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Beautiful Horses
of Indiana

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Equine artist Karen Brenner's fifth series, "Beautiful Horses of Indiana" began when she traveled throughout the state of Indiana in June 2010 to photograph the 50 horses selected for the series. Throughout the following months, Karen created a painting of each horse. The paintings are featured on the four pages dedicated to these beautiful Indiana horses.

Please take the time to read the stories behind the horses and find out why each one is special!



16" x 16"

Keegan was nominated by his owner Emily and his friend Larrisa. They both wrote glowingly of Keegan’s accomplishments and how he has touched the lives of his fans.

Emily: “I am giving Keegan a nom because #1 he is mine, #2 he is beautiful, #3 he's got personality, & #4 I think he is a great ambassador of the breed. Keegan is a very tall, modern built Friesian with over 3 ft of mane. He has done the Hoosier Horse Fair expo for the last 3 years putting on a great performance each time. . . .He is an amazing trail horse. Have taken him all over our local state forest. He is a local celeb. You say his name or say the big black horse & most people know who he is. Keegan also works at the Noble Horse Theatre in Chicago IL where he performs in their version of The Nut Cracker & they are currently doing quadrille. Keegan is just an all around amazing horse. He has a playful personality & he loves children. To learn more about Keegan go to www.trailsendranch1.com or just Google Friesian Stallion Keegan!”

Larrisa: “Keegan has been like the little brother I never had.  I've trail ridden him.  I've ridden him in the amazing ancient riding hall in Chicago. 

At the Hoosier Horse Fair 2009 Emily and Keegan gave a "pony ride" to a mentally handicapped volunteer that was totally smitten with Keegan.  All three days he lingered around talking to us and petting Keegan.   Emily told this man to bring his riding clothes Sunday afternoon because she was going to let him ride Keegan.

The next day he showed up dressed like a cowboy and beaming. Keegan being the perfect gentleman even as a six year old stallion stood stock still while we got the fella up on his back and walked quiet as a mouse in the round pen while Emily and her husband led him. 

People gathered three deep to watch because everyone recognized the fella.  He said he'd been volunteering at the HHF for eight years.”

Keegan is an awesome horse! It was so fun to see him put on his “photographer’s special” show for us! He is a perfect Friesian!

Keegan and Emily

Hearts Commander
18" x 14"

Hearts Commander is a buckskin bay Morgan gelding with a mischievous personality. Aubrey, his owner, can tell you lots of stories about his antics, but my favorite was the one about how one night Hearts Commander decided to unlatch the tack room door and bring all the saddles out into the barn aisle way. I’d like to think that, given enough time, he would have given them each a good cleaning with saddle soap, but who knows!

 Aubrey reports that Hearts Commander “has served the community in many capacities. He was a search and rescue horse and was deputized. He is also a great companion and competitor. . . . His name defiantly rings true to his personality. He will steal your heart if you let him.”

16" x 16"

I’ve been privileged to meet some very beautiful mustangs that were rounded up by the BLM, and Kola is one of them! He has a star quality that is hard to describe. He sparkles; his dapples accentuate his fit, lean body.

Melinda, his owner, wrote:

“Kola always elicits remarks from people saying they didn’t know mustangs could be such good-looking horses. His conformation is very correct (looking most like a Morgan), body condition probably a 5. He was not captured and gelded until almost a 3-year-old, so retains some prominence of jaw and arch of neck commonly associated with stallions. He has lovely ‘soft’ eyes, fine and wavy full mane and tail.”



18" x 14"

Zeke is a red roan Quarter Horse stallion who belongs to Nadia, the owner, trainer and instructor at Double H Horse Farm. Zeke, whose registered name is Chute I’m Good, is an excellent Western Pleasure contender. He has such a laid back personality he is even relaxed when being chased around his pasture during a photo shoot!

