Hoofbeats In Heaven
Horse Loss Support

Hoofbeats In Heaven
The Painting
By Kim McElroy

Presenting The Heavenly Horses in Our Portrait
Their humans' first names are in parenthesis.

Top Row, Left to Right

"Angel Horse"  Copyboy
(Karen)  Duncan (Mary)  Allsann Fury (Mary)

Middle Row, Left to Right

Above Command
(Debi)  Mon Ami (Karen)  Cherry Blossom (Emma)
Cute As A Button (Paige)  ShowBiz (Erika)  Vanity's Butterfly (Heather)

Bottom Row, Left to Right

(Michelle)  Skip To Fame (Mary)  Pretty Boy (Dwight)  Beau (Cindy)

When Cindy lost her horse, Beau, she had difficulty finding any online support for anyone who could truly relate to her loss. So she created a horse loss support group and memorial website called Hoofbeats in Heaven (HIH).

Since its inception, HIH has featured the artwork of Kim McElroy. Cindy believes that Kim's art is uniquely comforting to grieving horse owners and says her artwork "makes tangible...the soul of the horse."

The members of the Hoofbeats in Heaven support group help each other through their grieving process, sharing their own stories of love and healing. New members are welcomed into this family of like-minded and heartfelt friends, where they receive the support and understanding they need.

In 2004, a number of the members asked Kim if she could somehow create a group portrait to acknowledge the support they've given and received and the connection they feel their horses share in their heavenly herd. Kim was intrigued with the idea of a group portrait, and she came up with a way in which to make it possible for a group of people to share a painting. In March 2006, "Hoofbeats in Heaven" came to life.

This complex and magical portrait came together in miraculous ways, and Kim truly feels that her skill in portraying these horses was aided by the power of their spirits, and by the love of their owners. In addition to being a celebration of these individual horses for their owners, this painting was commissioned with the intent to share the healing message of horses in heaven with any person who needs this comforting vision. Kim was inspired to paint the horse angel in the upper left corner so that anyone who sees the painting whose horse has crossed over, can see their own horse's spirit joining the herd.

The creation of this painting is a story in itself. So many synchronicities and miracles occurred as the participants began to truly feel closer to the spirits of their beloved horses. They experienced a wide range of emotions, from anticipation and joy, to the reawakening of some of their sadness. Some had lost their horses years ago, while a few were very recent, yet the feelings were reawakened as they anticipated seeing their horses again. They all kept in close touch with Kim as she shared her inspirations, and the news when each horse had joined the herd. When the prints were shipped and then unwrapped and viewed for the first time, each participant shared their deep emotions with Kim by e-mail or phone. It was miraculous to hear their stories of healing, and how they all felt - without a shadow of a doubt - that Kim had truly painted their horse's spirit, and that somehow, seeing their horse in this new light, allowed them to move through their grief more than they ever had been able to before.

Each member of the website who participated in the group portrait received a beautiful watercolor reproduction of the original painting. The original resides with Cindy, Hoofbeats In Heaven founder, as a heartfelt gift from the group to Cindy for her dedication and support in their lives. All of the members were overjoyed to see their own horse depicted, but also they felt a kinship with the other herd members and were comforted in knowing that their horse is part of an infinitely beautiful heavenly herd.

It is Kim's greatest joy to allow the spirits of horses to express through her. Her love for horses, and natural talent for art, is somehow amplified when she creates works of art for others who love their horses so deeply. Prints of Hoofbeats in Heaven are available through Kim McElroy's Spirit of Horse Gallery or call 360-297-7736.

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