Makin’ A Protest
14” x 8½” x 4 ¼”
Limited Edition of 9 Bronze
It is always exciting for me to do a bucking horse, especially one that is inspired by an Ed Borein drawing! This is such an exciting piece. I love the design element that is added by the quirt. It is truly amazing to find such good design in a sketch. Makin’ A Protest is the third piece in a series of four. Ed Borein, a true legend of cowboy art and left many wonderful watercolors, etchings, and drawings for us to enjoy.
The California vaquero in this piece is typical of the1910-1920 period, he worked for the large ranches that were throughout California. This man is a good bronc rider, and the horse is a tough one. Notice that the horse is blown up and has thrust himself backward and up. “Yee Haw what a ride!” He is riding a Visalia saddle. It is a centerfire rig, meaning it only has one cinch, that is how these saddles were rigged. You will also notice, there is no rope on the saddle. These riders were specialists, so no rope is needed on his saddle. The rope was only used on the ground to catch and school the horse before saddling.
His hat has an open crown, flat brim, and the front bending back slightly with the rush of air. He is wearing a nice big rowel spur, probably self made. Many of the vaqueros made much of their own gear as the earnings were low. They became skilled at braiding, twisting horse hair ropes and making many of the things they used daily.
The horse is a four year old. He is big and stout and has grown up out in the herd. On his head is a hackamore. This consists of a rawhide noseband and a horse hair rein tied through it which is called a mecate rope. Again, the vaquero would likely have made them himself. The quirt in his hand is of rawhide. He is bringing it down, not to hit the horse, with but with a snap by the horses head. A horse cannot buck when its head is up, so this helps get the situation under control.
Riding this big colt took a very special skill set, in order to be prepared when the horse was “Makin’ a Protest”.