Nadia is an experienced trainer and competitor. She’s done barrels, poles, team penning, and Western and English pleasure. She also was one of the specially selected trainers chosen for the Midwest Mustang Challenge — gentling a wild mustang in 100 days.


Zeke and Nadia

Kodak Moment
18" x 14"

MM Perfect Kodak Moment is a Tobiano Buckskin Missouri Fox Trotter, and might I add, a real sweet heart! His family, Barry and Deanna, love to go trail riding, and “Kody” is the perfect mount.

Deanna writes, Kody is a unique color for the MFT breed. His color draws people to him and then his personality wins them over! He is a prince in horse clothing and is loved by all who meet him.

And true to his "Kodak" name, he is extremely photogentic!

Kodak Moment and Barry


Tuscani Dundee and family

Tuscani Dundee
18" x 14"

Wales is also the home to a fabulous breed of horses, the Welsh Cob. Today's painting features Tuscani Dundee, who was imported from Wales a weanling 18 years ago.

Lisa, Dundee's owner, wrote, "He is my very own Da Vinci horse." Upon reading those words, images of flowing drawings depicting raging horses, flaring nostrils, boldly emerging from the famous artist's drawing board popped into my mind, and of course I was absolutely including Dundee in the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project.

I have to say, I LOVE this horse! I could have watched him run around his hillside pasture for days. He is beautiful!

Here's more of how LIsa - who does get to spend days with him -- describes Dundee: "He is the embodiment of the Welsh Cob. He has all of the fire and spirit of the Welsh pony, coupled with the power and strength of the Welsh Cob. His visual image is smoothly and powerfully blended with incredible muscular curves and lines. His type and characteristics so closely resemble the ideal that the Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America selected an everyday pasture photo of him to use on their website as their example of a Section D Welsh Cob. Non-horsey visitors have asked, 'Does he work out?' And, 'Do you curl his hair?' Visitors at the Hoosier horse fair have said, 'I came back this year just to see him.'"

According to Lisa, "One judge stated, 'He has the best head in all of North America." Take a look at this photo with Lisa, Dundee and Lisa's daughter Amanda.

Welsh Cobb Painting

Lisa wraps up her description of Dundee, stating, "He is my very own Da Vinci horse, my living piece of art, and . . . . he makes my heart sing!"

Miss Mary
18" x 14"

This entry is reprinted from the
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You are the first to see the newest painting in the Beautiful Horses of Indiana series featuring Miss Mary who lives at New Beginnings Animal Refuge (NBAR) in New Salisbury, IN. And, as you can see, she’s not a horse, but a mule! And one very popular mule at that! After receiving FIVE nominations for Miss Mary, she was shoe in for the project. And because all her nominators signed up for my email newsletter, it’s only appropriate to unveil her painting in this venue

Meeting Miss Mary was a treat. Rolling into the farm we saw pastures dotted with equines of all sizes and ages. Donkeys, Quarter Horses, Arabians, crosses . . . What a menagerie! And then we saw Miss Mary, calmly waiting for whatever the day would bring. She’d seen it all already . . . .

Before being rescued, she was horribly thin and abused; Miss Mary was no longer wanted. She had been trucked from one sale to the next — rejected by all. Unsalable. Becky, her new owner, explained that white mules and horses are not wanted by the meat market due to their propensity for melanoma. There came a day when Miss Mary was to be put down in 24 hours. But hold the phone! Through a network of caring people a home was provided for Miss Mary at New Beginnings Animal Refuge.

Once she reached her new home Miss Mary, who is around 17 years old, flourished. This 16+ hh mule became an inspiration to volunteers and a companion to her fellow equine refugees. One fan wrote, “She has quickly become the QUEEN of NBAR and has an extensive following!” Miss Mary is the tallest mule I’ve met — her withers rose above the top of my head! I was amazed by not only her height and distinct, angular mule form, but also how docile she was. She was clearly at home at NBAR.


Miss Mary is loved by everyone at the New Beginnings Animal Rescue.
Her she is with a volunteer.


