Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity?
Here where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent;
there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.
England’s past has been borne on his back.
All our history is in his industry.
We are his heirs;
He is our inheritance.
© (Copyright of) the Ronald Duncan Literary Foundation
Experiential self development in the Channel Islands with Epona
Even in the form we recognize today, the horse had existed for over a million years before the first man appeared on earth. The first horses grazed on the grasslands of the North American plains.
Unfortunately, within a short time of man’s arrival there, the horse had become almost extinct; although it was hunted for food, it is more likely that some dramatic climate change destroyed the horse’s habitat. This provoked a migration of wild horses into Asia, and it is inAsiathat we find the first domesticated animals.
Around three thousand years ago, the tribesmen living on the Ukrainian steppes were using horses for transport, and as a source of meat and milk. Domestication spread acrossEuropeas wild mares were brought into breeding herds.
When you consider how similar the horse is to a human in terms of leadership and social interaction, it is not surprising that it has remained man’s constant companion to the present day, even though its role is no longer essential to the community’s welfare.
Because it is a prey animal, the horse depends on its own instincts and the herd to survive. It forms a natural bond with its fellows, and it is very aware of its status and role within the herd. In a similar way, horses learn from each other and work towards common goals. This is visibly demonstrated by body language, and invisibly by intuition and emotion.
When these attributes are brought together, in an animal as big as a horse, it opens a gentle path to self development and confidence. Nothing else has the intuition, feelings or intelligence to understand, and act in an unbiased way. Horses are not judgmental, and they don’t have any pre-existing agendas. No words are spoken, and answers are drawn from an existence that spans millions of years in the natural world.