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Assignment: Horse Calendar, Part 2

~This is part 2 in a series. Click here to go to part 1.~

One of my favorite cartoons to work on for the calendar was called “Horse Show or Bust”. The joke is about people who think they can handle the task of preparing and getting to a horse show without the need for a groom.

What's a groom?

20th painting of horse and groom

What I imagined a horse groom looks like

A groom is someone who manages a barn's horses and stables, and accompanies you to horse shows to help make sure all goes smoothly.

Girl brushing horse's tail

Modern day groom


Apparently, preparing for a horse show is a lot of work. There's tack (bridles, saddles, harnesses), horse feed, hay bales, show attire, lots of bug spray, AND horses.

Horse looking at camera

Just one of the items on the list.

The client wanted me to draw a scene with a truck and horse trailer practically exploding from overpacking. OK! I said. Any chance I get to draw an exaggerated scenario, I'm all for it.

But before I could draw the fun stuff, I needed to set the stage.

I did a quick rough sketch of what I wanted the layout to be:

First rough sketch

Then, I Googled trucks and trailers for drawing reference.

This truck matched the angle of my sketch,

Pickup truck and horse trailer

and I swapped out the horse trailer for this one, just because I thought it was cute:

Rounded horse trailer

Once I settled that, I started adding the details.

This is where I really had fun.

I wanted the horse on the trailer to be the most prominent visual, because it was the craziest thing of all, so I made his eyes really big and pointed all the flying debris in his direction.

Close up of horse on trailer roof

The stuff flying out the back I made sure to draw clearly, so that it was understood that valuable objects (like $500 riding boots!) were inadvertently getting tossed.

Riding clothes flying away


The horse inside the trailer I drew with a bewildered expression, to show that even he knew this was not normal.

Wide-eyed horse peeking out of trailer

And to further drive home the insanity, I contrasted it with a serene scene of horse and meadow in the background.

Horse grazing in the meadow


This one was a lot of fun. Harder ones were on the horizon!


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1 comment

  • Hi Carla!
    That was fun… getting to see the “behind the scene” process that you use to create! I love the idea of using the serene background to emphasize the crazed subject! Very cool. :-)

    • Ginny Beckett