At one end of our pasture we let the fence take a turn into the forest. The trees provide shadow and give the horses something to explore and somewhere to play.
Horses live by their speed and were made for open landscapes of swaying grass. To live in the forest is unnatural for a horse, who knows what predator lurks in the dark forest?
At the brink of the forest, very close to the open grassland a horse can however still feel safe and enjoy the shelter from sun, rain and wind, taste the herbs and grasses that grow in the shade, so much different a taste, aside the usual grasses which thrive out in the sun baked fields.
We Humans originated in Africa where we lived as prey, constantly fearing the big predators of the savanna. The forest was our shelter as we sat under the branches facing the savanna, spying for leftovers the lions left behind.
Scientists say that even today when a human sit in the shadow at the edge of a forest looking out over open grasslands, our pulse and blood pressure goes down and we relax much more than in any other environment known.
Maybe it was just there, at the border between forests and plain that human and horse first encountered each other, realizing that we share the same fears and likings. Maybe it was here we tied the bonds of trust that has made us both survive thru the millennia, scratching each other’s backs.
How strange it is that fear still prevails in some dark corners of humanity; where ignorant search for safety and control of horses thru acts of violence and rage, leads to abuse and slaughter, when all it takes is an open hand and a smile. The strongest rope is no rope at all.