Grin and Bear It
18" x 12"

Grin and Bear It is pure Appaloosa! He has the most wonderful spotted coat pattern plus neat stripes along his sides, which I'd never seen. His owner Chris calls that "ribbing." How cool!

Grin and Bear it and Chris are part of Red Chaps & Purple Hats -- an equestrian chapter of the Red Hat Society! Chris explains that "instead of going to theaters and out to dinner, we work our horses to prepare to be ready for parades. We also trail ride and drill team. Red Hats and Purple Chaps was started by Indiana resident Jane Howard."

I think that the only way to make Grin and Bear It even flashier, would be a red-hat-and-purple-chap attired rider!

Grin and Bear It with Chris
(and a pure breed "camera hound"
in the background)


18" x 12"

Jewel (14 Karat Gold) is an Arabian/Oldenburgh sport horse.

Her owner Christine writes, "Jewel is a very proud mare who is a smaller yet powerfully build ladies/youth sport horse mount. Only 15.1 hh she carries herself like a 16.2 horse." Jewel was in foal to imported Hanoverian, Dacaprio, when I visited.

In her painting you can see she was due to give birth soon! She was not pleased to pose -- perhaps not wishing to appear quite so pregnant in her painting. But I thought she looked lovely as a mother-to-be.

Jewel and Christine

Dun New York Style
16" x 16"

Dun New York Style is a paint stallion with a super calm demeanor and laid back personality. His owner, William, was happy to show off this great looking horse! And happy to explain how Dun New York Style came to live in Indiana:

"I will tell you how that happened. I was in Arizona and went to look at a filly for an anniversary present for my wife. I got to the breeder and there I saw him. Just 2 months old and he stood like a seasoned stallion full of confidence. I just had to bring him home and he has been my friend ever since. He is so gentle and easy to handle. I swear he gets better looking every year. Last year he sired 3 foals. All of them have his great personality and looks. I plan on having him stand at stud here in Indiana for many years. We are expecting a foal this year from the filly I went to look at when I got him."

When we arrived at his place in Indiana to take photographs, William jumped in his golf cart Dun New York Style, clipped to a lead rope, followed him calmly out to his big grassy pasture. Turned loose, Dun New York Style calmly posed for still shots, then hung out with us. He liked us better than the prospect of grazing or running free. William even brought a mare over -- and that got Dun New York Style's attention -- a little! He's just a calm sort of horse, which is a real asset for Western riding!

William and Dun New York Style


Dainty Blue Lena
18" x 14"

When Patricia nominated Dainty Blue Lena for the Beautiful Horses of Indiana project she wrote, "Some have said [she's] the most beautiful horse they've ever seen." Note to anyone nominating horses for future projects: be sure to include that sentence. Of course, I'll want to include your horse!

Dainty Blue Lena is not only a beautiful Quarter Horse, she's also very spirited! Her pasture was a rather steep hillside, which made for some very interesting shots. I like how this painting captures her perfect roan coloring and powerful movements.

Dainty Blue Lena and Patrica



Fiona H
16" x 16"

Okay, how many of you have heard of this breed: Zweibrucker. I had not even seen that word until Laura's nomination for her mare, Fiona H, arrived in my inbox. Curious, I of course Googled it. You can too! Or check the Zweibrucker entry in Wikipedia about this German warm blood breed.

Fiona is very tall. Laura writes, "...thank goodness she does not know how tall she is!" But in this painting I wanted to emphasize that Fiona looks down on just about everyone she meets!


You can see how Fiona towers over Laura even when grazing!


See more
Beautiful Horses of Indiana

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Draft Horses
Gaited Horses
Gypsy Horses
Morgan Horses
Pintos & Paints
Quarter Horses
Western Horses
More Horses
Sporting Art
New Paintings

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Horse Paintings by Karen Brenner



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Copyright - Horse Paintings by Karen Brenner, 2015