February blah, blah, blah.

0 comments — posted 2015 Feb by Ian Culley

Thank the baby Jesus that February is a short month. At least that's what the calendar says (Happyhorse cartoon corral 2015 wall calendar available at www.happyhorsecartoons.com) but I digress. This is the month where winter has overstayed it's welcome and like that guy who won't shut up about politics, it's starting to get on my nerves. The colder I get, the more blankets I put on the horses. The snow in the paddock is so deep that the horses begin to look like tents at the base camp of Everest. I called my friend in Florida, just to punish myself further, and they complained that it got down to 60º F (15º C) at night, and that is five degrees colder than my bedroom. I'll take that. My bedroom is warmer than Florida. I feel better already.


Two and two equals Love 15

0 comments — posted 2015 Jan by Ian Culley

I was watching the Aussie open because I like tennis, and because I'm fascinated by the idea that while I'm freezing my heinie off, somewhere in this world it's above room temperature. It warms me just to think about it.  Then I come across the tidbit of information that every nine games, the players are issued new tennis balls. Then I got to thinking that a horse poops every hour.

And that's how you become a cartoonist.


Must be the weekend

0 comments — posted 2015 Jan by Ian Culley

Have you ever noticed that those serious colics always show up on Saturday at the end of the day, the sweet spot of the weekend? You're just about to settle into a nice meal and some time that doesn't include horses and Bam! All of a sudden at night check instead of five heads peering out at you there are only four and a set of legs flailing about in the air, and you're about to spend the next six hours walking a horse around in the dark praying for a big fart and a load of horse muffins fresh out of the oven.

Now, I know this can't be true, I'm sure that vets deal with colic at all times of the day and night, during the week and on weekends, and that they deal with emergencies during the days as well as floating teeth, and vaccinating, otherwise they would only be open at night and on weekends. But it kind of feels like it does. 



When did the weather get so mean?

0 comments — posted 2012 Jul by Ian Culley


I can remember when in summer we would have a heat wave followed by a pleasant rain shower. This year after almost five weeks of desert dryness we got slammed by a dump of rain with a lightning bolt chaser, and added high winds to keep you on your toes. Now the government tells me that climate change is up there with the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, but really, when did the weather get so mean? 

Maybe it's just political.


Gardening is a pain in the behind.

0 comments — posted 2012 Jun by Ian Culley


It's that time of year where everything is growing faster than the national debt. I went out to do a little gardening and after six hours doing battle with what I can only describe as the plants that came second in the audition for "the Little Shop of Horrors", I tried to stand up and only made halfway. Next time I'm just going to let my horse Duke have-at-it, and while I think about it there must be some way to fence off the lawn so he can do the mowing too.


February is a Love - Hate kind of month.

0 comments — posted 2012 Feb by Ian Culley


February means Valentines day, which you can either love or you can hate. I tend to go back and forth, if the truth be told. In January winter is usually in it's zenith. Crisp blinding white days, and cold nights which require much cuddling to keep warm under wool blankets, in front of a roaring fire or space heater. February enters the scene playing second fiddle, and we are all a little tired of the tune. We know spring is around he corner, and February has arrived with a bouquet of wilted flowers and a half eaten box of chocolates. This year it's a whole day longer which is all the more reason I'm praying for clouds February 2nd.

I think I'm a thoroughbred!

0 comments — posted 2012 Jan by Ian Culley


We've had great feedback to this year's calendar, Thanks very much. This cartoon is the "Miss January" of 2012 and I'm sure whether or not you have horses or know anything about thoroughbreds, you can relate. We have a great year planned at Happyhorse cartoons so keep in touch.

Comfort Food

0 comments — posted 2011 Oct by Ian Culley


As the weather gets colder I start to crave the comfort foods. Now this is different for everyone, but based on my extensive research it is usually a plate, or bowl of hot food. Stew is my all time favorite. I have about a ga-zillion variations of stew so I never get tired of stew. It's another reason why fall is my favorite season.

It's Cold Season, again!

0 comments — posted 2011 Oct by Ian Culley


It started with a sneeze. It was raining, cool, felt like fall for the first time this season. Now I do work in a barn, full of hay, and dust, so a sneeze is not out of the ordinary. But this one was different. I knew immediately. By the end of the day I had the sniffles. By evening it felt like my head was under water. A cold.

Three days later and I'm in full cry-baby-husband mode, and my wife, to her credit has ignored me, my symptoms, and has left town on "business". 

This morning, though the sun came out again, it feels warm and I have hope that this too shall pass. Besides I can't smell the manure so mucking out was a breeze!

You have to take the good with the bad.

Bugs and horses

0 comments — posted 2011 Sep by Ian Culley


I had to get rid of some wasp nests this summer. I had noticed a few, high up and away from everything and I thought that they wouldn't be a problem. Live and let live. Then one afternoon Red, our crazy retired thoroughly-thoroughbred, was running up and down the fence line. Now this in its self is not unusual, but every time he got near the gate he would spasm and half buck and run away down the fence line only to return and repeat the same action.

I quickly realized that every time he got near the gate he was being stung by some angry wasps that had taken up residence in the holes in the gate. I got stung three times getting poor Red to safety, and Red calmed down immediately and was no worse for wear.

I wrought the foamy-chemical death on the whole nest. 

It's hard to be Zen when someone is suffering.

