Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Independance

Their is something i have been pondering for a long time now..something i have noticed between the wild horses and my own. Independence. They can be alone or in a herd and it doesn't bother them. Even in a herd i can sometimes find Fern and her foal Sonny, way out of sight of the other horses. Where as our own domesticated horses panic at being left, and would never wander off alone. Why is this??



You would think that the wild ones, raised in a herd environment, would least like the to be separated from other horses. But this isn't the case, in fact they seem to seek solitude more than the others. They are independent, Fern, especially is least inclined to follow group, if she has found a better patch of grass, water or shade and the rest of the group are meandering aimleslly across the paddock, she will stay behind. Our paddock are huge a couple of acres in size each, and Fern will be at the opposite end and well out of site of the other horses, no worries at all. Why is this? being out of sight of the others would put my big Strong warm bloods into a panicking mess...

Yet she interacts with the other horses and is just as happy and content with them there, as when she is by herself, she's not bullied or chased, and little Sonny spends hours playing with the other foal and being babysat and fussed over by his 'aunties' in the group. What is it that allows them this herd behaviour but also the Independence that the domestic horse seems to lack.

Is it just they don't bond tightly with the other horses as they did with their wild herd? Or are accustomed to more space, from being free in the wild? Do we not realise how independent horses truly are, and do we have a misconceived idea about how horses actually live in a herd?

Is it just that we have bred out and raised our domestic horses in such a way that they have lost all Independence?

I would like to know the answer, its something that i spend a lot of time thinking about. One day i would actually love to spend the time studying horses in the wild to see how they really behave and interact.

Does anyone else have any experiences with this? Has anyone studied or observed horses in the wild and can shed some light?

Does anyone else have horse from the wild that exhibit this Independence??