Because my role as a sign and mural painter took me away from the horses, I formed the idea of a mutually beneficial situation for them. A situation where my horse would receive regular exercise and somebody else shared the expense. One concept was a share, or ’lease’ arrangement. Essentially, another person pays board in exchange for the privilege of riding him. The benefit was exercise and care while the other person enjoyed him. I did not want anyone who would interfere with my specific ambitions with horsemanship. I sought someone who would simply ride.
I put an ad in a regional horse magazine. I met Rosalind as the result. She enjoyed competition trail rides and because she was tall, she wanted a tall horse. We entered into what became a satisfactory arrangement. My horse and mule spent the summer months near South Haven with Roz.
Roz had an Australian outback saddle and a two-horse trailer. She took Souveran on long rides and that helped keep him muscled up and bright while I was away creating beautiful paintwork.
During our occasional visits made between rallies and festivals, she reported things discovered while riding him. When the trail rose to a clearing and they could see for miles, if he saw another horse way off in the distance, his desire was to catch up and pass the other horse.
Occasionally she’d borrow another horse and we’d go on a ride together. There was a place north of South Haven where we could park her horse trailer, unload and ride our horses down a steep bank to get to the sandy shore of Lake Michigan. We enjoyed this opportunity to expose our horses to new sights along the shore.
At first, I attempted to ride Souveran into the shallow water, but each time a wave came in, he quickly side-stepped to avoid the scary wave that came at him. Gradually, I coaxed him into deeper water. These new sights and experiences with my new friend were fun.
Sharing my horse with Roz freed me up to pursue the emerging market I had found. Creating airbrushed murals on motorhomes was an opportunity that required extensive travel.
For several summers, the horse stayed with my friend Rosalind in South Haven, who rode the trails and kept him muscled up. Roz ran a beauty shop and over the years of continuing this exchange, we became good friends. I returned to the Elliott Amusement Company to paint festive works of art until my brief excursion to the Blue Bird rally. When their festival route started, I returned to set up my T-shirt painting booth.