The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Mother’s Day Special from TMP… May 09, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on May 9, 2010

It’s only May and this year has already been a very eventful time for the wild horses and burros, their advocates and managers. There have been defeats, triumphs, joys and tears. As any Mother can tell you, an eventful time is everyday with children. There are boo-boos to kiss… Hugs to be passed out for free… Aw mom!’s by the dozen… And never an end to the daily responsibilities – even if they’re already in bed! Yes, being a Mother is a full time job in and of its self. But it is quite possibly the most rewarding job one could ask for… The pay is not monetary, rather it is momentary… Those little moments of sweet and pure joy and overwhelming happiness at the sight of that precious smile, or those sweet little I wub ew’s… Yes, being a Mother is hard work, but its rewards cannot be measured in material values. It is a reason to get up early in the morning and go to bed late at night. It is a purpose in life unlike any other. As Mothers, we are truly blessed. 

I have always found it somewhat ironic how much alike Human Mothers and Equine Mothers are when it comes to their children. With our children, we also have the responsibility to teach them wrong from right. Some of us are better at it than others, and some of us watch the Mothers around us and think, Wow! How do I get my kids to behave that well?! But the one thing that we know we have to do is Maintain Our Positions. 

In Equus 101, I teach this lesson first. In watching the dams with their foals, you can observe how she disciplines the foal. First, she warns him with her body language (the equivalent of our verbal threats to our kids). If the foal does not respond to this warning, the discipline escalates to a nip or a shove (our swat to the hiney or time out). If the foal still does not respond, she pushes him away from what he instinctually craves the most: the safety and companionship of the herd (You’re grounded mister!) Of course, the foal is rebellious at first, bucking and kicking, romping and being vocal as if to say, “I’ll show you!” (This is of course the equivalent to a terrible-twos-tantrum or a teenager’s slamming the door while we try to explain our reasons.) To some, this behavior may seem cruel and dangerous. I’ve actually had questions of “How could she do that?! He could get hurt, or killed by a mountain lion, or something!” I always laugh at the questions a little bit because the person asking is always incredulous and in total shock. The answer is simple: Some behaviors simply cannot be tolerated in order for the foal to survive into adolescence and later into adulthood. There must be consequences for inappropriate actions. The mare does not calmly sit back and act arrogant about the situation, even though the foal thinks she does (our versions of being stoic and steadfast to their tantrums). Inside, she is dreadfully afraid that he will not learn his lesson fast enough to return to the safety of their herd and her side (our lying awake at night worrying about whether or not we are getting through to them enough to stop what could potentially be a dangerous behavior). 

Moms: Does any of this sound familiar yet? 

But she also knows that she cannot back down. Doing so will only cause the action to reoccur. The next time, that action could cost him his life or the life of a herd-mate. So she Maintains Her Position, her shoulders are squared up to him – showing that he is still in trouble and not allowed back yet (we don’t give in). Her eyes never leave his – yes, he can see exactly where she is looking, even 25 feet away from her (our all-knowing-Super-Mom-powers). And her body – no matter the actual size – becomes the equivalent to the Great Wall of China (we take the cell phones and keys to the car). He doesn’t dare attempt to cross this wall (well, some of our children do LOL). Pretty soon, her persistence pays off. He humbles himself before her in a show of submission (I’m sorry mom, I won’t do it again.) She accepts and shows this by lowering her gaze and moving her shoulders and body parallel to him. She will even let out a low and rumbling nicker to him as if to say “All is forgiven, return to me.” (The end of the week-long “torture” of being grounded.) 

The point here is that as Mothers, we can all take a few lessons from our Equine counterparts. The joys and daily gamut of emotions we experience as a result of our maternal roles are shared by others. When we get down on ourselves, or when we get to the point where we are ready to pull our hair out because we think we just can’t take anymore and no one understands, remember that we are not alone in our roles. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a kinship with the Equine and for the ones who long to have that experience just outside their back doors, I encourage you to take another look at the behaviors of your mares. Even if you already know and can relate to exactly what I have described above, take another look. Look deeper. See something that you haven’t seen before, and don’t stop looking until you do. Then take those little moments and apply their value to your everyday lives. You will find a wealth and richness far beyond that which money can offer. Then share it! Share this knowledge and share this education with others around you. 

