by Berenika Bratny
Wolne Konie, alHHHC Partner Research and Education Center, Poland
Nobody knew that one day, within my community of horses, there would be an unexpected pregnancy. A mom’s first foal whose name would be Shimmering Light. From the very first moment he was full of innocence and trust. This event serendipitously happened a few hours before I began a workshop for children. A program where we would together explore and experience horses who live in open pastures and free to roam and move as they choose. The tiny newborn's arrival created much excitement and everyone’s curiosity. I wasn't sure and was pleasantly surprised that his mom, who is usually quite suspicious when it comes to new people, let these children be close and even touch her little one. She had no problems with humans being close to her baby — but the horses were driven away by one fierce look and her bared teeth. All members of the herd dreamt of sniffing and greeting the new member but there was no chance. Only after a few days did the youngest mare in the herd manage to sneak through the bushes and, when the mother was busy, take a closer look at this precious treasure hidden in the tall grass.
A year has passed. Shimmering Light is a proud member of the herd enjoying time with his beloved aunts and grandmas (the mares) and having fun with his merry uncles (the geldings). I see him so happy meeting any human guest invited to visit the herd. One day an interesting thought came to my mind — that he came to our world in a symbolic moment and was the first one to welcome the children. The children learnt about the real nature of free horses and he, as a horse, experienced human beings as safe and kind. Shimmering Light doesn’t know the world of humans that was known to his mother and most of the horses in the herd. I often watch him galloping in the meadows I think with curiosity about the world of horse — human relations — how will it look like in the future?
The children, from the workshop, will be adults someday and Shimmering Light will be a big, mature and beautiful horse — will our world change? Will they be able to communicate with each other and all beings, offering respect and building a relationships based on harmony and love? I have this dream and it is not only mine. There are more and more people joining this vision. Maybe a day will come when every foal born into this world will be safe, just as Shimmering Light is. They will not know abuse or fear — they will be born free and stay that way — always.
Photos Berenika Bratny, Milka Jung