Horse Births Rare Medicine Cap Filly With Significant Face Pattern
Feb 19, 2021 by apost team
Since the early days of the internet, dog and cat videos have dominated the web, providing animal lovers with plenty of adorable, hilarious and interesting content. With that said, the video featured in this story just goes to show that not everything has to be about the Fido and Tigers of the world. Horses, majestic and powerful creatures who have lived in harmony with humans for thousands of years, can be just as adorable and interesting as their feline and canine counterparts.
Scott and Jackie Nelson are horse breeders in Melbourne, Florida, and the couple has developed a reputation for the incredible paint horses they raise. In a popular February 2013 video from the Nelsons’ Down Under Colour YouTube channel, they showed off one of their rarest horses — a medicine cap filly.
The Down Under Colour riding ranch’s name references the numerous Australian horses this couple breeds, though Scott and Jackie also breed American paint horses like the one in this video. Many of those horses have won prizes at horse shows, as some of their YouTube videos show. Despite the knowledge and experience the couple has with horses, they were likely surprised by the birth of the filly featured in this 2013 video. They named the rare filly Coconut, who can be seen at just 2-days-old, in the video below.
Coconut was born with unique markings that once had great significance, according to the video’s description. In earlier times, Coconut would have been a war horse, which, in some indigenous communities, “only the Chief or the Medicine Man” would ride, Down Under Colour explains.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
Medicine men, also known as healers or medicine people, are important figures in indigenous culture. According to Britannica, these healers are similar to doctors insofar as they undergo rigorous training in order to help treat and prevent physical and mental illnesses.
However, Britannica states that medicine people also address “social ruptures” such as murders and “other calamitous events.” Healers or medicine people are often identifiable because of the “kit” that they carry, which can include objects like bird feathers, stones, medicinal and hallucinogenic plants and pollen. However, it’s important to note, as one University of New Mexico resource on medicine men does, that each nation has its own understanding of what a healer is.
For example, indigenous people who belong to the Navajo tribe understand there to be four categories of healers, including hand tremblers, listeners, stargazers and haatali.
The haatali is a healing singer who would perform ceremonial chants — of which there are nearly 100 of varying complexity — to heal a patient’s spirit, mind or body, according to the University of New Mexico.
“Originating from the Navajo Creation Story, (the chants) are so nuanced and complex that a medicine man learns only one or two (songs) over many years of apprenticeship,” the entry reads. “Ceremonies last anywhere from one to nine days and include chants, songs, prayers, lectures, dances, sweat baths, prayer sticks, and sand paintings.”
Healers, as you might have guessed, are particularly important figures in indigenous culture. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Scott and Jackie’s rare war horse would have been perfect for a prominent figure such as a healer. But what, you might ask, is a war horse?
According to Hidden Trails, a war horse usually denotes a pinto horse — or a horse with patches of white and other colors — due to its natural ability to camouflage itself. However, this does not necessarily refer to a particular breed or consistent set of colors, for pintos can be bred from a range of horses from miniatures to thoroughbreds. In the below video’s description, Down Under Colour argues that Coconut is a special and rare type of war horse thanks to her shield-shaped markings on her chest and her single blue eye.
“This eye in Indian Mythology is called a Sky Eye,” Down Under Colour writes. “If the Chief or Medicine Man dies in battle then this one blue sky eye will carry their spirits to their Gods. So that is why she is soooo special.”
Horses only became a part of Native American culture after Christopher Columbus and other Spanish colonists arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, according to History.com. Before the colonists invaded Native American land, introducing new plants and animals like horses to the continent, horses had been extinct in North America for thousands of years.
Initially, the colonizers tried to prevent Native Americans from getting access to horses, fearing that this would put the indigenous people on “more equal footing,” according to Herman Viola, a former Smithsonian curator. But following the Pueblo uprising in 1680 in which the Pueblo Indians took control of Santa Fe and captured the Spanish colonizers’ horses, Native Americans began to trade the animals.
As time went on, horses eventually became part of Native American culture, and by the time of the French and Indian War in the 1760s, Native Americans would often use horses in battle.
“There were about a dozen very prominent horse tribes that went all the way from the Canadian border to Mexican border, and they were the ones that confronted all these wagon trains and ‘Manifest Density,’” Viola explains. “Because they were such good horse people, they were very effective at disrupting westward expansion, and that’s why the Army had so much trouble with them.”
Perhaps that’s why Down Under Colour’s video of Coconut has attracted so much attention online. Not only is Coconut beautiful, but she is also representative of so much important indigenous history.
Since Scott and Jackie uploaded the video in 2013, it has accumulated more than 3 million views, 4,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
“I know this video is an older post, and I am amazed I didn't find it sooner, but just to prove that all things happen for a reason, I was searching for a video to lift my heart a bit, having lost my very special cat just a few hours ago, and coconut was just the right thing I needed,” one viewer wrote in the comments. “Thank you for posting this precious little gift for all to enjoy.”
Other commenters were enamored with the relationship between Coconut and her mother.
Luckily, Down Under Colour have a whole series of Coconut videos from clips from when she was a baby to videos that feature a full-grown coconut running through pasture. In their most recent Coconut video, Scott and Jackie film the majestic and fully grown horse as she trots around at the 2016 Pinto World Championship show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
What do you think about Coconut and her mother? Do you believe in the indigenous folklore regarding war horses? Let us know — and be sure to pass this story on to friends, family members and fellow animal lovers.