. . . Knee bone connected to the thigh bone
Thigh bone connected to the hip bone
Hip bone connected to the back bone . . .
Dem bones gonna walk around . . .
A wet lab assembling an equine skeleton . . . I knew I had to take the class. You can see the mostly completed result above (no tail) and some details below. That’s my dog, River, sniffing the right front foot.
Lola Michelin of the NWSAM assembled quite a group of people and skill sets for the job: Lee Post, a man with a passion and lots of experience assembling skeletons of all kinds, model and mount makers, a photographer, and several willing friends and students. We worked long hours for four days to prep the bones for mounting and them ready for mounting.
Lola knew the horse, Jordan, and that added to the value of the workshop. She knew what his physical issues were, and we could look at the bones and see how they had adapted to (as living tissue) — or caused his limitations. He had many, and as a result, wasn’t ridden very much. Jordan spent the last year or two of his life at Lola’s farm on Vashon Island; his owners had agreed to the eventual use of his skeleton.
Getting the tissue off the bones was a big challenge that happened before the workshop. It took a year because it was composted. That was after the necropsy to cut the body into manageable pieces. It turns out that horse manure has the right chemistry and microorganisms to do the job very effectively over time.
As I held the bones in my hands, I knew something essential about Jordan. To see and feel how they fit and move together has inspired me to continue to learn more about equine anatomy and biomechanics. It was a wonderful learning experience. Thank you Jordan, and Lola!
Photos by Barbara Breckenfeld