The horse that saved its life by painting: Metro

They say, “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Therefore, when painter Ron Krajewski brought Metro to the front of the canvas, there was no guarantee of the outcome.

Ever since Ron and his wife bought Metro in 2009, the horse has struggled with health issues.
Prior to 2009, Metro was a racehorse known as Metro Meteor and earned $300,000 in eight races. However, he had to retire due to a chip fracture problem in his knee bones.

“We were looking for a horse to ride for my wife Wendy, and we were probably a bit naive,” Ron explains, adding:

“After taking the metro, we realized he had a much more serious injury than he had told us.”

Metro was treated for months, used drugs. Special horseshoes worked for a while, but X-rays taken in 2012 showed his knee joints were fused together.

The vet, looking at the results, said the knee would become inoperable within two years, after which he would have to put the horse to sleep.

“I didn’t want to leave him in a meadow and forget about him. I was thinking about how we could spend time together,” Ron explains.

“At the beginning, he touched the canvas with the brush and threw it on the ground”

Ron noticed that his cheerful horse likes to say things around him.

Ron, himself a professional artist, wondered if he could persuade Metro to keep a brush in his mouth:

“I first taught him to touch the canvas with his nose giving a price, then to hold a brush in his mouth.
“At first he was touching the canvas with the brush and throwing it on the ground. Luckily, then he started doing strokes with his brush and he seemed to like it.”

After a while, Metro began painting paintings that Ron considered good enough to display in local galleries.

Four of Metro’s gallery paintings were sold in the first week.

His technique is likened to that of the famous painter Jackson Pollock.

The horse’s unbridled style has been compared to that of famed painter Jackson Pollock, known for his splash and drip technique.

“Metro’s brushstrokes aren’t the kind of people who can do this, because they never think about what to do before hitting the brush. Their strokes are thick and random, sometimes intermittent. This makes other colors more visible “, explains Ron.

Metro’s extraordinary talent caught the attention of a local television station in the US state of Pennsylvania. After the news was published there, her story spread across the country. Thus, in 2014, 150 people lined up to buy his work.

Proceeds from the sale of Metro’s paintings helped fund an experimental treatment for the horse.

Her vet created a new technique to inject a drug called Tildren directly into her knees.
“X-rays we took within a few months showed that his bone growth had regressed, so his life was extended for years,” says Ron.

Ron and Wendy keep Metro with their other horse, Pork Chop, in a corral four miles from their home.

During their visit here five days a week, Ron and Metro take time to paint together.

“We made a studio for a small part of the barn for the subway. There’s everything he can paint,” Ron explains:

“I tried to get Pork Chop painted once, but he wasn’t interested at all.”

Ron is both art director and assistant for Metro. Choosing the color and applying it with the brush, Ron attaches the brush to Metro’s mouth and Metro rubs the brush on the canvas:

“As I’m still standing to his left, he leads the brush from left to right. He paints the area across the canvas where I’m holding the brush to his mouth.”

Ron and Metro paint three or four canvases in 20 minutes.

“We spend two minutes on each canvas and move on to the next one. Because it tends to mess things up so much, for example, we apply a little blue and let it dry, then move on to orange. This creates layers. “

“Very outgoing personality”

Ron, whom Ron describes as an “extremely outgoing personality”, finds his air in front of the canvas.
“When I bring the easel to the meadow, it stops grazing and immediately crosses the canvas.

“She loves to paint. For horses, the place right in front of her nose is the blind spot, so I don’t know if she can see what she’s doing well, but I think she likes the feeling of brushing the cloth.”

Like Metro, art was not Ron’s first calling. Growing up in a salmon fishing family in Alaska, Ron served in the US Air Force when he was growing up.

At 40 he became a professional artist:

“I mainly do animal portraits. I work in a very realistic way. It’s the opposite when you paint with Metro. Impossible to predict what he will do when he puts the brush in his mouth. It’s controlled chaos.”

Sales of Metro paintings are doing well.

“There are paintings that sell for $500”

“We sell images of different sizes at different prices. Prices can range from $50 to $500. We sell one or two photos a week.”

Ron and Wendy donate half of Metro’s earnings to New Vocations, a foundation that recycles old racehorses and finds them new homes. They have helped 50-60 horses by donating 80,000 lira so far.

Metro, who is 14, has no intention of stopping.

“There is something about the art of painting that appeals to Metro,” says Ron:

“I think you will never get tired of it.”

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