One of the saddest sights I’ve witnessed is an animal that is normally majestic and proud, slouched and sad. The strongest and most elegant animals are always depicted in the horse wall art we come across. There aren’t many moody pieces of artwork that show a horse in a dejected or lowly state. This is for good reason. The vibrant energy and tenacity of wild horses is something that deserves to be shared, and you can’t do that with a downcast looking animal. I came to notice this one winter day in Norway.
A Solemn Stallion
I had high hopes for the horses I was photographing for my wall art for sale. There I was standing in knee-high white snow. The powdery frost was a perfect backdrop for the deep bay and tan of the stallions I was photographing. However, I wasn’t getting the same energy I was expecting from one stallion. He was slouched in one corner of his pen and his movements were slow and heavy. He wasn’t prancing about or tossing his mane back and forth like some of his peers would have done. In fact, this animal looked rather timid and not at all interested in me or my camera. It wasn’t even that he looked sick or I would have inquired about it with his owner. Instead, he looked as if he was just missing something. I just couldn’t figure out what, and sadly my horse wall art would need to wait until I did.
The ranch owner picked up this behavior just as I did. He walked to the barn and it was just a couple of minutes before the other horses started to spill out into the pen. While these horses were happy to stretch their legs, my stallion was thrilled to see them. His body language changed completely. The dull lifeless animal I saw first was replaced by a noticeably energetic one. He wasn’t slouching in the corner anymore. Instead, he was waiting excitedly for his friends to join him. There was the connection and joy I wanted in my horse wall art and what ultimately makes any artwork stand out to an audience. I’ve tried to keep this depiction of connection in all my wall art for sale.
What I had just witnessed was evidence of the social nature of horses. In the wild, herds of horses are made up of one or two stallions, a group of mares, and their foals. These animals act as part of a collective unit. Animal behavior will tell you that prey animals, like horses, do this for a very good reason. Having dozens of animals working together can make it harder to single out one as prey. With herbivores like horses, it makes sense to want this layer of protection. Having multiple horses watching out for the group is much better than individuals watching out for themselves.
Camouflage is another great reason to live in a group. Having similar-looking individuals cluster together can make it difficult to prey on one. It is understandably difficult to hunt a single animal if you can’t even pick it out of a group. Prey animals have used this to blend in together and hide in plain sight. A popular example of this is the sea of stripes in zebra herds. Similarly, my other horse wall art shows how a sea of horses can easily hide the individuals in plain sight.
However, there is much to learn from the way our animal friends live. Survival of the fittest has proven to favor communities over individuals in numerous species, ours included. Humans have found benefits to living in groups from the dawn of our species as hunter-gathers. Even ancient artwork has depicted us in social settings.
The Comfort of Friends
“Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” – Thomas Aquinas
Any person on Earth can attest to the value of friendships. While there is definitely a functional advantage to being social, emotionally we all have much to gain as well. There’s a lot of comfort in having a social circle that supports and loves you. While we don’t have the same use of camouflage or surveillance as horses do, we can still use the companionship of a community.
With social media, globalization and the rise of communication, people are more connected than ever. It is easier than ever to speak to anyone in the world. Despite technology that puts you face to face with loved ones in seconds, people are still feeling lonely. Today, we have fewer and less intimate connections than the generations before we did. It can be cathartic to embrace our social side. The people we surround ourselves with shape who we are and what we experience. Whether we’re browsing wall art for sale with a friend or celebrating a family reunion, socializing can help us be better. Perhaps it would be worth it to take a cue from the horses. Maybe it would bring us all a bit closer and ease the difficulties we face as their community does for them.
HORSE WALL ART GALLERY
• 8” x 12” in/ 20.32 x 30.48 cm
• 17.5” x 26.25” in/ 44.45 x 66.675 cm
• 23.5” x 35.25” in/ 59.69 x 89.535 cm
• 35.5” x 53.25” in/ 90.17 x 135.255 cm
• 43.5” x 65.25” in/ 110.49 x 165.735 cm
• Black Frame
• White Frame