An award-winning equestrian artist who only started drawing during the pandemic has told Your Horse the new venture has saved her life.

Rachael Robinson first put pencil to paper in March 2020 in a bid to boost her mental health. She had recently given birth to her first baby before lockdowns were imposed and was suffering post-natal depression and anxiety.

Rachael was turned away when she sought help from her GP, so she decided to try learning a new skill to boost her wellbeing. Over the next two years she taught herself to draw realistic animals, focusing on horses as this is where her passion lies.

It soon became clear she had a talent for art, receiving regular complements on the lifelikeness of her drawings, and in February last year she received an exciting commission when Kate Whitaker requested a portrait of Catwalk IV for Robert Whitaker’s birthday.

In December 2021 Rachael launched her own channel to offer an affordable and accessible way for others to learn how to draw, and this year she has been up for a series of awards. She was a Digital Woman of the Year finalist, shortlisted for Wildlife Artist of the Year and claimed the Equine Service of the Year award at the Equestrian Business Awards.

Rachael hopes others will find her story inspiring and give them hope during challenging times.

“Drawing has completely saved my life,” she said. “When I was most vulnerable and looking for help that was never offered, I managed to teach myself a new skill, build a successful business with a new baby and with no family support, and become an award-winning equestrian artist.”

Rachael also regularly supports equestrian charity Cecils Horse Sanctuary through her work. She decided she would put her name into the ballot for London Marathon next year, and raise funds for the charity if she was accepted. To her surprise she was awarded a place and is now juggling training for the 26.2-mile challenge alongside her drawing work.

To find out more about Rachael’s art visit her website or Facebook page. For more information about her art classes, click here and support her marathon efforts here.

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