A 2001 public art project based
in Santa Fe, New Mexico known as "The Trail
of the Painted Ponies" led local artist
Israel Palma to paint flowering cactus and mountain
views inspired by Sitting Bull Falls in the
nearby Guadalupe Mountains on the flanks of
this full-sized resin horse. The horse stands
six feet tall and is nearly eight feet long.
A resident of the Carlsbad area for most of
his life, Palma drew on his personal knowledge
of the canyons and mountains of the region to
paint this piece in acrylics.
Palma has been a school counselor
for the Carlsbad Municipal School District for
35 years and uses art as a means of facilitating
communication with his students and counseling
clients. In addition to his work as artist and
counselor, Palma is an
activist working to ensure the protection of
the Otero Mesa.
(In 2006, this horse & mural
were on display in the lobby of the Carlsbad
Caverns Visitor Center right near the elevator
that transports visitors into the main cave.
We are not entirely positive it is still on
display. If you can confirm that this painted
pony is still there, please write and let us
Caverns National Park
798 Carlsbad Cavern Hwy Carlsbad, NM 88220