This is a photo of a print of a Kiowa Warrior and Wife by Stephen Mopope ( 1898-1974). The Kiowa were Plains Natives and the horse was part of the family. The horse made it easier to hunt and to move camp. Paint horses were especially valued as their coloring was not only attractive but added an element of camouflage when in the forests. According to Tamsin Pickerel in her book “The Horse- 30,00 Years of the Horse in Art” Native Americans referred to horses as the “sacred dog” and decorated their warhorses with painted symbols to give then power and protection.
Here is another colored horse painted by Johann Georg von Hamilton in 1725. But this one is Cerbero the favourite riding horse of Emperor Charles VI of Austria. Cerbero is performing a ‘capriole’ one of the most advanced moves of the High School of Dressage. The horses of the Native Americans were descendants of European horses and this may have been an ancestor of the Kiowa Paint horse.