Rewilding our Relationships with Domesticated Beings - PART 2 - HORSES and other "BEASTS of BURDEN"

Let’s continue exploring the topic of rewilding our relationships with domesticated beings, focusing next on horses and other “beasts of burden”.

Here are a couple of questions to get the conversation started - please add any others you can think of!

*what does your current relationship with horses & other “B.of B.” (if any) look and feel like?
*what might transition culture look and feel like in the contexts of these relationships?
*what might rewilded relationships look and feel like? (further down the path of transition - future goals)
*what types of personal or cultural ethics and values should be considered? (spirituality? concepts of “right” and “wrong”?)
*Thoughts about the ways we use the terms “pets” vs. “working animals” vs.“companion / family member”?
*Thoughts about the concept of “ownership”?
*What responsibilities might we have toward domesticated beings during the transition toward wildness?
*what types of practical considerations should be addressed?


Much like with dogs, this horse issue is a super important conversation to me, and unfortunately I have a conflict of interest and so just need to sit it out. Look forward to others’ thoughts though.

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*what about the effects our domesticated equines and other “beasts of burden” have from an environmental / ecological perspective?
*there are countless examples of humans “using” horses and others to build and expand structures of civilization (agriculture, waging war…). Does this imply that to Un-Do civilization, we would need to abandon this relationship? Phase it out? Trace our steps “backwards”…?
*expanding upon the “ownership” question, what about the ethics and values involved in requiring other beings to “work / labor” for us or otherwise “serve” our purposes?

On second thought I do think I can make a small contribution in this thread - for me, every species we have domesticated indicates a true intermarriage between species. Every food plant, every animal, every fiber plant. The modern conception we have of ourselves, however, is as individual people with separating personalities. And though there is some truth to this, I believe a deeper truth is that we are the limbs of each other’s bodies, the organs of the greater organism. And much the same way that a rabbit mother can reabsorb a fetus into her if the nutrients are needed back, I believe horses are both a food animal, a tool animal, and an actual relative, in the same way this is true of the plants in our garden are food, tools, and companions.

I believe for those of indo-european cultural descent (not the fantasy of race or genetic descent, but those who descend culturally from the horse-breeders of the steppe), for many of us we’re afflicted by dreams of the horse life. Our daughters (and perhaps less often our sons) seem to come into this world loving horses unbidden. I think these are all clues to the ancient intermarriage that we have to work to circle back on and heal in a particular way.

I’ve ridden horses before, I don’t have a very substantial current relationship with any horses, but I do feel the call at times and these are my thoughts on the matter.


Thank you Willem, your words above speak to my experience very specifically. As a kid, my parents used to tease me about speaking the word “horsie” before “mama”. As you said, unbidden - there was no external influence / exposure in my young life that would have prompted my interest. It was (and still is) a very powerful, organic “something” from within. My relationships with horses (one in particular) have been deeply meaningful and “spiritual” connections, and when they are not present in my life I feel the absence deeply - a part of me is missing. I am very interested in exploring “ancestral memory” as it might apply to this and other mysteries. Would love to hear more of your thoughts, and am hoping others will join the conversation as well.

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I do think there is something screwed up about our relationship to what we eat. Right now it is illegal to slaughter and eat horses - even if they are at the end of their life. It’s this line between “companion” animals and food animals, where food animals are somehow lesser.

The divinity and intermarriage with that which feeds us seems like the most important thing to repair. Horses were quite literally raised for food before we ever thought of riding them, but they were no less sacred and related to us at that time - you can be sure of that by seeing how other indigenous people embrace domesticated animals into their way of life. The Navajo and sheepfarming are a good example. There is no doubt about the sacredness of the relationship to their sheep, as weavers and herders, and eaters.

If eating a dog (the Lakota are famous for eating puppies!), or a cat, a chicken, a sheep, a horse, if eating any of these beings disturbs us, then it behooves us to ask why, and to not be satisfied with the first answer we give ourselves. Keep digging.

The tradition of sky burial - putting human bodies out for the scavengers of the air and earth to feed upon - is a way that I think we can give back from our end. Choosing to die well and give up our bodies back to the Big Life.


PART 3 - LIVESTOCK: Rewilding our Relationships with Domesticated Beings - PART 3 - "LIVESTOCK"

Here is an article specific to rewilding horses:

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For those who didn’t want to read the external articular or are compassionate to the idea of wild horses, the government does round them up & sell them at auction … they do kill what they dont sell

I would argue the relationship of treating wild horses (who yes are intelligent beings who can communicate with us) like overpopulated deer is probably more ethical than breeding it to retardation just to achieve something ascetically beautiful (show horses) or fast (race horses). At least they were free.

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Hello, ive been living with my small flock of dairy sheep 24/7/365 for past few years. I walk them around to different peoples’ farms/yards to stay inbetween squatting vacant fields. When they’re producing at least a half gallon a day i stay away from civ food and just dine on the milk and wild edibles, when they are dry i accept the food donations from people that stop to talk with us. I consider them to be my family but i describe them as my service animals to people on the street because i need my sheep to focus on 2 things; eating and my vibrational signals! I’ve learned not to let other people socialize(definitely no feeding!) with them because ive found it to dilute their focus and trust in me so that they don’t follow me nearly as well.


Hello HomelessShepherd, thanks for your comments! I am wondering if you might want to move them over to the thread that revolves specifically around discussion of “livestock” Rewilding our Relationships with Domesticated Beings - PART 3 - “LIVESTOCK” Looking forward to reading more more of your contributions, and welcome to the community! :slight_smile:

Hello, yes yes you can move it whereever is most appropriate but i dont think i xan even navigate this site so i dont know if its worth your time? Sorry

interesting quick video re: genetic diversity “then vs. now”…

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