The Straight poop.

3 comments — posted 2011 Jun by Ian Culley


Someone once told me that horses poop once an hour. 

Anyone who has "mucked out" a stall, or a thousand, will tell you that the glamour of performing manual labour wears off at about stall four.  It remains a never ending constant if you stable horses. Every morning like Groundhog Day the stall which was as fresh as a new idea when you put the horse in has been reduced to that hotel room in the movie The Hangover by morning. Every morning. How do you deal with the tedium? You can tell yourself that it's physical exercise, or that it is in essence a selfless act which you must endure on your way to sainthood, and a bronze statue in the town square. 

The secret is to treat the whole experience as you would the rain, the heat, the snow and the cold. It is what it is.

That and getting someone else to do the work. Then you can sit back and talk all "philosophical" and hope nobody notices that you're making s**t up.

Water, water everywhere ...

0 comments — posted 2011 May by Ian Culley


We've had a lot of water lately, (and for those of you in Houston I apologize) which poses certain challenges. 

I can get my horses to walk through puddles, instead of jumping them like invisible verticals on an Olympic course, but what do you do when you have so much water that your paddock becomes the ultimate slip-n-slide? It's gotten so bad that my neighbour Norah is building something big in her barn, she's been collecting animals and spends an inordinate amount of time talking skyward with her outside voice, and she doesn't seem to have a cell phone. Now if you'll excuse me the sun just came out and I have to go and mow the grass.

Red tells me when it's blackfly season

0 comments — posted 2011 May by Ian Culley


We take care of an older horse named Red. He is a huge thoroughly-thoroughbred and when he senses the first flying insect (black-flies) of the spring he starts to run around the paddock like a little girl at a picnic. We're creating a special Hazmat suit for him, a sketch of the preliminary design can be seen below. Bzzz.

Pain is Funny April 18, 2011

0 comments — posted 2011 Apr by Ian Culley


I don't know about you but watching some poor sod get nailed in the twig and berries by an errant tennis ball always makes me laugh. Maybe that explains my chosen profession. I do sympathize but I laugh first. Horses are much more empathetic. Take the horse in this cartoon, he's quite concerned even though his next sentence is: "Can I have your hay?"


the process - sketch to painting Apr. 11/2011

1 comments — posted 2011 Apr by Ian Culley


I start with an idea, like Spring. It's a great time of year. The snow melts, the air gets warmer, but there is a down side that people who live strictly on asphalt and concrete don't see, and that is mud. How do you get mud? Here is a receipe:

Take a 1400lb horse that stands on four spindly legs, (and for those of you who don't have a horse take your kitchen table, and then put your refrigerator directly on top of the table; now imagine it walking, running and sliding around your backyard.)  put it on your pasture that is still soft and wet from the recent snow melt. Wait half an hour. You will have mud. You can also do this in the fall after several days of rain, but the horses are as excited about being outside. There is nothing like a Spring day that will turn even the oldest horse into a three week old foal.

So I take this idea and I make a number of sketches until I have one that works for me:

In this case I made a digital colour version to try out a colour scheme:

Finally I transfer the drawing to watercolour paper and paint the final cartoon painting:

If anyone is interested in more of the "how to" kind of stuff, send me an e-mail. If I get enough interest I'll do something a little more exciting.

March 28, 2011 Getting to the Point.

0 comments — posted 2011 Mar by Ian Culley


Sometimes a complex idea comes along where words are, well ... too wordy. Fortunately the picture to word exchange rate still sits at around one thousand to one. So, from this cartoon do you know what a NOSODE is? Can you guess what they do? (For the answer see http://www.kamanimalservices.com/tips/ )

March 21, 2011 First Day of Spring!

0 comments — posted 2011 Mar by Ian Culley


It has occurred to me that most people coming across this website, and these cartoons in particular, may not be aware that they go hand and hand with an article put together with our friends at KAM Animal Services. KAM has a tip of the week and I have been given the great job to illustrate the idea that appears on various webpages across the blogosphere. So if one of the cartoons found in this blog doesn't quite make sense to you go and read the article, and then send me your feedback. I'm always interested in what you may have to say.

 Today is the first day of Spring, so I feel that this cartoon, which has to do with breeding is more than appropriate. 

March 14, 2011 - This Cartoon is Under Construction

1 comments — posted 2011 Mar by Ian Culley


You know how everyone is supposed to have a spirit animal? That true universal nature of the self that if we are in touch with our spiritual selves can help direct us through our corporal existence? Well, when it comes to construction my spirit animal is definitely a horse. I have trouble hammering nails, but I do like my tool belt.

March 7, 2011 - How to Make a Horse Look Like it's Tripping.

0 comments — posted 2011 Mar by Ian Culley


It takes a lot for a horse to trip and fall. They have four on the floor, which makes them pretty stable. (Yes I meant the pun.) I've seen horses slip on the mud, just yesterday in fact, but to trip and fall the way we humans do? No. 

I tried all sorts of sketches, that failed as long as two feet were touching the ground. Suffice to say that if your horse is stumbling around, you should look into it.
If your horse looks anything like this cartoon, then take a picture, send it in and then call your vet.

Spring can't come soon enough.

0 comments — posted 2011 Feb by Ian Culley


For those of you who are counting the days until the temperature starts to warm up, here's a little something to tide you over.

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