When Sandy Cramer decided to paint a skeleton print on her 10-year-old black mare named Raven, she had no idea how popular the‘skeleton horse’ would become. She 1st decided to paint Raven last year for her entry into a horse and rider Halloween costume contest. The overwhelming response to her creative costume convinced her to repeat the tradition for years to come.
All information and photographs are from Sandy’s Facebook page for her storefront Knot Just Rope.
Sandy Cramer is the owner of Knot Just Rope, a store specializing in handmade rope products for equine use and training. You can find them at the Hocking Hills Market in Rockbridge, Ohio.
“All my horses are barefoot and bit-less as we do our own trimming and I make all my bit-less bridles and rope tack. Raven is a 10-year-old registered breeding stock paint with one ‘tiny’ white spot on her side (covered up by a white rib in these photos). I had received Raven as a green broke ‘clients horse’ for training when she was 4 years old. I spent time with this mare and fell in love. Told the owner that if she ever sold her then I would love the opportunity to make the purchase.
Two years later that dream became a reality. With this mare I do trail riding, obstacle courses including balance beams/cowboy curtains/tarps/water/teeter bridges/pulling objects/popping balloons and much more, working on horse agility obstacles at liberty to eventually compete with the International Horse Agility, some barrel racing, and started on trick training.” [Source]
You can find all 225 photos of Raven on Knot Just Rope’s Facebook album:Skeleton Horse 2013.
For more information on Raven and the painting process, read this Facebook note by Sandy Cramer.
“It does take 2.5 hours to hand paint this skeletal structure on Raven. Yes, she will stand there the entire time. Patience training is one activity that is incorporated in my training program.” [Source]
“I use ‘apple barrel’ brand acrylic craft paint I get from Walmart… I have used this same paint for 4 years now on 7 different horses, none of which have had any allergic reactions. I use a 1/2″ paint brush with one of my vet tech books showing the skeletal structure. Unlike dyes, the paint stays on top of the horse’s fur and doesn’t come in contact with the skin. It is a water based paint and once soaked and softened comes off easily… The painting will last overnight if you need to paint the evening before but do have more paint and be ready to touch up the next morning before your show or event as some will be worn off but easy to touch up.” [Source]