Black Beauty, National Velvet,Flicka,and even The Black Stallion.
Movies are a very powerful influence in our society and they inspire people to dream of all kinds of things and that is good.
Having owned a boarding facility for almost 20 years,I have seen some different boarders with more to come.
We keep between 10 to as many as 15 horses in a twenty acre pasture and the herd is generally "happy".
The interaction is what I would call "normal"with the horses well adjusted to there environment and each other.
When a new horse is introduced into the herd then it is done very carefully and in stages as this can be very dangerous for all concerned.
So there was the last scene in Hidalgo that Viggo Mortensen is having a "Walt Disney moment" with his horse,up on a bluff and looking down on "THE HERD" and Hidalgo is given the choice to rejoin the wild ( I get a lump in my throat thinking about it).
The music rises as Hidalgo runs off to rejoin the herd.
So people come to our place and look at our herd and want to reenact that scene for their horse and themselves.
Now we have a horse that has been living in a stall situation there whole life and being taken from the stall to the cross tie to the arena to the wash rack to the stall for 15 years and the owner wants the "Hidalgo moment".
This is a VERY delicate proposition and we have actually been able to pull it off a few times under limited conditions.
Some horses have lost their ability to do this completely and the herd terrifies them.
They do not possess the complex social skills necessary to deal with the overload of stimulus and the other horses know it.
I feel that in some cases this can cause a horse more harm than good as the horse has been institutionalized by the system.
People say "Oh,just throw them out there and let them work it out" and I say"you pay the vet bill".
I have had some success by starting a kind of sub herd made up of the one 's that can't mix well and they come along in time.
My hope is that this thread can talk about herd social ills and disorders,horse mental illness and the stress that it causes.
What do you think?