A cold breeze and a skiff of snow on the ground couldn’t keep Oxbow students from their First Annual Paint the Ponies activity.
What started as a Halloween event in 2008 continued this year as an opportunity for students to express their history and their hopes for the future.
Equine directors Brita and Tony North provided each student with a variety of poster paints and instructions to paint their story on one side of a horse.
“Native Americans used to paint their ponies before important battles or hunts,” Brita explained. “Their ponies became a sort of resume and each symbol had special meaning.”
Using that model, the boys developed their own symbols of important events in their lives during class time earlier in the week. Then it was off to the corral to paint the horses with the symbols they created.
Brita explains, “The therapeutic quality is the fact they get to experience it and get to do it and get to live it. And if you live something you’re more likely to engrain it in yourself rather than just talk about it.”