Oick On Horseback
"It was a Beaunese sheltie, of about twelve or fourteen years of age, yellow as an orange, without any hair on its tail, but abundance of galls on its legs, and which, whilst carrying its head lower than its knees, yet managed gallantly its eight leagues a day."
Anyone who has read the book will not fail to recognise Dumas's description of the horse that propelled Dartagnan from the parental home to Paris. When Dumas wrote "The Three Musketeers" in 1844, he could assume his readers would be familiar with horses and popular prejudices towards their appearance: we can be sure that the colour is not intended to recommend the animal to us.
It seemed to me, at the time of painting, that such a apparition might, in this case, suit admirably. On reflection, it seems my imagination has gotten the better of me: I have produced some poor oick mounted on a nag that no gentleman of quality would be seen dead on. Oh well, I shall try and palm it off on visiting generals.