If I could have only one dream fulfilled in this lifetime, it would be this: that every man, woman, and child – upon their birth – would be matched with a horse. I firmly believe that this world would be a much calmer, less chaotic place to live if mankind modeled their behaviors and lifestyles after those of the Equines. Theirs is a simple matter of “it either is, or it isn’t; there is no in-between.” Their communication is fluid; clear and precise. We need only to understand that communication to see that the answers to most of our daily troubles and tribulations are right in front of us. 

Our misunderstanding of this information is inexcusable. The Mothers of the Equines learned from the greatest Mother of all – the Great Mother. Who can refute the undeniably ingenuous wisdom of our Great Mother? Certainly not I. She has molded the cultures of every living being in her realm to interact and coexist in harmony. She has a special niche for finding just the right balance for everything and everyone in her care. We may not always understand Her ways, and we may not always like them, but rest assured – all actions have a reaction, and all purposes will reveal themselves in time. We need only to be patient for the answers to be seen. It is the impatience of mankind that has decided differently. 

When you look at the Wild Horse Advocates across the board, you will see that the majority of them are in fact women. This is not in any way a discredit to the many men we have working towards our same goal just as effectively, only an observation. Our male counterparts are just as equally important to the balance of our worlds. Our women – whether they be Mothers to human children or not – are indeed Mothers nonetheless. They have a mothering nature about them that is caring, passionate, fiercely protective, and possess a never-ceasing drive to apply those attributes to the ones they care for and love. You see, you need not to have given birth in order to be a Mother. You need only to encompass the capacity to protect, honor, cherish, guide, and love those in your charge. 

When I look at our Wild Horse Advocates, I know that the Great Mother would be proud, not only on this day, but on everyday of the year of the human Mothers who are applying her teachings to her Equine children. So on this one day of the year when mankind celebrates the joys of Motherhood, on behalf of TMP – and of course myself – I would like to wish each and every one of you a very special and happy Mother’s Day. I would like to remind each of you that your efforts and your contributions are not taken lightly. They are indeed greatly appreciated. Keep these thoughts and reminders in your heart, today and everyday of the year. And when you look out across the pastures and see your lead mare performing her tutelage upon the other members of the herd, remember… She is a role model sent straight to you as a gift from the Great Mother and her womb, the Earth. Cherish her, love her, protect her, and keep her spirit and wisdom close to your heart. 


Cherokee Mothers! When you were born, you cried and the tribe rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. Remember your children’s cries when they were born, and you rejoiced and thanked the Great Mother for the greatest gift She has to offer you. The circle of life is her purpose, and you are her vessels. Cherish the gift and thank her with your respect and honor! Respect Her vessels that you see around you, the animals of the field and the trees of the forest. Honor the Earth, for it is the womb from which Her vessels are born. Teach your children Her lessons and Her wisdom, but above all else, teach them to Honor and Respect Her. When you die, the Great Mother will welcome you back to Her womb with open arms, and you will be honored and respected by those who will someday follow you. 





15 Responses to “Mother’s Day Special from TMP… May 09, 2010”

  1. Great pics Tracie… have a a special day. mar

  2. jan eaker said

    Tracie, thank you for sharing! Great pictures, beautiful family, there is nothing sweeter to me in all the world than a baby horse!
    Have a wonderful day,

    • said


      Thx! This was the foal crop from last Spring… Doc Bar bloodlines.


  3. Morgan Griffith said

    Beautiful, ya made me well up. Thanks Tracie

  4. Linda said

    Horses are such a fine example of love, care, and wisdom passed from generation to generation. Happy Mother’s Day to all!



  6. R. Thompson said

    Weanlings!! I love weanlings….especially if, like Beagle dogs (which I adore, next to German shepherds), they are your weanlings, not mine. :-))

  7. R. Thompson said

    What the hell, good a place as any to say thanks to my own mother….my favorite photo of her in her “Flapper” days.

  8. Jan said

    posted to several of my groups – which by the way are mostly women

  9. Suzanne said

    Actually, the majority of horse owners in the US are women. I’m not sure why. I’ve known more women than men who had the “horse gene,” but that’s just in my personal experience. I certainly HAVE known men who were just as afflicted as I am. I only know that it’s an addiction that I have NO desire to recover from.

    Lovely piece, Traci! Thank you SO much.

  10. sandra longley said

    A Mothers Day video from Mother Nature to you!

    • No running by the pool! Hey, you kids take turns! LMAO
      This one is just too cute!

      • sandra longley said

        the second third and fourth time I watched the video, I really listened to the words and reflected..that is why we do this..ALL the wild things speak to our heart-they ask nothing of us..but to catch them when they fall…and now they are falling…

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