangered

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