Lessons from the herd

12 10 2010

Two fathers met in a wide valley and thought to meet with a swagger, each self-assured of his own dominance, while their families occupied themselves nearby – apart.

But then a wee daughter was curious and walked out toward the fray.

The fathers knew to protect the babe above all else – whether she was theirs or another’s.

Swagger dropped. Family men were calmed.

And all because of an innocent babe.

I have to admit I was nervous when I saw Winona walking directly toward Seven (seen at back left) and Comanche (center), who were together in the sniffing-striking posture. But I could see exactly when THEY became aware of her walking to them, and they broke apart, and that’s what you see here. Kestrel is grazing at left, in front of Seven. Cuatro (darker) and Twister are grazing at right. ‘Nona is with her adored stepdaddy, Comanche, center. Seven hung around just a little bit as if to say, well, I’m not afraid of you, and don’t take this as me backing down, but there are children present after all … then returned to his band.

Meanwhile, Bruiser in the foreground, and Spring, Shane, Mona and Ze in the background. The other horses are out farther and to the right.

Baby girl and ‘daddy, heading back to mama. She adores him, as I mentioned … and it’s clear the feeling is mutual. He’s simply a daddy wrapped around four tiny black hooves.

Back with mama, and all is well.

Meanwhile, look who came to visit:

Twister. 🙂 Isn’t he a handsome boy!

How do they know when to posture and when to nurture?

Elder … Not challenging, just watching Seven’s in the distance. This is what I was aiming at when Comanche then walked past, resulting in the photo a couple of posts earlier.

Followed by Winona and Kestrel.

Seven watching in return …

How astonishing are they?!

It seems to me you could illustrate a whole book on how humans *ought* to interact with each other and treat each other with photos – lessons – “from the herd” … Much like Cowboy Ethics, a collaboration by photographer David Stoecklein and writer James Owen.

Defend your family.

Children above all else.

Know when to walk away.

Be curious.

Know the land beneath your feet.

Learn from and respect your elders.

Live in the moment.


What else?



10 responses

12 10 2010
Mar Wargo

One thing is so apparent and has been why reading your blog on these ‘guys’ is so much fun- it’s how much they inspire you. It is very catching. When I sent your blog to my brother, the one with Puzzle in it, he said he wanted a tee shirt with Puzzle on it. He was very impressed and I am so surprised at him. mar

12 10 2010

I appreciate hearing that so much. I’m inspired by the horses each and every time I visit – and I learn something new every time, too. I’m glad your brother likes the horses as well!

12 10 2010
sandra longley

to the knowledge of the herd i would add, to survive always run to a helicopter..not away, the terror of the helicopter is nothing compared to what awaits your innocent souls

12 10 2010

We can learn so much from animals if we but take the time to listen. Thanks for listening to them, TJ, and for sharing their stories!

12 10 2010
lynn bauer

Trust when it is truly earned and you will know that moment.
L & K

13 10 2010

I’d like to see helicopters go away. Period. Agreed … and well said!

17 10 2010
Pat Amthor

I will send the thoughts to my Grandson. We can all learn!

18 10 2010

I sure like to hope so!

29 10 2010

what a wonderful series of pictures and such great insight. I just love your sentiment here.

29 10 2010

We can learn a lot from horses living natural lives!

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