This series follows a herd of wild horses inhabiting the Bot River estuary at the Rooisand Nature Reserve, in the Overberg region of South Africa.

Several theories circulate around the origin of the herd. The most popular one says the herd stemmed from survivors of a large-scale cull of local farm horses (‘Boland Waperd’) during agricultural mechanization. Another theory connects their origin to eight surviving British horses of the Birkenhead shipwreck at nearby Gansbaai. A third one holds that ancestors of the current herd were once hidden in the wetlands from the British army during the Anglo Boer (South African) War.

The horses play an important ecological role by creating footpaths through the reed beds, which keep the waterways free of debris, and the estuary an ideal habitat for many bird species. The cattle egret, in particular, is often seen mounted on the back of a horse, feeding on ticks and flies. Despite individual curiosity, the herd typically avoids human interaction, which is advised against by local nature conservationists.

As an equestrian with a broad knowledge of equine behavior, I would on extremely rare occasions insert myself in their presence as a respectful observer; while non-threatening, mindful to avoid any form of dependence, trust, or disruption. Over the past decade, I have found this to be a deeply personal and healing process.