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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the subtitle!
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...
Published on January 24, 2003 by copperpeach

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars land of oz?
I found about half of this book helpful to me in thinking of equine relationships in a more open way. There were some interesting real-life stories and theories presented for consideration. I thought the other half of the book was a bit too "new age"y for me. The author's alleged connection to ghost horse ancestors was a bit much for me to swallow, but...
Published on February 2, 2003 by wikdwtch


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the subtitle!, January 24, 2003
By 
copperpeach "copperpeach" (Wahiawa,, HI United States) - See all my reviews
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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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Yes, this horse-human relationship can be saved!", October 11, 2001
By 
J. R. Berry (Toledo, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. The experiences Linda shares in the book, as well as the history, psychology, and intuitive concepts, have helped us work through our problems while providing a scintillating insight into the mind and emotions of these magnificent creatures. My confidence is back, my horse is once again calm, responsive, friendly and "manageable" and we are building an even better relationship than we originally had. Most importantly, riding and being with my horse is fun again. I recommend this book not only for those with a passion horses, but also those interested in animal and human psychology, tribal evolution, and personal growth. This book has it all.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book written especially for me and my horses!, May 8, 2005
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Women, Horses & Spirit, April 4, 2003
By 
Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tao of Equus, November 13, 2001
By 
Lori Shaver (Tucson, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
When Linda first published her book, I watched with excitement, and disbelief, as it all came together. You see, I had the great fortune to live in Tucson Arizona and board at The Ranch, a central location for many of the events in the book. I was a student of Linda's during the time she was writing the book. I knew the characters, human and equine, and even had the chance to read proof chapters of her book. (Which I skimmed and deemed "too far out" for my taste) My faith in her ability was small. We were "local yokels" boarding our horses in a rural environment, playing around the edges of things. Nothing profound was happening here, therapeutic riding was "nice," and we were all enjoying a great hobby.
Even after her book was published, I continued to fail Linda. We went out to dinner one night and talked about horses. I cannot remember the exact topic, but in reference, she asked if I had read a certain part of her book. I could not respond clearly because I still had not read the book!
Fortunately, Linda had the courage to go on the journey without the rest of us. Since reading the book, my entire outlook is different. I have decided to throw out the equitation rulebook. I have always been a caring rider, but since reading Linda's book, I have been freed up to relate to my horse in a way that has not seemed ok before now. As fate would have it, I experienced the fluttering, bursting feelings of joyful resonance that Linda talks about in her book. I decided to be ok with the idea that it was either coming from my horse or I was resonating with my horse or, heck, in some way, it involved my horse, and I was not crazy. Now that I have opened up to this possibility, when I am around my horses, I feel euphoric. I love them and they love me back.
Linda has written something so beautiful and touching, spiritual, creative and magical. It is stunning. I cannot believe how alone she was on her journey while she was writing this book. I was there to witness that fact. The people, who could have supported her, like me, were too far behind. I wanted to write this as an affirmation of the direction that she took, it was the right one, and to thank her for paving the way. Read this book!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written testament to the healing power of the human-animal bond, August 22, 2005
The Tao of Equus is a beautifully written, heartfelt journey on the healing power of the human-animal bond. As a professional social worker, practicing and writing about animal assisted interventions, I was very impressed by her work - and feel that she has provided an opportunity in transformative healing to many individuals.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insights on How the Horse's Mind Works, March 19, 2007
This book, packed with excellent scientific references and provides an interesting prospective on how a Horse's Mind works, how it has been designed to work. Depending on personal beliefs, readers may / may be moved by more ethereal references to "ancestoral horse spirits", the concept of "universal history" or stories that seemingly demonstrate special "horse - human" connections.

As a long-time horse lover, and as a horse breeder, I found the more fundamentally-based segments of the book beneficial in a relatively unique way, compared with the plethora of other horse books I've also enjoyed and found useful. In addition to providing insight that has positively influenced daily work of my own horses, information from this book has put forward some fresh ideas in helping them through individual problems / quirks.

While the more philospophical segments of the book did not especially take with me, these offered ideas and concepts that were otherwise unfamiliar, and were therefore interesting, much of the time. I can understand how others who are less practically-driven than myself might find these soulful references touching. The commercial horse breeder who initially shared this book with me (admittedly a fellow female) remarked that it was one of the most influential books she had read in the past decade, in terms of how it rested with her from a personal prospective.

I agree with several other reviewers, that this book should not be regarded as a guide on horse training, or horse training concepts. Nor is it a ready-read for someone not into horses. But I believe that its title adequately depicts what the book sets out put forward: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse. I enjoyed most it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for the general reader and professional therapist, August 11, 2001
By 
Fred P. Gallo (New Wilmington, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a wonderfully well written, interest-holding book. I highly recommend it to everyone interested in a deeper understanding of horses and our relationship to them. The book also highlights the emerging field of equine facilitated psychotherapy, which is tremendously helpful in the treatment of many clinical conditions. Overall, "The Tao of Equus" is just a darn good ride (no Freudian slip intended).
Fred P. Gallo, Ph.D., author of "Energy Psychology," "Energy Tapping," "The Neurophysics of Human Behavior," "Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods," and editor of "Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How horses can help us mend and move on, September 14, 2006
The Tao of Equus is a wonderful exploration of the human /equine relationship and the many possibilities for the different kinds of healing that can come from our interaction with these extraordinary beings . People who have had the kind of positive experiences the author describes will be pleased to learn how much they have in common with others who have also been able to mend and move beyond the terrible pain of life's tragedies . Readers who feel that there is something rather mystical about horses will find substance to bring about a greater understanding of the endless possibilities that exist between humans and horses .

Although equine therapy is more commonly known as it applies to individuals with physical disabilities , the use of horses in helping people deal with life's traumatic events is also becoming more widespread . This book challenges traditional beliefs about the horse's role in our world and offers a myriad of opportunities to allow our horses to enhance our lives .
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars land of oz?, February 2, 2003
By 
"wikdwtch" (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
I found about half of this book helpful to me in thinking of equine relationships in a more open way. There were some interesting real-life stories and theories presented for consideration. I thought the other half of the book was a bit too "new age"y for me. The author's alleged connection to ghost horse ancestors was a bit much for me to swallow, but interesting to read about anyway. There seems to be alot of plugging her "equine based therapy" and patting herself on the back for having so many unusual and amazing experiences within her world with horses.....perhaps I am just envious of this transcendental level she has the ability to frequent....or perhaps I'm not as evolved...or maybe just looking for something a little more "earth based".
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The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse
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