Linda Shantz artist & author at the Breeders' Cup in Santa Anita

The "Me" Behind the Equestrian Art and Horse Racing Books

I’m not going to lie. I’ve never been a fan of my own face, and it’s not getting any better as I get older. I’d always rather be behind the camera than in front of it. I’d rather let my equestrian paintings, and horse racing novels, and, let’s face it, my horses and dog, speak for me instead of putting myself out there. 

keepsake equine portraits in oil by equestrian artist Linda Shantz (photo by Holly Tonini)

But it’s important, too, I think, to let people know there is a real person behind the horse paintings, and novels, and cute animals. Someone real is creating that, or caring for them; this isn’t a fake account you can’t trust. It’s me, wrinkles and scars and all.

So, hi! I'm Linda Shantz. I'm a Canadian equestrian artist and my artwork has exhibited from here, to Saratoga Springs, NY, to Aiken, SC, all the way to Dubai and Australia. My horse racing novels have become wonderfully popular.

But the real me is socially awkward and would rather live the life of a recluse on my farm in the middle of nowhere, Ontario, with my off-track Thoroughbreds and Border Collie.

Chestnut OTTBs owned by Linda Shantz equestrian artist and author

The real me counts more on her horses keeping her sane than making her insane. Because if you’ve made a life with horses, you know that can be a fine line!

The real me would like to work out an hour a day, but is settling for pushing a wheelbarrow, throwing around bags of feed and bales of hay and taking the dog for her daily romp instead of putting in time on the treadmill. 

The real me has a degree in Food Science and took enough nutrition courses in university to know how to eat right, but has come to accept that chocolate brings something important to my days.

I see social media posts of young, pretty, thin artists dressed in fashionable outfits that somehow don’t have paint or dirt from the barn smeared all over them, while this is what you’re likely to see me in.

Photo of Linda Shantz, equestrian artist and author with her chestnut Thoroughbred mare, Gracie.

FYI, my winter outfit isn’t much different, just layer on a sweatshirt, vest, neck gaiter, toque and gloves!

I hope my art and writing are more important than my image. I know you’d rather see a horse than human any day. But hey, this is me, the real person behind it all.

Gracie (in the photo with me!) is the model!



Photograph of Gracie and Linda by Kyley Woods Photography, used with permission. Top photo by Emily Conforti.

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