The Shantis can be traced more than a thousand years back, to the original Cherokee indian tribe, who had their home at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Recent discoveries shows that this particular horse breed were sacred to the indians. They did not try to break these horses, like they did with the other Rocky Mountain horses and ponies we know of today, but lived peacefully alongside with them.
Why these horses were so sacred to the indians, is still a mystery. Just as much a mystery, as the horse itself. It has only been spotted a few times by hitch-hikers and locals, and is said to be extremely shy. They're fully capable of living in harmony, with the environment surrounding them, which is also why they've lived in secret for so many years. This is said to be the reason, the indians gave them the name 'Shanti'.
Never has there been used a Shanti in the modern equestrian world. Equine scientists are drooling over the breed though, because of it's excellent conformation, it would blossom in most disciplines. The most obvious discipline for the original Shanti, would be the disciplines requiring enormous amount of concentration and muscle strength, such as traditional dressage, classical dressage or carriage driving.
The experts have concluded though, that with a professional breeding program, it would be possible to crossbreed, and create a lighter version, who would excel in disciplines such as show jumping, eventing and polo.
The Shantis conformation shows clear signs of survival. It's long and elegant legs ensure speed and swiftness, and it's sloped shoulders and broad thighs tells about the muscles underneath the soft fur. Their heads are often large, with wide eyes and big nostrils. Ears are pointy and often a bit longer than ordinary horses. The neck is long and often carries the weight of a heavy mane. You rarely see Shanties getting hurt by things that our domesticated horses do. They're intelligent and have a strong survival instinct, and so they will often go around poisonous plants, they're quick and sure on their hooves, and rarely collides with paddock mates if the herd is blended correctly.
Height differs from 16.1 hh (165 cm) and 17.3 hh (180 cm). Thick, long mane and tail is present at every Shanti.
Walk, trot, canter and gallop
The Shanti doesn't own any additional gaits, but the ones they have wows the most. Despite being a wild horse, they move with a grace and lightness people sigh after in the dressage arena. Most theories goes after the fact that their home is on the mountains and in the forests, so one of the requirements of survival is knowing where to place your feet.
Shanties makes excellent learning horses, for unexperienced riders, and provide challenge to the experienced one. They may have big gaits, but it's smooth rather than bouncy, which gives unexperienced riders a chance to ease into the gaits, before moving onto more difficult horses. The experienced riders will find great joy in working with the Shantis, even though it takes dedication and sensitivity, it's worth every second. When you finally reach a higher understanding with the Shanti, there's practically nothing you can't ask them to do for you. But it takes work!
COMMON COAT COLORS
The Shanti displays in all kinds of colors. It's still unsure what the color range is for the wild Shantis, since it's nearly impossible to track and keep record of them. The current colors in captivity ranges from chestnut to roan, black and buckskin.
The personality of a Shanti differs very much from usual wild horse behaviour. They were able to live alongside with the Cherokees, without any training or bonding with the indians. It is said that Shantis can tell a pure heart from a poisoned one. That is also why many American cowboys never had any luck catching these, despite countless tries when they overtook the land from the indians.
Shanties are gentle, loving horses, and they tend to grow very strong bonds to their owners. They're intelligent, empathetic and more than anything work willing. The only "but" is that the work they're doing, have to be meaningful for them. Otherwise you can pull and push all you want.
Catching a Shanti is not easy, and can often take several days, depending on your own state of mind. They say every time you catch a Shanti, you learn a life lesson.