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The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse Hardcover – September 9, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; First Edition edition (September 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577311825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577311829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The Tao of Equus, which literally translates as "the way of the horse," explores the possibility that horses are highly evolved, spiritual beings who offer humans opportunities for healing and personal growth. Linda Kohanov is the owner of Epona Equestrian Services, an Arizona-based collective of trainers and counselors that explore the therapeutic potential of equestrian pursuits. Although she does discuss horse training and horse behavior, Kohanov is most interested in what horses can teach us. Moving beyond the realm of horse whispering, Kohanov studies how horses awaken intuition in humans while also mirroring our unspoken feelings and fears. At its core, this book reminds us to be mindful as we approach the horse-human relationship. Like human-to-human relationships, we have to do our own personal and spiritual work before we can expect to create a meaningful and cooperative interspecies connection. Kohanov is a steadfast writer who isn't shy about claiming a strong feminine approach, showing how mythology and history are filled with examples of powerful woman-horse connections. She also has the courage to reveal her paranormal experiences with these intensely emotional and intuitive animals--stories that may sound familiar to anyone who has ever loved and dreamed of horses. --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

A freelance writer and founder of an equestrian therapy center, Kohanov relates the strange dreams, paranormal events and personal epiphanies that led her to believe that she was being visited not by just any run-of-the-mill poltergeist, but by a herd of ghost horses that wanted her to share their wisdom. It's a fantastic story, she admits, writing, "I wouldn't be surprised if some people use elements of what I divulge in this book to try to discredit anything else I have to say about the potential of the horse-human relationship." In a straightforward manner, Kohanov describes the strange events as she remembers them and explores their implications for equine-based therapy; using anecdotes from her experience as a facilitator of horse-centered therapy, she offers a compelling look at what these animals can do for traumatized and desperately unhappy humans. She also examines the role of horses in mythology and ancient writings and the relationships between horses and people. Her research is comprehensive, shedding new light on such familiar terms as "nightmare" and on well-known stories like the myth of Medusa (from whose blood the winged horse Pegasus sprung). Kohanov's tale will be greeted with skepticism by many readers, but her sure writing should turn a few of them into believers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a love of horses.
Camille Strate
It gives an extraordinary insight into Linda Kohanov's personal spiritual awakening in the company of her horse, Rasa.
Maireid Sullivan
It has greatly improved my relationship with my horse and helped us to understand each other better.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Berry on October 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
When I found this book, I was researching how to overcome fears of riding and falling. I am a novice rider and first-year horse owner who was, at the time, just recovering from my first major horse-related accident. We were out on the trail, trotting along, and my horse spooked while I was on the upbeat of the post, ejecting me quite thoroughly. A sprained back grounded me for 6 weeks and left me unexpectedly panic-stricken when I tried to ride again. My horse sensed both my fear and mistrust and responded by losing trust in me and becoming increasingly difficult and frightening to handle. Since I didn't want to sell my beloved horse or give up riding out of fear, and because I couldn't locate a trainer specializing in fear issues in my area, I headed to the bookstore for a solution. I didn't find the book I was looking for--but I found the book that I needed. This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Although the subject matter doesn't deal specifically with fears caused by falls, I've found instead a much deeper answer to the myriad of problems with which my horse and I have been dealing. I discovered the root of our problems when I read Linda's description of "emotional incongruity"--when human body language and behavior appear (to the horse) to be out of sync (incongruent) with their inner feelings. I'd been hiding my overwhelming fears behind a false bravado, which unsettled my horse to the point that he no longer felt comfortable cooperating with me. After I read this, I stopped trying to "win" the endless battles and began applying the concepts I was learning from Linda's book to our relationship, with wonderful results. Without resorting to bizarre "training methods" or programs, my horse and I have simply reinvented our method of communicating.Read more ›
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By copperpeach on January 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Fortunately I was guided by gut feeling to buy this book unseen, having heard nothing about it, and skeptical from the subtitle...but I got a LOT out of this book!
A better subtitle might have been, "A Groundbreaking Exploration of the Horse/Human Continuum."
She is a terrific writer, interweaving studies and research on all manner of topics (including brain chemistry!) with carefully chosen stories of her own and others' search for healing, wholeness and eventually, joy.
Her whole thrust is that the unique way that horses are made, makes them uniquely able to detect and mirror peoples' emotional states. Why is this such a big deal? Because, as she conclusively shows, people ARE their emotions, despite modern-day close-mindedness about it.
Not only does she explore the new and powerful profession of equine-assisted therapy of the mind, body and heart, but she also explores training methods, our historical and current view of horses' use, the interaction between the very different species of people and horse, and a very unusual but extremely interesting intuitive approach to ourselves, our horses and indeed, life and the planet.
This is a rather intellectual work; quite in-depth and well-studied. If you want a feel-good horse-and-rider story, look elsewhere. If you want to really dig into people issues, horse issues and the interface between them, you've come to the right place.
Oh, and the second and third reading are even better than the first!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jenny MacDonald on May 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I savoured this book, re-read paragraphs as I went along, and made it last for as long as I could. You may want to start with the last chapter first, as it hits on the familiarity of animal communication and sets you up for the rest of the book. I think it could be the type of book where it doesn't matter where you open it up and read ~ her entire subject is so diverse and fascinating that you are sure to re-read many parts over anyway!
She takes us to the other world of understanding horses, to the spirit side of communication. My children have wondered why I can make a hyper horse "whoa" just by "thinking whoa". I have told them that the horse hears what I'm saying in my head. They are now also using non-verbal communication, and 'visioning' to communicate to their horses with much success. This book gave me good stories to read to my horse crazy daughters, which gives proof to the "unexplained". I was enthralled while reading and felt that what I have sensed is confirmed by Linda Kohanov's ingenious writing. Her words are a song and a story and a lot of research combined. I rushed out and bought her second book before I finished reading this one!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on April 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The culture of living with horses is dominated by men, even though statistics show there are more women riding horses than men. Through standing still & allowing her horses into her psyche, Linda has discovered a new way of living with spirit; another way of caring for & training herself & her horses.
If you have ever, even for the briefest of moments, loved a horse, wanted to be a rider, you will not be the same again, for in Linda Kohanov's telling of her story, she allows our broken & wary spirits to see more than the misery in our lives; to believe that within us is a kindness, a strength & a purpose long ago subjugated by our own trainers.
Full of revelations & healing. Much more than "just about horses."
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