Healing Horses Ranch is a busy place
By Edna Sailor
"You feed your horse before you eat food yourself. You take care of your animals" said Kermit Heart Director at the Healing Horse Ranch and Estates near Parshall.
That is one of the basic values taught and practiced by everyone in the program at the ranch. And if you are talking with Heart, you have likely come full circle in a program that partners with Neueta Hidatsa Sanish College in New Town. With those partners working together, NHSC has created its equine program and an overall umbrella called the NHS Horse Nation. The program strikes a familiar chord with people of the Fort Berthold reservation.
"Horses have a strong historical and cultural tie to our people. They were everything to us, not just our transportation. We refer to them as ‘the horse nation. Horses are considered our sacred relatives. All life functions relied on them. The honor and respect for them is still there. Over time and history much of that connectivity has been suppressed and reduced a lot. We want to bring back that historical horse culture and we are working to restore it. It is coming back," said Jessica White Plume.