Meet The Horsewoman and Artist, Olivia Constance Hunsperge
for Cavvy Savvy
Olivia Constance Hunsperger is a horsewomen and artist whom I’ve kept my eye on for awhile now. Her horses are fancy and she creates unique artistic visuals that I think are awesome!
I recently asked Olivia to tell us more about herself and her journey as a horsewoman and artist.
Olivia: They say, I came into the world smelling of horse sweat and cow turds. My mother trained arabian stallions and milked cows at the family dairy before I was born. I was riding by age 4. My mom and dad were gifted a little, hand-me-down, immortal, painted pony with the unfortunate name of “Bucky.” Bucky was a run-off jerk. So I quickly graduated to a big girl horse by age 8. I had a slew of grey horses it seems. Maybe mom and dad (dad was a packer and a mule dragger in his day in the Sierras) thought that I wouldn’t notice that they’d replaced one or two?
I rode horses pretty solid until I had a brain fart around age 16 and decided that I wanted to try and be something I wasn’t. That didn’t last long, as I was not an athlete, nor was I very academically inclined. What I did have going for me when I pulled my head out of the sand, was good balance and good eye for horse flesh. I commandeered both of my dad’s good horses that year. Of course, one of them was an ornery paint mare. I seem to have a history with onery painted ponies.
That paint mare helped kick everything off for me! Once I started riding her, I was really hooked. She had a killer stop and a monster turn around, as she had 6 months prior training with reining trainer.
She put me through the first few years of college, mostly with scholarships. She also won buckles, a saddle, and some other cool gear. Not bad for a hand-me-down paint mare.
My mom and dad gifted me the mare, papers and all. I rode the hide off of her until she was 18 or so. Poor thing.
Ever since, I’ve been learning about myself as a horseman; sometimes by failure, sometimes by triumph… but a lot of times, it’s just trial by fire. I started learning how to rope when I was 18. In my opinion, I’m still not very good nearly 10 years later, but I can manage to range doctor.
I really have a passion for AQHA and APHA bloodlines. I hope to have a small string of broodmares to always keep the horse flesh new and exciting. (I still have the old paint mare, and at 23, she’s STILL producing for me.)
I really enjoy ranching on my horses, especially my geldings. I also enjoy showing a little bit in Ranch Versatility. I think that will become a bigger part of my horse background in the future.
You can see how something that has been such a staple in my life can conjure up so much passion that it overflows into new passions. That’s where the art came in. I’ve always been a right brained weirdo. I love color. I see things in ways some folks don’t, I guess. Horses, and of course the western way of life, have influenced every step of my artistic journey. Money wasn’t so much a factor. I just enjoy creating things that I like to look at. Selling horses and selling pieces of art for me, feels about the same; there is always a sense of pride, worry, and melancholy attached to a sale. I think that’s how it should be when you sell something you created.
I have really always been a big fan of watercolor and ink. Acrylics and pencil have been good mediums for me too. You see, I’m realllllllly nearsighted. Without my glasses on, I’m damn near blind. But that little hindrance makes for a really cool way of seeing scenery. Everything kind of looks like a watercolor painting to me, and its easily translated.
Lately, I’ve been doing a series of pieces in a collection I’ve dubbed “The Crazy Alice Chronicles.” Essentially, I’m bringing to life this character that is my alter ego; she’s feisty, rangey, and she can actually sit a horse that bucks. (Haha)
A lot of people encouraged me to develop a line of graphic tshirts. That has been a huge success in my eyes. I had no idea ranch-type people would want to wear my art. It’s a good feeling when someone sends you a photo from a ranch rodeo of someone wearing your merch!
I’m constantly dreaming and creating in my head, but currently I’m helping run a big yearling operation in central South Dakota and getting ready to add a new (maybe a little wet behind the ears) ranch hand to my little family in December. I’m referring to a human baby, not a horse baby. So that’s going to take up some time.
Horses will always be a staple, as will the western way of life. These are things that I will make sure my son always knows. Current passions will overflow in to new ones and there will always be creating to do.
To anyone who reads this article, please take these things with you:
Never stop creating.
Black hided cows always sell better.
Keep a bottle of banamine in the ranch truck.
Eat beef whenever possible.
Be kind, always.
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Thanks in part to the COVID restrictions – which sent their girls home for online college courses, the Plendl family of Kingsley, Iowa, saw many successes in the arena in 2020.