Bonheur regularly attended Paris’s horse market where she made countless studies of the animals being exercised. To blend in, and for comfort, she wore trousers, having obtained a 'permission de travestissement' from the local police.
A reduced version of a larger picture, this work was possibly executed with the help of her assistant Nathalie Micas. Probably Bonheur’s best-known composition, it established her reputation both in France and abroad.
Recent conservation treatment has revealed the painting’s original colours and variety of textures.