I often see horses as I move about my every day life. Horses standing in paddocks, horses wandering through a dusty corral, horses in all sorts of artificial cultures; horses confined. My entire life has been connected to horses and their care and training. The life of a domestic horse includes any number of restrictive situations and habitats. For the most part, I have experienced horses that are well cared for, content, wanting for nothing basic, loved even. They lead a perfectly acceptable life under the care of competent handlers. Within the limitations of civilized life, this is the norm. When I met That Herd, I began to understand the very real power of freedom and instinct. Living truly free, under the rules of nature, can be unforgiving. Living in a free range environment, like That Herd, with little management or intervention is freedom with some added insurance. Compared to the myriad of horses I have known, That Herd horses are more in tune with their evolutionary values. They are instinctive more often than responsive. They face hardships, retain knowledge, solve problems, and gain spatial aptitude. They adapt to inconsistent quantities and qualities of feed and water. They have social lives and constant mental stimulation. It is wondrous to observe the very real ability of domestic horses living, for the most part, and behaving as nature intended.
“Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.” – Maya Angelou