Frederic S. Remington (1861–1909)
Types of Saddle Horses, ca. 1892
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of Paul Mellon
This ink-wash study by Remington appeared as an illustration for an article that appeared in Harper’s Weekly for November 19, 1892. Earlier that year the artist had traveled on assignment to Europe, where he visited and sketched a number of crack equestrian units in England, France, Germany, and Russia. By that time, Remington’s ability to portray equine anatomy was legendary. This drawing, however, seems to evoke an area much closer to home. At this period of his life, the artist enjoyed frequent horseback rides in New York’s Central Park; it is likely that the inspiration for these “smart types” of horses was taken from his daily observations at the park’s riding stables. The horses in the drawing delineate certain types of horses for particular kinds of riders. Remington himself, for example, was relatively heavy, and he required a strong, big-boned horse to carry him around. This is the horse in the drawing labeled a “weight carrier.” The lady’s saddle horse, on the other hand, was known for its “vivacity and docility.” The drawing itself is a masterful study of the ink-wash technique; in just a few quick strokes, Remington was able to suggest the shimmer of light on the horses’ muscular bodies.