The horses at Blue Star Equiculture are striking individuals. Â Sonny is a rambunctious toddler, climbing the manure pile, chasing and running from his elders at top speed. Tex is stoic and silent, ears perked to every new voice, always guarding his herd. Jasper is the quintessential old man, cranky if you’re a minute late with dinner, spending all day with his friends along the fence, watching the world pass by.
Beyond their personalities these horses are representatives of Millenia of cultural input, training, breeding and partnership with humans. I was immediately drawn to the Shires when I arrived, and they all welcomed my company. I imagine their ancestors, and mine, working in the fields of Ireland, growing grains, potatoes, cabbage and all sorts of food. I imagine them pulling stones up the hills to build all of the castles and manors, walls and houses. I imagine them pulling wagons and carriages from one end of the island to the other.
Like the seeds I grow in my garden these horses are irreplaceable. There are no others like them, they cannot be taken for granted, and they cannot be recreated. Â Just 100 years ago horses were so common that no one would find it out of place to pass several on the street. Now we see horses so rarely that we consider them “luxury items” or disposable leftovers of a bygone era.
But we built these animals to be what they are today, and they shaped our history just as much as we shaped theirs. We owe their descendants a way forward.
Blue Star Equiculture does more than just provide a peaceful retirement for 30+ horses, weÂ preserve their legacies. As people come to the farm they start to connect with this lost culture. I connect through my garden, by growing with many of the techniques that were contemporary to the horses here, and by preserving the legacy of our agricultural past I can better understand the horse’s place in it. Others connect through husbandry, simple and everyday tasks like mucking stalls, grooming and feeding become therapeutic sources of connection for so many of our visitors including veterans, disabled adults and foster children.
Blue Star Equiculture provides a place where young people can learn how to drive, farm, run a business, and so much more.
Without your support this work cannot continue. We are raising money to ensure that the horses and humans that rely on Blue Star have a stable base of funding for the near and far future. Please help us in this mission by 423-367-1647 with monthly donations of your choosing, or by giving a one time donation.