The Wisdom of The Natural World
Nature is inherently perfect. Countless systems so complex, so refined, yet so seamless in their balanced relationship with the whole. Horses have been evolving and adapting on this planet for approximately 50 million years. It goes without saying that equines are certainly a resilient species. With such a vast amount of time recreating themselves so slightly, so perfectly in harmony with the ever changing landscape of their world, it is no wonder that their present manifestation is utterly magnificent and beautiful.
But how did they survive this long? What did they eat? Who cared for them? Certainly there never was, nor is, a farrier or vet in wild horse country, where sound horses roam with none of the issues we see as epidemic in our domestic horse world today.
Great minds like Leonardo Da Vinci and Jaime Jackson have surrendered themselves to the wisdom of the natural world to gain true understanding of how things work. Going against the grain of modern man’s tendency to re-qualify the perfect display and function of nature, Jaime Jackson put aside his ideas and philosophies almost 30 years ago to find out the truth of what a horse needs to live a life of soundness.
The Legacy of Herbalism
Wild animals have always been the original herbalists. Since the dawn of life, animals have only had wild plants and other natural elements at their disposal for reestablishing and maintaining health. It was not up until around a couple centuries ago that man started making and utilizing treatments not totally within nature.
Since the time that man started to depart from his own natural ways, “modern medicine” has become more and more commonplace in our world, even though it represents a blink of an eye in the history of medicine. The more that people are reconnecting to nature, and thus to themselves, the more things like natural medicines become an obvious choice.
Jaime once told me that he feels there are medicine horses. Horses imbued with the innate understanding of the plant kingdom that facilitate this transmission of knowledge for his herd.
I would not doubt it, as my own exploration and discovery within myself and the natural world lends me to believe these things are not very mystical, but rather the norm. It is the 2 leggeds slow return to nature that makes things like this seem easily dismissible.
The Return to Herbalism
There is a learning curve for many new herbalists, as they return to the wisdom of nature. Their connection and clarity is reflective of their formulas and their efficacy. It has also become somewhat of a money making market now. The mark of a great herbalist comes down to a formulas efficacy. Within today’s domestic horse issues for instance there are a number of diseases that I believe would never even be a reality for horses if they were not living outside of the natural environment they evolved within.
Horses now inhabit every corner of the Earth, but it was not always this way. They adapted for a very specific type of environment and acquired very specific biological needs. The high desert represents the most suitable biome based upon our current fossil records and of course the sound and healthy Great Basin wild horse population. Life outside of the high desert is going to be, to some degree, less optimal. This is a new “experiment” by mankind, for their own purpose, and unfortunately, more often than not, at the expense of the horse.
To be able to bring relief and healing to a horse within the current paradigm sometimes requires more than simply “returning to nature”. Although that is the core need, that if neglected will never give a horse good health, it will most likely not eliminate their EPM or Lyme. These diseases are a reflection of a very deep disconnect from the natural world.
Truly effective formulas coupled with an active return to nature by implementing management practices learned from the sound and healthy wild ones can be your horse’s second chance. We must not try to recreate the wheel, but rather follow our brothers and sisters such as Jaime Jackson who have paved the way and return to nature ourselves. It is the mark of a truly connected person of nature, one that carries the essence of a medicine horse, to be able to bring that wisdom into form.