The Horse Spirit Principle
( Concept and Philosophy )
It all started when I found and bought my ’92 Jeep Cherokee in December, 1996. I had owned a Cherokee before, for almost ten years, and loved it. When I lost it do to circumstances beyond my control, I was devastated. It took me eight years to get back into another one.
Perhaps it was my joy at being back in a Cherokee after all that time, that started my new outlook. But I found myself thinking seriously about the connection to the Cherokee tribal heritage for the first time, the connotations of power related to the Jeep name, feeling like this was my “horse” and generally becoming engrossed in my vehicle. All things combined, I dreamt up this interesting and fun concept.
I guess it started with the traditional “What if…” What if the spirit of horses long gone came back today to reside in our Sport Utility Vehicles, big new pickup trucks and the like? Why? Because we are unconsciously missing the connection we once had with our horses. There was a time when our transportation was not just a ‘car’, but a companion. A partner. A friend. Whether it was a single mount or a team pulling a buckboard, there was a connection there that some of us now miss and would enjoy having back again. This desire to be more attached to our ‘mounts’ has brought these spirits of horses from the past back to live again in these ‘special’ vehicles. We’re taking them out to run once more.
When I look around at the extra care that some of us take with these big, powerful vehicles, my own expression of; “It’s a Jeep, anything else is just a car” takes on a broader meaning. Like me, there seems to be more people caring for their “Rodeos”, “Wranglers”, “Dakotas”, “Blazers” and “Broncos” more like we did horses, than ‘just a car’.
So I started fantasizing about what kind of horse might be living in my Cherokee. Even before I got carried away on this bent, I had started calling ‘her’ the Silver Beauty. My daughter, then thirteen, loved the idea and her mom fell under the spell too. It didn’t take long before we were all referring to ‘her’ simply as “Beauty”. Then came the thought of what she had looked like. It seems the more we played with the idea, the better it felt. I’m aware that I refer to this as ‘feeling’, not ‘thinking’. This whole thing is about how good it feels to be fooling around with my horse, not thinking about how ridiculous it all sounds. So why not; an appaloosa ridden in Oklahoma by a member of the Cherokee tribe sometime after the terrible relocation with “The Trail Of Tears”? There are some who might suggest a ‘past life’ of my own. Who knows.
In truth, I find that I thoroughly enjoy the spiritual connection to horses I could or would never have of my own now, and to Native Americans. I would like nothing better than to have every SUV and pickup truck named after an Indian tribe. If this is the only way to spread the heritage and dignity of these people, then let them at least have that. Perhaps it would give each of us yet another reason to take even more pride in our ‘mounts’.
But I’m still having fun with the idea and even expanding on it. I hope to have several vehicles some day, and have designed a many-bay garage to look like a stable to house them. I recently fell in love with a 2000, silver Mustang GT 4.6 convertible, who is called “Silver Flyer”, or just “Flyer”. Then there’s the new metal colored Grand Cherokee, “Makes The Spirit Dance”, or “Spirit Dancer”, because she’ll make my spirit dance. There’s also my passion to have another maroon, 1995 CJ7. There’s just something special for me about that model and that year. I think he’s a cowpony from a ranch near Camp Crawford before it became Fort Mcintosh, on the outskirts of Laredo Texas around 1847, his name is “Bandana”. ( Just creating the history can be great fun. )
So it seems the more I play with this idea, the more fun it becomes. There are countless ways to decorate a vehicle to enhance the whole feeling. Sun Catchers made by Native American craft people, feathers, horse blankets over the back of the back seat for color, and on and on. One project for the future is to create small shops for purchasing all nature of things just for our new ‘mounts’. When I first got a Cherokee and wanted someone to get in, I loved using the expression; “Mount up”. Just felt good. Maybe now I know why.
Bob Farrell February 19, 2016