The ancient bond between humans and horses has been every changing. First seen as a source of meat by early man, horses are the earliest known animals to be artistically depicted in cave dwellings, and horse have been credited with enabling human evolution by providing food, labor, transportation, and increased hunting proficiency. These primary purposes remained the dominate ones for horses for most of the centuries between human cave dwelling and modern agriculture. However, in recent years, horses in many countries of the world now play many, and unexpected, different roles, as companions, as partners in a variety of sporting endeavors, as muses for literature, poetry, and art, as emotional and mental therapeutic guides and teachers, and as physical therapists for patients with muscular and balance problems.
Dunrovin has had many opportunities to personally witness the impact of horses’ evolving roles on people. Countless times during our normal horse guiding operation, people with heavy burdens and troubles have found their way to our ranch to connect with horses. Sometimes just being with a horse and facing physical challenges together with another sentient animal opens them up to new perspectives about themselves and the problems that they face. For example, Dunrovin once hosted a young man and his mother for a short afternoon ride that took them across the Bitterroot River and up into the mountains. It was clear that the mother was nervous about the rigors of fording the river and climbing the steep hills. Yet she held it together, forcing herself to concentrate, and trying to relax. Once safely on the mountain top, she broke down in tears and explained that her husband had six weeks earlier committed suicide. She needed her son’s help to get through it all, but she didn’t know how to ask. We simply dismounted, took the horses away to give mother and son some privacy, and allowed them the time to talk and begin anew. She and her son returned in a completely different frame of mind that when they had started – and it was the horses and facing her fears with them that opened the dam that let her emotions flow. This is but one of many, many such incidents involving women, men, and children who have found something in themselves by exposing themselves to horses.
Dunrovin is determined to support the use of horses are therapists and to celebrate and honor the changing roles of horses in our culture. We are starting by hosting two special events highlighting different aspects of the human and horse bond.
On August 19, 2017, Friends of Dunrovin, which a 501 c3 Montana nonprofit affiliated with Dunrovin Ranch, will host a Horse of a Different Color by inviting six Montana artists to publicly paint and decorate six Dunrovin horses. This daylong event will culminate with an Painted Pony Parade, music, dinner, and a People’s Choice contest to select the most popular painted pony. The entire event will be broadcast on Dunrovin’s webcam network at www.DunrovinPresents.com. Both online and onsite participants will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite horse/artist combination. Funds raised by the Horse of a Different Color will be used to support equine-assisted therapeutic programs and research in Montana.
During the Horse of a Different Color event, harlequin bestselling author Danica Winters will present her new series of four romance/mystery novels set in Dunrovin Ranch in the fictional town of Mystery, Montana. She will also draw the winning entrant for a contest that Destination Missoula is sponsoring for a five day all expenses paid trip to Missoula, Montana for a mystery tour of Missoula and participation in Dunrovin Ranch Living with Passion Women’s Getaway on September 8, 9, and 10.
Dunrovin Ranch is partnering with Spirit Dance Equine-Guided Life Coaching of Minneapolis to host a three day Living with Passion Women’s Getaway. Life coach and author Lynn Baskfield will team up with Danica Winters to use horses to help women ignite their muses for passionate living at any age.
Learn more about these events by visiting Dunrovin Celebrates the Human/Horse Bond.
SuzAnne Miller is the owner of Dunrovin Ranch. A fourth-generation Montanan, SuzAnne grew up roaming the mountains and fishing the streams of western Montana. Her love of nature, animals, science, and education prompted her to create the world’s first cyber ranch where live web cameras bring Dunrovin’s wildlife and ranch life to internet users across the globe.
Visit SuzAnne live at www.DaysAtDunrovin.com!