About Nadina Ironia – Her Story – Our Featured Contemporary Artist
I’m in love with horses since I can remember. I kept dreaming and drawing them till one day when I was about 10 years old I saw a horse passing by our summer house. I took my bike and followed. I’ve probably asked 100 questions of the rider, but I found what I needed – a place where I could meet horses. My parents couldn’t afford riding lessons or own horse, so I had to work hard at a stud farm looking after mares and foals, mucking out, cleaning the yard. I learned riding bareback there. The most important thing I learned was about the horse itself! I learned all about their nature, how to respect it and how to let the horse feel comfortable with myself and people around.
Of course I always kept drawing. Winning competitions with my art was just as normal for me. I knew one day I would be an artist and I knew horses would be beside me.
One sunny day a bad traffic accident happened to me and it seemed life would never be as colorful again as before. The doctors wanted to remove my leg from the top of the knee, I had bleeding in my head and my spine was damaged. For 3 years I believed I was dying. Of course there were no horses around and loads of people didn’t want to communicate with me as I was depressed. I was dead alive.
Then one day I was looking at my riding gear. I began to cry, and then I decided – I must find horses! And I found them. I started working in a big showjumping yard to take care of horses after they were injured, grooming, loving them, walking in hand with them. M legs were sore, I was lame and weak. But the horses took care of me too. Day by day I felt better and better and in couple of months I was able to ride, and nobody would notice I had such bad injuries. Horses gave me another chance to live and I love them just for that!
I became trainer in the yard, breaking and re-schooling horses. As I always say there is not a bad horse; There are stubborn people. All my horses always became like dogs, even stallions were focused only on me. We were best friends. I just enjoyed my new life beside them. I kept my dream of being an artist, but I had to work for my education. I finished Art College and later University. I had a break in painting and got some commissions. Idid loads of photography, had a brilliant social life around horsey people.
Family life brought me to Ireland and a new beginning that wasn’t that easy. I missed horses badly and I decided: if I can’t have horse beside me in reality, I will keep doing my equestrian arts and have them in my images. I developed a business in Ireland of photography services, started painting again and found it comes more easily and better than years ago. Then a day came when I was offered to ride on daily basis, re-schooling racing horse. I do mostly flatwork. Some would call it dressage, I call it therapy for myself and at same time doing something good for horses and their owners.
I’m a lucky girl! I’m riding, I’m taking photographs and I do painting — all about horses. They are deep in my heart. They are my life!